6Ts - Northern Soul's Southern Home

Taff's speech from Randy's Funeral


To speak of Randy should be easy, but the more I thought about it, the harder it became. How do you talk about him in a few minutes when it would take days, and I’d still not fully sum-up what he meant to so many people. But I suppose if I had to in one word, it would be awesome.

When I first met Randy nearly quarter of a century ago, I was a young impressionable twenty-something who only thought soul existed North of Watford. My previous five years trekking up North was about to be obscured by the “Sounds of Randy” - real root soul. Here was a man who had been at the cutting edge of soul in its infancy, a man who thought for himself, a total individualist. This man wasn’t a follower, he was a leader. He knew his music and I wanted to listen.

In 1982 a dream came true for Randy. In those early mod days he had danced the nights away at a club in Oxford Street called The Last Chance Saloon. Randy approached the management about having an all-nighter there. They ok’d it and along with Mick Smith, Ady and I got the honour of Djing. So three years later, after first meeting him, I was playing my mentors tunes back to him. A dream comes true for both of us. That night meant so much to him and to us.

His special relationship with my hometown of Letchworth is well known and he looked upon it as his second home. We even unofficially twinned Letchworth and Southgate. And our heartfelt loss is second to none. He left us with such great memories and knowledge that he’ll always be a part of us.

On Wednesday night, a group of us sat in my flat and asked the question: “What did Randy mean to you all?”. The answer I got was “everything”.

Generous, funny, knowledgeable, witty, caring, understanding, inspirational and unique. Yes, he was all those things and a whole lot more. Randy meant so mush to so many people and the proof is here today by the amount of friends who have turned up. He truly struck the heart of so many. Everyone had their own special memories of Randy and in the last five days we’ve all run these through our minds a 1,000 times. But these memories are his legacy to us. We will miss him so much, but those memories will keep him with us forever.

Randy - unique, irreplaceable. We love you forever. 


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