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New Bert Jansch Memoir Published
Laurie Tuffrey , December 3rd, 2013 13:33

Take a look at a selection from seventy previously unseen photographs featured in Bert Jansch - Living with the Legend

Last month, Bert Jansch - Living with the Legend, a new memoir of the Pentangle founder and revered folk singer and guitarist written by his second wife, the sculptor Heather Jansch, was published by her Olchard Press. Included within the hardback book are over seventy previously unpublished photographs; we now have a selection of these which you can take a look at, along with Heather's introduction, below and head to her website, where you can also read a seventeen-page extract, to order the book:

"Legendary, unique, and genius were all words used to describe Bert Jansch by the time he was twenty six years old and these words were well deserved. It is no wonder that so many great guitarists revered him.

"We married in 1968. I was truly privileged to witness first hand how brilliance came from absolute concentration and persistence, from fierce determination and refusal to quit. He had no interest in possessions or in fame and was mostly oblivious to his surroundings so long as he had his guitar and a pencil. His was an intensely personal musical genius that could not be contained. He would play for eight hours and more a day, every day, practicing, always practicing until he caught the elusive combination of sounds and words fluttering on the edge of consciousness.

"He was essentially a private, modest man with a gentle, generous soul and a will of iron. He was always bemused by the accolades heaped upon him. None of those who knew him well will ever forget his unfailing kindnesses. He enriched this world for countless people. I am glad that he found such happiness with Loren Auerbach in his last years.

"When Bert died Loren was seriously ill herself and his death was not announced on his website. My phone began to ring, the press had heard rumours and wanted confirmation. In hindsight, since I had retained his name, I should not have been surprised, nor should I have been surprised by the subsequent onslaught of e-mail condolences from many distraught fans who assumed us still to be married; but naively, I was entirely unprepared.

"It was obvious that some sort of public statement was needed. Writing it unleashed a torrent of memories; our days together came flooding back to me. Three weeks later at his funeral, meeting people from our past triggered even more recollections. I was still receiving e-mails and phone calls from people of our generation for whom his passing had left a terrible void, they wanted to know when my promised autobiography would be published since they assumed it would contain something about the years Bert and I spent together in his heyday. It become apparent that there was a need for a book that would tell something of the man, the very private man, behind the music, propelled to a life he never sought. Begun as a personal and cathartic wake, thirty thousand words later I was still writing and a book was emerging. Now nearly two years on, it is done. I hope those who loved him and his music will find it a fitting tribute."