A great British character dies.

I first came across George as a student in the 70’s, introduced to his risque chat and stomping jazz and blues by a friend.  How a middle-aged male, white Liverpudlian could pick up the spirit of Bessie Smith is beyond me, but he did. I’ve seen him on the stage a few times, always a great entertainer, and somewhere in the back of a cupboard there are a couple of LPs.

The last time I saw him was about 7 years ago under rather different circumstances. I was on my regular commuter train out of Kings Cross when the carriage was disturbed by the arrival of an elderly gent in a flat cap and raincoat and another in a zebra-striped suit ( well a pink and black zebra) and a homburg hat – Humphrey Lyttleton and George Melly using their senior-citizen railcards to travel to Cambridge for a gig at the Arts Theatre that evening. How did I know? By that time George was very deaf and the whole carriage was party to their discussions about the evening’s gig.

George was a HUGE character a singer, writer and artist. It’s all here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2119217,00.html

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