Monday, 25 May 2015

A statement from Steve Drewett on the passing of Colin Master aka Dredd on behalf of himself and the family.

Below is a piece written for the people who have responded on Facebook. Realising that not everyone uses facebook I have reproduced the piece below so that we can keep as many people in the loop as possible. If this is all news for you, go to the bottom of this thread and read upwards.

At this point, now a little time has passed from the loss of my dear friend Colin, having communicated a very personal account of my part in some of his final hours, and of my devastation at his passing. I must take a moment to give a little perspective on this.
I want to pass on thanks from myself and Colin’s family, to everyone who has posted their thoughts about him on Facebook. The response has been truly amazing, only now are we able to get an idea on how much he and his talent was revered both locally and globally, both by close friends, distant friends, fans and the famous. He name is legend.
And the thing is, he would be even more amazed, because he had simply no idea about this at all. Colin was one of the digitally excluded; he had no PC, no tablet, no internet, only a dumb phone which he rarely turned on.
In contrast to me, where I could luxuriate in peoples appreciation of our music through Facebook, day in and day out. He had little idea. Of course I would tell him every opportunity I could and sometimes show him a bit on my PC, but we wanted to spend our time together talking not looking at a screen.
He had no idea.
Again, I would like to thank you. I have been amazed how considerate and sensitive everyone’s contribution on Facebook has been. On what appears to be thousands of messages, only two perhaps have asked what he died of. Your respect for his privacy has been inspiring.
The omission of this information was put into place to respect Colin’s feelings, and was a measure intended to help prepare for his future after a major operation. As he sadly did not survive that operation, I can now reveal some details of his misfortune, both because you have all deserved it and, to prevent speculation that he may have had Aids or Cancer etc. Any speculation is understandable, I do not criticise it, it is a part of being human.
Since my intense and close friendship with him changed when he left the band, we of course kept in touch. As he forged himself a new life without the Neurotics, it was one I knew little of. When we had the chance meet up, we always had a blast remembering the old days and that invariably left little time for his news. Also, Colin was always intrigued about what everyone else was up to rather than talking about himself.
In recent years, ill health began to have a greater impact on him. Asthma plagued him every year, pleurisy finished off his ability to remain in the Neurotics, he then suffered deep vein thrombosis and finally diverticulitis, a pernicious condition where in some cases (in Colin’s case) your waste is able to enter the upper digestive system.
You throw up shit basically.
He was treated for this but not cured, it returned, as it often does, causing a fresh bout of abdominal pain. Colin was once again suffering acute discomfort and was in and out of hospital until recently. Eventually, he was kept in while doctors tried to fight massive infection within his body.
They threw everything at it, but to no avail. The only option left was to remove his colon and try to flush out what infection that was left. Once opened him up it was worse than they thought, they removed his colon, this spleen and probably some of his intestine too. After the operation, he fought for a week to recover, but the toxins in his body were too great and Colin too weak to fight it. Eventually, the doctors ran out of everything that might improve his condition except morphine, and that would just make him as comfortable as possible until the end. He died of toxic shock.
It was little wonder that in the last few years, he became more and more private, almost hermit like, insular and hard to contact. He also had to deal with signing on every day and at one point having his benefits stopped, leaving him penniless. I have no idea how much discomfort, pain and misery he suffered on his own in his little flat, but that would make anyone unwilling to get out and about more.
The thing is though, he wasn't alone. Since he left the band, he forged a relationship with a woman who would become a fantastic friend, a soulmate even. Her name is Val and she has loved and cared for Colin as a friend since 1988.
Every step of his deterioration she was there to support and comfort him, every hospital visit, she was there for him, she was his rock.
Because he had become so private, he didn't really want people to know whenever he had to stay in hospital, and so I didn't find out myself until very recently. By then, I knew he was going in for the opp and after he had it, I left it a few days before seeing him so that he could recover a bit before having visitors.
My point here, and it is a very important one, is that by the time I arrived on the scene, Val had spent uncountable hours supporting him in and out of hospital, I, made a couple of visits and then rushed to his bedside as he started to fade. I had the honour of spending his last night with him whilst Val caught up on a bit of sleep; she was with him when he passed away whilst I was catching up on mine.
My role was very small, Val’s was unmeasurable.

Colin Masters' funeral is at 1.00pm Wednesday 3rd June Harlow crematorium CM19 4SF
Drinks afterwards at the Greyhound pub 12 School Lane CM20 2QD
All welcome.
Please spread the word to people you think knew Colin but are not on Facebook.
There will be 'a celebration of Colin's life' event put together in a couple of weeks time or so which will enable all those who hear late about Colin's passing or cannot make the funeral/wake to be able to attend and we can then get friends and family and fans together for a big do.

Just putting it out there, we are beginning to put together an evening at the Square on Sunday 7th June for friends, family and fans to remember Colin. We are sort of thinking of displaying images of him, playing some of his favorite music and maybe some short solo accousitc spots.
This will help those that were not able to attend the funeral and/or wake due to other commitments a chance to say goodbye, and it gives us all another chance to enjoy our memories of him together. All welcome! Check your diaries and watch this space
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