HE WAS: Tributes to Heathcote Williams

John Henley Heathcote-Williams: prince of poets and squatters everywhere, actor, playwright, activist, conjuror, anarchist, father, lyricist, errant student of the law, grandfather, celebrant, conservationist, painter, Hollywood collaborator, inspirer, paramour and courter of models, musicians, historians and novelists, journalist, polemicist, smooth-voiced sage, cupboard dweller, word-whisperer, trouble and mischief maker, seminalist, rabble rouser, editor, reformed wild man and tarnished saint in the making was also a tribe gatherer of the first order. At his funeral on July 14th 2017, one roamed through a crowd containing every strand of human and artistic endeavour, from famous actors, writers, directors, painters, and musicians, to the children and grandchildren of famous actors, writers, directors, painters and musicians, each shuffling uncertainly, like partly stunned cattle, alongside publishers, Lords, activists, long deposed figures of power and responsibility and more than a headful of what could still be called the lunatic fringe. It was a bewildering day. Nobody could really understand what had happened. Suddenly there was a small wicker coffin lined with blue hearts, and utter disbelief at the fact that this particular totem had toppled and passed into the wind which exists beyond all other weather, borne now, above us, with each attendant name there and status left impossibly small on the ground.

 

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