20 February 2006

Brian Greene: 1950 - 2006


OBITUARY: Beloved musician and community activist passes away

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usLast week saw the very sad and premature passing of a sound man.
Brian Greene lived the life of Brian, that is to say, on his own terms.
He was a man of many faces: organiser, activist, sound technician and mentor to musicians and singers regardless of the genre.
Invariably genial, cheerful, helpful and witty, Brian could also at times be exasperating but we all learned to give him special dispensation.
Brian was one of those unsung people who seemed always to be around to offer help and advice and provide music and live sound and recording facilities. (click photo to view)
His expertise in this field has often been underrated and the range of contexts in which he worked was wide and varied.
Father Des Wilson paid great tribute to the fact that Brian was very much part of setting up Conway Mill as a community resource and as a conference centre at a time when we were struggling to make people’s voices heard.
He will be remembered for his work in the long-running Pure Drop Folk Club and his collection of live recordings form a considerable archive of struggle and celebration of culture from home and around the world.
Brian was also involved in the early days of An Cultúrlann and provided advice on broadcasting and recording to a range of community radio projects.
He was also a well-known figure in the Lower Ormeau community.
Many will fondly recall Brian’s old blue van crammed with all sorts of technical sound equipment as he helped many struggling young musicians with a leg up the ladder of success.
No matter what the job entailed Brian never put a price on his services preferring instead to ask what you thought the job was worth.
This was typical of a life-long philosophy based on clear values which for Brian were not negotiable.
For many years he fought his own personal battle against serious illness but managed to keep up his interest and energy for the latest project.
Last week he just ran out of road.
He will be missed by his two wonderful children and a myriad of friends many of whom turned out to say a final goodbye in words, music and song.
Brian was an enigmatic figure who touched and shaped the lives of many people and his contribution to improving our society must not be underestimated.
He may no longer keep us waiting but I know he will never be forgotten.

Gerry Jones

Journalist:: Staff Journalist

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