Play: Marie And Joe

Some words from Lauren Bentley

Colin Bentley (Stoner), my dad, was so egoless that I am only now realising what a special, huge gift and influence he gave – and made – to music history.

I was of course always aware of how brilliant and talented he was and I attended so many of his gigs locally. As a teenager I proudly womaned the door at the local Con Club where various bands he was in performed (e.g. Splat, Bad Habits). My son, who is now 5, has been to many of his gigs since birth too, including The Queen Elizabeth Hall recently. He is a big fan, as am I, especially of The Pull, Seamus Cell, and TV Smith.

When I was little my mum used to put me under the stage in a Moses basket and keep checking on me… my stage- and under-stage name was Pebbles! When I was a little older my dad allowed me to sleep in his velvet guitar cases, one was orange, one was blue… I knew it was a great privilege and I remember luxuriating in these landscapes.

The music is in my blood, the bass especially, the lyrics and the lights still flicker. Which totally saves me.

He was the most gentle man I have ever met.

And he was so transformed on stage.

A wonderful father, my son sleeps on the captain bed his skilled hands made for me when I was little. My dad came to all my performances and drove me to many auditions.

The band made me feel so included, even though I was tiny; kids were included back then. I will never forget Richard’s height and permanent sun glasses! And how quiet and with such interesting faces they could all be off stage! Or how I freaked out, seeing Dad with TV Smith’s Explorers on the Old Grey Whistle Test… how could he be in the same room as me and on television simultaneously?

Thank you Dad for including me in this magical world… no wonder I am a dancer!

Especially with my mother being an artist. What a team you made. I’m privileged to have had endless introductions, and exposure, to so much music from my parents. Colin especially stated the importance of listening to music during hard times, and to play music to my growing son.

Nigel Willoughby was The Doctors Of Madness’ first Manager, how beautiful that he was there at the QEH to see Colin’s final gig, and as a tremendous support at my father’s life celebration and funeral. He has always been such a close family friend. Rob Murray-Mason (of The Pull) was also a tremendous support throughout, as was Tyler Massey (also The Pull), who put together the moving music my mum so perfectly selected for my dad’s life celebration. Woody was also at the QEH gig and the funeral too; as teenagers they were together in their first ever band.

A few days before he died, my dad told me “I will watch the stars every night.”

Lauren Bentley, 2015

(Footage of Whistle Test, The Pull, the QEH (on which Joe Elliot does the “we are not worthy” gesture to Colin’s turned back) and more can be found on YouTube, and is an excellent website featuring audio and video footage of Colin’s recent music.)

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