Steven Wells was one of the voices of my teenage years. A frustrating, infuriating, cajoling voice maybe, but also a fiercely intelligent one, never afraid to speak out against anything or anyone. Swells, as everyone called him, was openly gay in a world still not comfortable with homosexuality, and he never failed to let you know about it. In fact he never failed to raise his voice about anything. And whilst that could sometimes make him rather irritating, it also meant he said things that no-one else was saying – and often he was right.
What you got with Swells was honesty and integrity. You didn’t necessarily agree with everything he said – and you knew he was sometimes saying things just to wind people up (usually he’d say so) – but you knew it was coming from a real person, with real thoughts inside his rather mad head. I’ll miss him. I’m posting Husker Du’s “New Day Rising” in his honour, because I think it would annoy and enthral him in equal measure. I can see him up in the clouds, little angel wings on his back, shouting “PROPER ROCK made by A PROPER GAY MAN!”.
(Steven Wells died of pancreatic cancer on Tuesday 23rd June 2009).
Oh aye, and some other fella passed away too.
And Farrah Fawcett too? Bloody hell.