Brian Parsons RIP

February 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm (culture, good people, internationalism, jazz, Jim D, music, RIP)

Brian Parsons died on Saturday morning, after a long illness (a brain tumour).

My very dear friend Brian Parsons died this morning, he bought a lot of joy and happiness into my life and the lives of many others too. Thank you for being my friend.

Brian had been very politically active in the 1970s and was, briefly, associated with the libertarian-left group Big Flame. He was also a great champion of a wide range of music and pioneered appreciation of what became known as “world music” by means of his Bongo-Go disco (with occasional live sessions), which for many years were a hugely popular feature of Birmingham night-life, at the Moseley Dance Centre. He also supported live jazz and blues: I last saw him about a year ago at a gig featuring the Kinda Dukish Big Band – apparently he’d long been a passionate enthusiast of the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn – something I’d never realised.

Meanwhile, he never lost his political commitment and remained a friend of equality and justice all his life.

So long, old friend and comrade!

H/t Terry Lilly


  1. jen moore said,

    I remember Brian from the early 1970s as an ardent fighter for social justice ;he moved into my flat in Moseley when I left for Africa. I heard of his death on Saturday, after his long struggle with a brain tumour. Please mail me with details of funeral and any fund being set up in his name. Jen Moore

  2. Lina Ksendziuk said,

    I too remember Brian during the 70’s when left wing political activity was the norm. Brian worked for a spell with the GLC & did research on how Britain refined the process of slavery. Brian was a true original thinker, always working on a campaign, always affectionate & funny. I would like to express my deep sorrow at hearing of Brian’s untimely death. To all of his family & friends, I share in the grief at his end of life, he was a great inspiration. Bye bye Brian, love Lina.

  3. Jim Denham said,

    Thanks for that lovely tribute, Lina: I’ll do my best to pass it on.

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