I’m totally devastated by the untimely passing of my dear friend, Terry Uttley, at the age of 70. To millions listeners, he was the bass-wielding soul of SMOKIE; for me, he was an English lad whom I’ve known for nigh on two decades. He took to calling me “D” and I used to reciprocate with “T”; and there was many a glass of red we shared each time we met. He allowed my elder kid backstage and congratulated me when I became a dad for the second time; I asked him about the health of his daughter and his wife Shirley and congratulated him when he became a granddad. But there was more to Terry.
When Shirley had gotten ill, Terry dived into cancer-related charities, in which he was involved with neighbor, Trevor Bolder; and when Shirley passed away om November 17th, Terry followed, on December 16th. He struggled to imagine carry on living without the love of his life, despite the ensemble’s concert beginning to be lined up. Yes, Uttley lived for the music too, having co-penned such minor classics as “Did She Have To Go Away” that usually ended up on singles B-sides, playing with ABBA’s Agnetha and in VERITY, but above all Terry was an amazing, loving, open human being whom I simply adored. One more contact in my phone book and Skype list has become inactive…
Sleep well, dear T.
Photo © Eugene Veinard