Back to the Garden
Allan and I both very sad this week to hear of the death of an old friend. Dave Cartwright was a popular performer on the Folk Circuit when we first started in 1978. We had watched Dave for many years and gone to see him at various folk club including the Rock at Tettenhall which was run by John Raven’s wife, Kate. Dave was the resident artist there. Dave was very talented and accomplished many different projects during his life. Dave had written over 700 songs, many poems and was the author of the book called Bittersweet – The Clifford T. Ward Story. He still had so many things he wanted to do.
Although he should have made it big…he never fitted into the pattern. In 1972 the Transatlantic Label signed him to be a big star…but Dave had to lose too much of himself in the process. His songs were his big escape clause. He was never a realist. He was a fantasist in the best possible way. His imagination, his dreams…… his storytelling were his real treasure. By that I mean he never allowed himself to become stereotyped and to churn out populist rubbish to satisfy the greed of the men in control. He became very disillusioned with the music industry and dropped out for quite some time.
We were so pleased when a few years ago we heard he was playing at Bromsgrove. We went along and got back in touch with him. The last few years he spent some time in Holland where he had family. He was very excited and thrilled at the birth of his grandaughter and went over to see her as often as possible.
Dave was a man of contradictions. He had been so beautiful as a boy but like all of us he found getting old a problem. Many times through the years we lost touch, then got back together. I have so many memories of watching him and hearing him sing. I wrote a poem and a song to him when I was younger …..but I never told him. We collected all his L.P.s and then bought them again as a C.D. quite recently. Dave could witter for England and sometimes his introduction for a song went on far longer than the song. Much loved by women of all ages he came across as the perennial Little Boy Lost. We all wanted to fight his battles. He always seemed so fragile. He had a great sense of humour and people liked him…… yet he always seemed a loner.
So Goodbye and God Bless, Dave, My Dark Eyed Sailor…….you have finally found your way back to the Garden. We shall miss you much.
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