|For My Bro My Special Friend Will Palin|
A Wonderful person who will be loved and missed always. RIP My Brother My Very Special Friend from Brenda xxxx
- Hi Brenda, Thank you so much for filling me in. Will and I, as you may have known, shared a great ,though short, experience when we helped David Bowie succeed in his quest for stardom. At that time and for a while after we were very close and he helped me with the start up of my business after Bowie vanished to the States in 1973. When Willie, as I knew him then, moved on I never saw again though recently, only a few months ago, I had spoken with him many times as I launched a new music project which involved selling the original microphone that Bowie had used to help with the finance. He joked about the fact that he still the guitar he had bought in New York which, I know, certainly helped with the creation of the song Gene Genie.
Gosh I remember we went fishing on one occasion on the Thames and he was telling all about someone who he knew who lived on an island somewhere along the river. We had a great laugh as he recalled the 'stoned' times he had spent there. I will always remember him and what we taught each other.
Still can't believe it but thanks Brenda for letting me know. Please stay in touch. Best wishes to you, Robin
I was with Denna at her passing and so much wish I could have been with Will. But I feel sure he was surrounded with a close and loving family. He is with Den now and I am doubly sad that they have passed on. But their spirit will always, always live on. Especially in the hearts and minds of those of us who knew him so well. Mr.Smiley Will.
I can't remember the last time that I saw Will,it would be well before I moved to yorkshire ,12 years ago but i always felt that I would see him again,it was one of life's re-assuring 'constants' . I shall remember that Will smile that took over his face always ,his constant enthusiasm ,so infectious that had me humping rubble out of 'Underhill studios' or driving all over creation at strange hours on dubious erands
A sad day and a colder world. A warm light has gone out . See you later Will x
I ‘m really devastated about what happened to Will. I’m just relieved that it was peaceful at the end.Will was a truly lovely man. I’ve known him since I was 19 or so and we shared a lot of growing up experiences at that time in Greenwich, finding our places together in the wider world and all that. We made music together, we discovered new music together, shared friendships and generally shared really good times in Greenwich & Blackheath, which I’ll remember all my life. It’s the little every day things, which are the most important, really, because together they form a whole picture. The fact that his and Denna’s home was an open house to his friends; we were all welcome any time; his overall generosity, already apparent, to every one he knew and his willingness to help if any one of us was in trouble - a kind word, a place to stay (I‘m thinking particularly of Dougie here who he welcomed into his home when he was sleeping rough on Blackheath), a cup of tea. All these seemingly little things were an indication of Will’s generosity of spirit that carried on through the rest of his life. Later, we spent some time working together on Will’s schemes for East Lyn. He shared his dreams for the place and his life to some extent with me and to have been part of that I feel truly honoured. He had a wonderfully inventive and imaginative mind, which led to some brilliant, practical ideas for it. I was always amazed at what he would have floating around in his head – always something new whenever I went over to see him. I admired his enthusiasm and his courage and most of all his underlying humanity in what he did and the way that he obviously really cared about people in general and most of all his family and friends. He always put his family first. His love for you and the children was obviously his driving force in everything he did.
I wrote this in June 2010 and after the news I just got I wanted to remember the happy times in Blackheath and Greenwich around 1967 to 1976, truly a golden age.
A Song For A Lost Friend
Hi Brenda, So sorry about Will. Bo sent me a message yesterday and I have been thinking about him since then. I was hoping to visit but didn't realise I had no time. Hell. He was a good friend to me many years ago, but not long enough for me to forget, and I would have been so happy to have seen him again.
Like so many I will miss Will. We grew up, played, partied and had a wonderful times in Blackheath and Greenwich. So many great memories. We all grew up and moved on with our life's, and in my case I lost touch with many of that old crowd, but thanks to Brenda, Will and I reconnected a few years ago and it was like the old days, I went to Devon with my two step daughters and stayed with Will and Jan, we had a great time and I have been trying to help him achieve his dream for East Lyn Farm and manor. Alas I think that, will die with its creator as he was the only one who could have made it happen .I will miss Will like so many others, as he was loved by many. I cant say rest in peace, as he won’t, so where ever you now are, Enjoy and Party on my dear friend. GOD BLESS YOU WILL PALIN
It has come as a bit of a shock! I didn't Know that willy had been ill.
Iv'e just been reading the tribute to willy on the website. Looking at the photo's has brought back many memories.
the last time i saw Willy was about 15 years ago when i driving into Exeter and saw willy trying to hitch a ride. I was a bit surprised to see him hitch hiking.
It seems so long ago now Brenda since the day you first took me and my brother Ray around to 185 Trafalgar Rd, In i think 1967 to meet WIlly and Denna.
Thanks to you Brenda meeting Willy and like minded peoples around at
We both know the feeling of loss and sadness that his Wife and family are feeling at this moment, They have lost a good friend, and so have we.
Your friend always,
I worked with Will on many tours - Mott, Bowie, Ronno, Lou Reed, Eno ......
They were great days - full of youthful adventure and fun as we made our way around Britain and Europe. It was Will who taught me (among other things) how to swap over drivers in a 3 ton truck - while at full speed in the fast lane of the M1 Motorway ! We lost touch for quite a while, and apart from getting in contact in the 1990s - I hadn't heard from him until the Facebook era brought us back together. He will be be sadly missed.
very sad, I didn't even know he was ill. We had only just got back in touch, Bless him . Love Rod x
Willie Palin was a gentle,kind and enthusiastic man who changed the direction of my life (a few times) - I first met him in Carnaby St in the 60's and he was the first hippy I'd ever seen - also he was the first person I'd ever heard use the phrase "No Way" (when just back from the USA) - When I gave up Rock n Roll - got a motor bike and worked pumping gas on Bromley Common - A car drove in and someone said "What on earth are you doing here?-Jump in!"- T'was Willie Palin !
A Collection of Photographs of Willie collected by Bo (Colin Bodiam) a very close and old friend of Will's. Will's funeral 27th October 2011. I am told That Will had a good send off by his Family and Friends who could make it to his funeral. The rest of his friends spread out around the World raised their glasses and made a toast to Will at 12:30pm on the day. Willie will be sadly missed by many.
R.I.P. Our Dear Friend Will Palin
♫ ♪Old Friends, Sat on a Park Bench like Bookends ♪♫- Me & Willie in Greenwich Park
This is from an email that came in this morning from Robin Mayhew, Will's good friend and work collegue from The David Bowie & Ground Control days.
An email sent today to Robin Mayhew from Angie Bowie
I am shocked to hear that Will is dead.
I just wrote to him about a year ago and he was telling me about how and where all our mates from the road were and what they are doing.
Email to Robin from Suzi Ronson
It seems as if it was yesterday he started that page for the roadies of Bowie crew. I am so sorry he has gone so young. I didn't know Robin this is so sad. He was so young I am so upset by this you cannot imagine.
Message yesterday to Robin from George Underwood a close friend of David's who was there on the first USA tour that Willie was on.
I am so sorry to hear about Willie.
He was much loved and I will remember all the great times we had on the '72 ziggy tour in the states.
My condolences to all his friends and family.
Message to Robin from from Paul Trynka who recently published the book
'David Bowie Starman'
So sorry to hear this. Thanks for letting me know.
16 February 2014
Bill Cobham here
Hello I just found out about Willie's passing in 2011. I am saddened by this as my memories of Willie and his family are only very positive. Also, I have thought of visiting Willie when I come to Devon and strangely, Graham Shaw came to me at Ronnie Scotts last two weeks ago and brought Willie back to the forefront of my mind. Please pass on my sincerest condolences to the family.
16 February 2014 10:58
I learnt today of Will's death.
I first met Will - who for the first few months of our friendship, I believed was called Wally - in Devon in 1978. I was 16 and was captivated by music. And here was this guy with incredible enthusiasm and experience who was happy to talk about stuff that really mattered.
Will and I promoted a Squeeze gig in Barnstaple in 1979 when they were using Lowe East Lyn, writing their second album and I started living at Lower East Lyn in my second year of A levels when Will went on tour with Sad Cafe.
In July 80 - thanks to an introduction by Simon - Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham, Davis Sanscoius and Clem Clempson stayed writing and rehearsing what became the Jack Bruce and Friends album. It was a marvellous time.
I went back to Lower East Lyn after graduating in 1984 when Will was on the road with Chris de Burgh. Mark was by then about 7 and I remember he and his friends obsession with the first Indiana Jones movie. I think that he could recite entire chunks of the dialogue even then - he was always a very clever and lovely kid.
I moved on towards the end of that year but stayed in contact irregularly over the next twenty or so years. The last time I saw Will was in 2009 - Jan was at school - but we spent a happy couple of hours together. He had bought the house and land and had renovated it. It looked fabulous and I was delighted to see him look happy. And then time moves on - cos there is always to time to connect in the future. Or so one thinks. And last week I caught up with Billy Cobham and he asked for Will's contact details. And that search led me, tragically, to your very moving site.
A very important part of my youth is wrapped up with Will and Jan. and I deeply saddened to learn of the news.
With my thanks to you for creating such a heartfelt tribute.
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Wills death - so many memories - he is a great loss and, as many on this page have said before he was special I've heard man is two men, one is awake in the darkness and the other sleeps in the light - sweet dreams old friend. Lorraine x
I would love to pay my respects to Will without him my stage might have been empty
Chris Difford x
Head of Fundraising
North Devon Hospice
Hi, I want to say thank you for setting up this page. Will was and will be an inspiration to so many people myself included. I only met Will and Jan in recent years, but what a lasting impression.
I had the privilege of working with him on an event that brought North Devon Hospice many accolades and a very significant income. To those who knew him on the road, it might be surprising to hear that this event was the English National Sheepdog Trials and Devon Country Fayre! The energy and commitment he brought was amazing! What he brought to the event is beyond words and whilst I always thought we would work on something else he has been taken too soon. He was a great man with a huge heart, and the sadness that we share can only balanced by the absolute privilege it was to have known him. I guess it was fitting in some way that in supporting our work as a local hospice that we were there for him and his family during the final weeks and days. I only wish it had not been so soon.
Will’s love of life, its challenges, his optimism , ability to keep giving, inspiring, and his love for his friends, family and recounting stories of his life was endless, and for that I have huge love and respect for a very special man and his family and friends. I count myself blessed to be counted amongst his friends.
Memories live on always in our hearts.