By Ginger | October 27, 2002
Since starting this site with Darren Stockford, a lot of things have happened: sell out shows with SG5, successful (and not so successful) reformations with The Wildhearts, Singles Club fiascos (sorry ’bout that one but it’s miles out of my hands – I just cannot for the life of me foresee getting a spare month to go back into the studio and finish off what should have been finished off nearly two years ago, when the idea was fresh), amazing solo shows (hundreds of people singing obscure B-sides, anyone?), the Mailing List (and the many great things that have happened as a result). The list goes on… and on… and Ariston. And the one motivational factor responsible for setting this scene is, of course, Darren.
Oh stop fidgeting, Stockford, we’re talking about you, so just bask in it, will ya?
None – and I do mean that with a capital FUCKING N-O-N-E – of this would have happened / would be happening without him. When he agreed to act as head honcho for this site, the members / loggers (or whatever the hell you call you lot in ‘Internetese’) could be counted in tens, not the hundreds that abound in every corner of this information highway today. I knew exactly nothing about computers (except that everyone that uses them must wear National Health glasses and collect Star Trek memorabilia), and wanted to know even less. ‘Typing’ was a place in the Orient and ‘cyberspace’ was a lull in the action of a science-fiction movie. I now know how to type (albeit with two, very nimble, fingers) and can send and receive messages to and from almost everywhere in the world. All by myself.
When I don’t understand what my computer is telling me, Tara Stockford assures me that it is indeed speaking in English, but a translation for the less ‘compu-literate’ is always warmly offered. Without sniggering.
The friends, friendly faces, old faces and new friends who also have faces (stand up Kris, Wayne and Rick) that have become daily intruders in my world, admirably tell the story of this thing that Darren has created, and what it has achieved.
OK, so the music has been a not-insignificant contributing factor, but without the external interest this ‘well’ would be in the process of drying up. And Darren has provided a dependable vehicle to maintain that interest throughout times of ‘hip drought’ and press disinterest. It’s therefore ironic that he should decide to leg it just as the press and general media is taking an interest in The Wildhearts again. Like a good captain, though, he’s not about to hand over his charge until the journey is plain sailing and the crew are able to continue unaided. Darren has handpicked the new heads of our lil’ family. And there is simply no better recommendation than that.
An honourable man beyond the call of passion, a patient man beyond the call of emotion, and a maddeningly smart fucker to boot, I have learned, and will keep on practicing, things from Darren that I had otherwise thought of as the delusions of the misguided and eternally optimistic. In fact, I have learned that optimism is not an ideal but a life-plan – good things coming to good people and all that. All that I once held up as ‘plain old tree-hugging hippy crap’ actually takes a real tough guy to live up to.
Doing the right thing takes a helluva lot of guts.
I have no doubt in any fibre of my person that the new web site (coming in early December) will be a fitting success, and our loyalty will go from strength to strength. But don’t let any of you forget that this would not be here if not for Darren Stockford.
So, if you do happen to bump into him at a gig (whatever gig you go to in future, look for him as he will undoubtedly be there with his lovely wife Tara), buy him a drink. If you see his name appear among the Mailing List contributions, have a read because you will see the ramblings of the outrageously intelligent, and may even learn something. And if you have a computer then send him a quick message just to say thanks.
From a tiny seed can grow a great forest, and from a small idea can grow an empire. In this sizeable gathering we should never take for granted the nucleus that shaped our chart-bothering, venue-filling, friend-flying, illness-curing, life-saving, hope-giving little clan that makes life that little bit more bearable.
Pour one out, crack one open or light one up, and take a chug for Darren.
… no, he never was! Cheers, mate.
And good things to you and yours.