As personal as a parking ticket

As personal as a parking ticket


norman lebrecht

February 21, 2009

James Lock’s funeral will take place this Friday in Golders Green and Christopher Raeburn’s the following Friday in Amersham. I guess the Universal Music Group will send a wreath or two.

After repeated inquiries from musicians and members of the music profession as to why Decca had not issued any notice of the deaths of its last backroom legends, an external publicist was contracted to put together a press release at the very end of the working week – and almost a week after Jimmy died.

The press release, needless to say, was as personal as a parking ticket. It was constructed around a paragraph from Universal Classics and Jazz chief Chris Roberts, who gave no intimation of having met either man. Its opening sentence, a semi-literate sales blurb, is about as far you need to read:

Christopher and James’  legacies are incalculable as both worked for decades on hundreds of recordings that will always be listened to and enjoyed by millions of people.

How absolutely miserable that none of the remaining staff at Decca was allowed by the bonus-chasers at Universal head office to offer anything like the personal tributes that former colleagues are contributing here and elsewhere.