Ron Haywood

The untimely death of rhythm guitarist and close friend, Ron Haywood, has been a huge loss to us all. Here is the speech, given by Louise Dunn, at his funeral on 29th August 2013.
"When we met Ron some 15 years ago, it was evident how much he loved music, and playing with others, especially the Blues. He recalled with affection having been in a band as a teenager, and jam sessions became more frequent when we met.
When I started a band ( you have to if no-one will have you in theirs…) of course we had to have Ron in it.
He was a founder member, and a vital part of our sound – laying down a solid rhythm as a basis for many numbers. As a member, he was committed, loyal, coming all the way from Dartford to Bucks for regular rehearsals and gigs, always turning up early. He was liked by all other members for his gentle humour, patience, kindness and lack of ego. He had a lovely singing voice but could rarely be persuaded to sing or take a solo – he was a supporter of others musically.
He had his foibles which we will remember fondly– banter from the back row, naughty schoolboy japes with the drummer (Tony…), but especially his nest building. Ron would arrive early for a gig, and set out all his latest equipment – guitars, amps, pedals, stool, wiring – ( a guitarist thing?....) in a little nest, and be very reluctant to move once ensconced.
Ron loved playing, and despite the fact that I made him play jazz, it was the nearest thing to the Rock God status he really dreamed of, and he spoke often of the band bus we should get, and the riders he would demand – a 6ft Swedish blonde was his 1st choice. He knew it would probably turn out to be Sven….
Ron also played with Richard’s small group – Le Quintet Hot Club de Chesham. He enjoyed playing for Lunch Clubs, and clubs for people with various disabilities and frailties, and again, travelled all that distance for little payment. He played his ukulele, a relatively new passion of his, partly after falling for Veronica & The Red Wine Serenaders
He did sing willingly with Le Hot Club, and sang ‘Raining in my Heart’, This song will be forever reminiscent of Ron.
There are many people from his musical life – bands, courses, festivals - all over the country, who liked him very well, and often loved him when they knew him well. In the messages I’ve had, the word ‘lovely’ is in virtually all of them.
We are dressed in our band gear by request, and out of love for Ron and what we shared with him.
To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt…‘Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only some friends will leave footprints in your heart.’
Ron was one of those friends."