Such was the shadow Tommy Roberts cast over popular music that even Practical Styling, the 80s central London furniture, office and homewares outlet he ran with partner Paul Jones, was cited as an influence by performer Geoff Deane.
Witty companion, workaholic, optimist, stoic, computer-phobe, special occasion facilitator, raconteur, moralist, compulsive green thumb, avid theatre and concertgoer, roof gardener, summer pudding-maker, painter, rememberer of birthdays, punster, voracious reader, film maker, museumolic, snappy dresser, sequiner, harpsichord player, party giver, flower arranger, supplier of bon mots, delightful travel companion, regular sender of postcards (sometimes 6 at a time) for 43 expatriate years…and much, much more.
Richard “Dickie” Lowe – who died earlier this year aged 67 – was a smashing bloke, as the words above from Alexandra and Leigh Copeland’s Melbourne Age obituary attest.
I encountered Lowe on but a handful of occasions; he never failed to charm and delight.
Although he had lived in the UK since the late 60s, Lowe’s Larrikin spirit was undimmed to the last. His singularity was made manifest in the magnificent decor of his central London apartment, which communicated an interest in and knowledge of Egyptian art, miniature Australian landscapes, postcards, bric-a-brac and curios of all varieties, and has now been documented by photographer Peter Waldman.
“To you whom I may communicate with shortly through the smoke of Deaux-Deaux the rattlesnake whose forked tongue hisses pig Latin in silk and satin da-zaw-ig-day, may the gilded splinters of Auntie Andre spew forth in your path to light and guide your way through the bayous of life.”
For prime poetic mumbo-jumbo, look no further than the back cover text of Dr John’s debut LP Gris-Gris.