I just realised it has been a year and a week since Pip Proud died. My memory had him dying late in March. It was not a shock when he died particularly since the last time I saw him he looked like he was already dead (he was asleep/unconscious, and clearly in a terrible state).
I had actually cut Pip off somewhat up until the last year or so of his life because I had come to feel he used me as a way to get cigarettes and alcohol, which he couldn't get in the normal course of a day, or not as much as he wanted. He was occasionally manipulative about it too, playing me off against his sons in various ways which I didn't appreciate. Even though I am aware alcoholism is an illness. But I miss him very much. A conversation with Pip was always a surprise, almost to the end of his life he stayed connected to the news - he had a much better handle on world events than on things in his own life - and had a whole wry commentary of his own on the world.
He is most certainly going to be the subject of a future book. He had a tragic life in so many ways, starting with a horrendous family life - Pip casually related episodes of family violence like it was a film he'd seen. So for all that it was amazing he had such a poetic soul, and not at all surprising he was so angry at the same time. I feel (and so did he probably) that his life ended entirely unresolved. Along with Alastair Galbraith, Nic Dalton and Craig Stewart I played a little part in helping him find a new audience for his music late in life, and I think that was a good thing for his life narrative, even if it also gave him completely unrealistic expectations about his future. I had a lot of contact with death last year and it was terrible each time, I suppose Pip's has been the hardest one because he was not ready to be philosophical about it, except in the occasional expression of bravado, which is not the same - in fact, probably the opposite.*
*The opposite of bravado is not cowardice and I don't mean to imply that.