Book of Remembrance
Friends, Fans, Musicians & Colleagues
I first met Jon in 1962 at the "Jazzhouse", Blackheath, a club that I co-ran at the time. I played... Read more
I first met Jon in 1962 at the "Jazzhouse", Blackheath, a club that I co-ran at the time. I played double bass at the time and Jon, then a semi-pro musician, often took the drum chair on gigs. Our friendship continued over the ensuing years, even after he turned pro with Graham Bond; with our paths weaving in and out during my early years in the music business as an Agency booker (often for bands Jon played with). This eventually led, in Spring of 1968, to Jon asking me to be Colosseum's manager... and thus began three of the best years in my life! When Colosseum broke up in October 1971...our paths veered away from each other, with me changing course by joining Charisma Records and Jon launching a new band, 'Tempest'; but we stayed in touch socially, even after I left the music business in 1980 and moved away from London. Quite a bit later, some time around 2007, author Martyn Hanson arrived Chez Hiseman to ask for Jon's authorisation to write his biography. Jon's response was typical: "Who would want to read a book about me?". Martyn, however, was undeterred and, after conducting many interviews and ploughing through umpteen boxes of archive material from Jon's attic, he produced the first draft, which Jon wanted to trim down a bit, and asked me if I would help to edit. Over the next two and a half years, Jon and I read, re-read and re-re-read, honing the content until we produced the 450 pp book of his life in music. Hard work, but so rewarding. The final version was a book that, though not without flaws, we were very proud to have completed Since that time I have become a sort of unofficial P.A. for Jon, Colosseum and more recently, the sadly short-lived three-piece 'tribute' band JCM. Jon's illness came out of the blue - totally unexpected and all the more shocking because he was still going like a bat out of hell, covering all the bases for his co-musicians, caring for his beloved wife Barbara, running the studio, VAT returns, royalties for the "boys" etc etc. Jon was, without exaggeration, one of those 'special' people - a natural born leader. Multi-talented and driven, but always in such a modest and unassuming way. I certainly never thought I would see him stopping, or even slowing down. He drove himself with such determination and energy that the idea seemed unthinkable. Then this awful disease came and made him do what what he himself could never have done...stop. I miss him terribly. We have been in each other's lives for so long, I can't imagine him not being there, though in a way he will always be there... in all those precious memories of the great times we had together.