Saturday, April 25, 2009

Johnny Roadhouse RIP: At Noon Today, A Marching Cacophony

Musician and shopkeeper Johnny Roadhouse, above c 1955, died peacefully in his sleep on 11 April. His - all welcome - funeral will be in Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday at 2:45pm.

But even now there is a riotous assembly - crowds as well as clouds - gathering at All Saints Park, opposite the man's shop, for the 400 yards march to the BBC. A serenade of kazoos and penny whistles, and anything else will ensue. Don't rain on his parade! The sheet music is here. You have five minutes to learn Oh When The Saints, and Over the Rainbow. 12 noon kick off.

I last spoke to Johnny around a month ago. We spoke of flutes, trombones, baritones and euphoniums. A vintage bijou Rudall Carte tuba to boot. Drums bits were purchased for junior.

A real enthusiast for all things musical, he seemed in excellent health, bright as a button, still wheeler-dealering in extremis, now in excelsis. He'll be sadly missed. I've heard tell his politics were of the Ghengis Khan persuasion. We didn't speak of that. "The Show Must Go On!"

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