Mark Crook

My friend Mark Crook died three weeks ago, on 28th March at the age of 51. Our friendship spanned 40 years.

Mark Crook

Mark Ibbett Crook – 23rd January 1962 – 28th March 2013

Mark was more than a friend to me, he was an inspiration. It’s no exaggeration to say he shaped my life, we did so much together.

He was the person in this world with whom I collaborated the most. As 12 year olds we made sound recordings, writing comedy scripts and songs. He left the school where we met, moved to Sussex, and we lost touch. After a 25 year period, almost as soon as we re-connected we continued creating as if we’d never stopped.

Together we ran the creative production business Funk.co.uk. We put on concerts. We produced videos and music for ourselves and others. We co-founded the UK Podcasters Association to protect online rights. And what impresses me is that we still liked each other afterwards.

Mark was an excellent graphic designer and video editor as well as a superb musician, but behind his confident bonhomie, he was modest. Despite his rare capacity for expression he was sometimes surprised at the positive reactions he received. He suffered from nerves and a degree of shyness, which if you didn’t know him well you’d never spot.

This self-doubt was most evident in his musical abilities, which in my opinion were the greatest expression of his artist’s soul. His insecurity stemmed from the parental “proper job” mentality which he fought to escape. Yet his capacity to give himself completely to his playing and delve into work until he was satisfied gave his music depth, delicacy and feeling as well as playful, artful collage and great chomping beats.

Mark was a bellwether for culture of all kinds, with expansive and great taste which he happily shared. His sense of humour was wonderful. As a friend, he often dispensed sagacious advice, beers where necessary and wisdom which emanated from his own troubles, about which he was disarmingly frank, but never disloyal.

Scores of people have been profoundly affected by his appallingly early death, he was such a popular and kind man.

I have lost an irreplaceable soul brother. I loved him dearly. I’m lucky to have known him, and I miss him every day.

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