Saturday, 9 November 2013

Ken Bodden, an inspirational life

A wonderful guy I got to know over the past three years, as a conga player and singer with King Toadfish, who died two weeks ago.  I keep discovering more things about his extraordinary life.  He was born in Panama, half Irish-Jamaican and half Honduran, became almost blind in early childhood, was fostered for a part of his childhood in Manchester, a piano tuner, pub musician and songwriter, crosscountry skier and para-Olympian, Manchester United supporter, communal housemate, community and political activist, inveterate maker and keeper of friends.  So many people were at his funeral yesterday (in spite of appalling rain) that about 50 couldn’t get into the crematorium.  Wonderful explicitly atheist event with South African songs, Irish ballads, Bob Marley songs, and very moving tributes.  
This is an obituary written by his anti-apartheid comrades:

This is a youtube of Kenny playing at a party in his house in Hackney:

(l to r) Bob Peachey, Pete Lamont, Kenny, Tsafi Ledermann and Percy Aggett, playing at a King Toadfish street party gig, Harberton Road London  N19 in summer 2012

'Kenny, it always looked as if we were leading you, when in fact it was you leading us' (John Maloney, tribute at the funeral)


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