Tuesday, 18 July 2017

When Someone Great Is Gone...

It doesn't matter who I've interviewed for the book, everyone told me how devastated they were when they heard the news their friend, John Candy, had passed away in 1994. Whether it was someone who had worked with John for a few months, an old teacher, or a lifelong friend, everyone was in shock and in incredible pain from the loss. You may wonder how someone who knew him a matter of weeks or months could be so upset, well some people just have that effect on others, love never really dies so if you love and care for them from day one, then you can hurt.

The last couple of months I haven't been able to work on the book that much, it has been a traumatic time and I haven't been able to get my head in the right place. I won't go into everything but one thing I will tell you about is my dear friend Jon Hall.

I first met Jon around 15 years ago, I  loved him from the moment I met him and whilst I was living in Liverpool he became one of my closest confidants. I worked with Jon over the years, sometimes he was mad at me, but he always loved me. He was my Liverpool safety net, if anything went wrong I knew I could always count on him. Jon loved music, people and entertaining, he was sensitive, got hurt a lot, always gave his friends a job if he could and was just the sweetest man you could meet, a lot like Mr Candy. Unfortunately just like Candy, Jon's heart wasn't great, we just didn't know it. Two months ago my friend went to bed and didn't get up.

My heart was literally in pieces when I was told the news, I didn't sleep for 48 hours. I was filled with confusion, hurt, regret, disbelief. My regret came from leaving Liverpool a few years ago, and although we had kept in touch I hadn't been back to see Jon yet, now it was too late and that killed me. I didn't understand how someone so full of life could be gone, just like that, it didn't seem possible. I have experienced a lot of loss in my time, but everyone I have lost has been old or terminally ill, there was a period of knowing what was coming, but with this, with Jon, I was completely side swiped, he was 39 years old for god's sake.

When I interviewed Dave Thomas about John Candy, he told me how Candy had lived the life of an 80 year old, he had packed that much in. Looking back the life of my friend Jon had been the same, he had traveled all over the world doing the work that he loved so much, he loved a lot, he fitted a lot in to his life, made his mark on he world and that is the only saving grace in all this.

When I first told Jon about writing the Candy book he was full of enthusiasm, he said I should make a documentary, he got so excited for me and his passion was infectious, as my friend Joe Shooman said, Jon's most used words were "why not?".

So I actually lost my very own John Candy, his name was Jon Hall and he was just superb.

I guess the point of this blog post is for me to address all of those people I have interviewed, I always sympthaised when you told me about the pain, I even cried along with some of you, but now I fully understand and I am so sorry.

To everyone else, please go and take the risks, see your friends (you never know when the last time will be), love as much as you possibly can and say "why not?", anything is possible if you want it to be.

John please look after my Jon, I have no doubt he will be back in someway shape or form to kick my ass, so I best get on with finishing the book.

Last week we also lost our funny and beautiful cat Florence, she loved to help me write (well sit on my lap and distract me), we miss her the world over, but again our life was richer for her being in it.

Sending love to you all and hope you are well,

Tracey x

When Someone Great is Gone - LCD Soundsystem