Posted December 23rd, 2007
On December 22nd, 2007, my friend Clive Leyland died of pneumonia. Clive had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a degenerative lung disease that doesn't yet have an effective treatment and is often fatal, but in spite of his illness he continued to give full vent to his lifelong passion for creating and performing music.
Clive Leyland was a born musician and although (in his own words) he "spent 40 years in a suit and tie" and took up a successful career as a management consultant, "music was always there."
I first met Clive in the very early 1960's when we formed a schoolboy pop group with fellow would-be Shadows Pete Turbefield and Tony 'Mo' Worsley. What fun we had as The Citizens, then The Moonstones, performing Chuck Berry, The Shadows, and early Beatles to crowds of screaming schoolgirls in the heady days of Beatlemania. But without Clive's confident musicianship as lead guitar and his innate skill with amplifiers, jackplugs, and the like, it would never have happened.
For a few years during the 1980's an un-named band was formed as Clive (lead guitar) and I (rhythm guitar) got together for musical fun again with ex-Moonstones Alan Roscoe (guitar) and Tony Worsley (drums), and Mike Hancock (bass guitar), all of us sharing the vocals. We particularly enjoyed doing Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Everlys, Neil Young, and a few other things thrown in.
The band practised regularly at Clive's home and performed live a couple of times in a village hall in Dean, Cumbria, where I believe we were well-received, even if the voices weren't quite what they had been. Again, it was Clive's superb musicianship and professionalism that carried the day. By this time, he'd set up a fully-fledged recording studio in a room in his house, so we (he) made recordings of some of the songs, doing an especially nice job with 'Helplessly Hoping'.
In later years I came to fully appreciate Clive as a highly intelligent and complex character - a perfectionist driven by a quest for creativity and originality in his natural field, which I would loosely characterise as 'expressive folk'. In 13 original songs on his solo CD 'A Northern Man' he expresses feelings with deep emotion in the context of real events that happened in real places to real people, reflecting on life in and around the Lancashire town of Bolton over the last 200 years.
Since the 1990's Clive's interest in folk music flourished with Auld Triangle (the house band at Westhoughton Folk Club in Lancashire and BBC Radio2 'Folk Club of the Year' in 2000) and with Bandersnatch, an acoustic band he formed with four folk club contacts and Alan Roscoe in 1999. Clive also performed solo at various venues around the North of England. His amazing motivation to create music and perform to live audiences sailed on undiminished, even through the illness that often made it difficult to breathe, let alone sing.
In his self-confessed "40 years in a suit and tie", Clive (aka J Clive Leyland, FCA) qualified as a Chartered Accountant and went on to become a successful management consultant. He spent several years with the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, then provided consultancy services in person at Microguide Corporate Computer Consultants Ltd and Clive Leyland Consulting Ltd. His professional expertise included management, taxation, computer hardware and software, systems design and implementation, and data processing (though Clive hated computers). Amongst his clients was the Royal Albert Hall in London.
I'm privileged to have known Clive Leyland for over 45 years. He leaves his wife Sheila, daughters Sue and Sarah, grandson James, and a wide circle of friends.