SKF NOTE: Singer Cleo Laine remembers her friend and fellow band member, drummer Kenny Clare.
“This was not the last image of Kenny Clare I have; many more ridiculous moments occurred to keep that hard-drinking, chain-smoking, Humphrey-Bogart lookalike drummer alive in my memory…. [H]e always agreed with me that he should [give up smoking], but never achieved it.
“When John [Dankworth] and I went to see him when he went into hospital with cancer, his first words to me were, ‘I know what you’re going to say, Cleo…”I told you so?” I replied cheerily. ‘Oh! Kenny, how could you think such a thing of me?’ He truly believed he would be out in time to do the next gig with us, apologizing for missing a recent one; but he never recovered.
“He left a large gap that hasn’t been filled — as a drummer or as a traveling companion. He was remembered by a host of his fellow musicians who performed at a memorial concert given at the Wavendon Stables, where a fund was created in his name to help young musicians.”
Source: Cleo, by Cleo Laine, Simon & Schuster, 1994