He gave me one of those first ever cassette recorders on the proviso that I would tape the 'Top 30' every Sunday afternoon. I would hover over the Play & Pause buttons in between the ads, waiting for the start of the next song and trying to miss the last second of the DJ's voice. That's when I knew I would have to be in a band! I was 12 years old, he was my brother in law, he was in a band.
A year later I was in a band, although it was a marching band, a pipe band, and I loved it. And still he encouraged me to learn a more modern instrument, or learn to sing.
When I did become a singer, in my early twenties, he would come along to gigs with my sis, and give me tips afterwards about sound, levels, projection, how to be more confident.
He had a reputation for being a ladies man, a flirt, something I have been accused of many times since I entered this world of show. And yes, I do find flirting with the audience to be part of the job. Sadly he took it further.
And unfortunately, one of the 'ladies' he chose to have a dalliance with was the estranged wife of a not very nice scumbag.
17 years ago today he was shot a number of times on his doorstep as he returned home from one of his gigs. He died in the arms of his youngest son.
Our family was shot that night.