I cannot believe I am about to speak about our lovely pal and drummer in the past tense. Yesterday morning, our brave lad B.Y lost his fight with cancer. To say it was sudden was an understatement. We only saw him last week and though he was in a lot of pain, he was still determined to play one last gig with Bravado.
I first met B.Y in my 20’s. He was in a band called Trailer Trash and good friends with my guitarist, Richard. At that time, he had long hair and played guitar! I still remember him throwing his head about and thrashing away on it. Anyone that knows B.Y will tell you he can’t do anything by halves!
Fast forward a few years and I met him again whilst he was busking in the tunnel beside Rainbow. He was legendary for busking there for many years and you would always find him there- no matter what the weather!I was looking for a drummer to tour my first album with, so it was perfect timing.
B.Y then came on board again a few years later as Cindi, Emma and I got Mama’s Baby together. The realisation that he was the only bloke in the band, playing with three women didn’t put him up nor down. He was always very protective of us and wouldn’t take any shit from guys saying things to us.
When Pamela and I put Bravado together, B.Y joined us as our first drummer pulled out. Miles came in on bass and we had our first couple of practice gigs at the end of 2013. Some of the highlights of Bravado were working together on some really challenging rock songs, and of course, writing our own music. B.Y always had great ideas, not only on drums but during the arrangements of the songs too. I always liked him to be with me in the studio when I put down guitar tracks. He was a guitarist too and had lots of great input and riffs for me to try out.
We are thankful that we have a lot of great memories, and I’ll share just a few with you..
Whenever someone new came to play bass- as they often did!- B.Y would say..”Ach it’s ok if yeh dinna ken the tune – you’ll smell it!”
Although B.Y was in a band with two women, believe me, he was the biggest diva of us all! Whenever we would arrive in a venue to play, he would say “Just leave the stage alone, I need to get all my drums set up before you do anything!” And of course, the whole stage would be taken up while we waited for him to get his kit just right!
On the final album ‘Cascadia’ he had real trouble trying to play the first track ‘Dark Side Part 1’ He would be humphing and hawing and throwing his sticks around saying ‘Nah E’m no daein this..you need a prog rock drummer to play this….” But of course, he was more than capable of playing it and he did – so damn well.
Cascadia has bittersweet memories for us as he really was in so much pain trying to complete the drum tracks. Of course though, he’s a helluva guy and his bravery knew no boundaries.
It was only the next week in June when he called to say he was getting operated on in hospital for bowel cancer. However, his attitude was as ever to be commended, and he was back to rehearsals, putting on weight and generally feeling better for a while. He was so pleased to play the album for a Macmillan charity night in November as he never got to do the tour.
The turn out was fantastic. That’s one thing we will always be grateful for – Bravado’s amazing fanbase. We have met a lot of great people in the last six years and are proud to call most of them friends now. (You know who you are- thanks for all your support) Everywhere we played people would always remark on how animated B.Y was behind the drums. Most couldn’t take their eyes off him!
I know that all our lives will never be the same without him. He’s touched so many people and was the friendliest guy you could ever meet. There’s a massive hole in Bravado and we know things will never be the same again.
All that remains to be said is ‘Goodnight dear friend, we will always be richer for having had you in our lives. Love always, Paula, Pamela, Miles, Mally and Bryan xxxx