For today, the countdown has stopped.
News reached me last night that Shane Roe, original founder of Harlow’s first punk band ‘The Sods’, has been tragically killed in an accident in Portugal. This is extremely bad news and at times like these, it is very hard to articulate something that isn’t being repeated over and over again by others (for good reason). I did not know Shane that well, but he was always engrossed in music, making music, living music.
The connection between me and Shane is a personal and very important one. He formed the Sod’s, which I found to be a direct challenge to me, with my guitar gathering dust under the bed. He and the rest of the band, all friends of mine, were out doing what I had always dreamed of, playing rock ‘n’ roll that was brilliant and challenging, and there was I, being left behind, I had given up. I gave up due to the insipid music scene at the time and had found consolation in reggae instead, which I had never considered performing.
Then punk happened and Shane and the Sods were first out of the starting gate in Harlow, screaming, spitting, constantly arguing and at the same time, creating an exhilarating and visceral punk rock experience.
I wanted in.
I had to catch up, I had to make up the ground I had lost, I had to dust off that damned guitar.
I formed the Newtown Neurotics in response to that.
The Neurotics was the making of me, not so much in a musical career sort of way, but it helped me become the man I am today. I went from a confused and directionless 24 year old ‘teenager’; to becoming the articulate, creative, and most importantly, happy person I am now.
That one small seed that Shane created in me when he formed the Sods had repercussions he never knew, because I never told him. Yeah he knew I have always loved the Sods but, he never knew how much.
Judge not a man on what he says, rather, judge him on what he does.
He did this to me,
This is my story,
Shane, Thanks Man!