Stuart Duff – without him there would have been no Charlies. I would never had learned how to play the guitar or sang on stage, all our lives would have been incomparably poorer.
It was Stuzy boy who said “let’s have a band” I said “but none of us can play and we don’t have any instruments” and Stuart said “WE WILL GET INSTRUMENTS AND LEARN!” thus all our lives were changed. Instant Swanndon was born.
Stuart was by nature a bit of a dilletante. He had good ideas and plenty of initial enthusiasm but he got fed up with things after a while. At first he made all the running in the race to learn. He was first with a bar chord and used to impress me early on with his weird recordings.
A seminal point in our development was when Stuart came up with a portastudio. At first we used to hire one from this guy in Bearsden, he made us leave our passports as security I remember, but then Stuart spent an entire term’s grant cheque on our own Tascam. 700 notes, a lot of money in those days.
Stuart got more and more into keyboards and drum machines. He was never really into the rockabilly thing or structured songs which you performed more than once for that matter. Eventually he decided to pack the Charlies in. I was sorry to see him go, it was the end of musical childhood.
I’m desperately sad to say that Stuart is no longer among those present. He left the ambit of the world in summer 2002. I miss him and I hope his scattered atoms are happy wherever they are.