Bob Vinard

I first met Bob at the old Dizzy’s Friday Night Jam Sessions. He was painfully thin, and appeared to be subsisting on a diet of white wine and very little else: in turns eccentric, colourful, humorous, optimistic and irascible. As a pianist, he had a sense of rhythm and a touch to be envied. He could play a mean half stride.

I cannot recall him ever playing at the Glasshouse, Scarlette Bar, La Pena, Ramage or Royal Standard jams, but he became a regular again once we moved to the Leinster.

He had moved into new digs in Windsor, and generally cadged a lift with Frank, Debbie or Anne. Never played more than three tunes in a row, never wore the same tee-shirt twice, collected watches, most of which were only correct twice a day, and took coffee with six sugars.

For quite a while, I picked him up from Windsor each week. And every week on the way to the Jam, the conversation would be the same. How was I ? (turn left into Commercial road), could he cadge a cigarette? (turn right into Punt Road), did I remember this or that tune?(he’d sing it going down Punt Hill) a brief discussion of what book he was reading (always about Jazz) his plans for getting his Hammond Organ from wherever it was. Once onto Hoddle Street, he would get on to stories from his past, most of which would surprise a few Jammers, and none of which should be repeated.

I am told Bob went out for a walk last Thursday, got home, sat down in his chair and went to sleep. He did not wake up.

Bob Vinard

4 thoughts on “Bob Vinard

  1. Bob, such a beautiful gentleman! Bob played for me at his home a few times and wanted me to sing more often there for the residents. I am sorry I did not do this. Often when I would drive him he would talk of his beloved Hammond Organs, his will to go to USA if he won the lottery. His encouraging comments to me about my singing and how he liked my voice very much. He would often tell me, “Your voice sits well with you Maria, you just lack the confidence that’s all! All you need is confidence!” We talked about how he escaped a terrible fright of an illness and Bob suggested it was his diet that ‘fixed it’ and astonished the doctor! Love you Bob! I will be forever grateful that I knew you and had the opportunity to sing with you being a most skilful genius of a pianist. I will always remember you, your kindness and encouragement with much respect and love. Maria

  2. I went to the last Jammers with a little xmas present for Bob. It was a photo of him and myself he carried around with him. Everytime I saw him he would say I have this lovely photo of you and I Lisette Ill show you. He was to make me a copy and I could see after the mmm… 10th time that it was never going to happen and the photo was beginning to wear. So I asked him would he like me to do it. So I did. Had it enlarged and framed it for him. But he was’nt there. I very much admired him as a piano player he knew all the cliche licks and runs, so much knowledge of jazz which he was going to teach me. He was very kind and encouraging. Will be missed by all of us.

    Lisette

  3. I knew Bob through my bookshop.
    Bob was insatiable for knowledge, of health, and of the next life.
    We used to sit outside on the council bench, and he would allow me to enjoy the secondhand smoke while I explained to him why he shouldn’t buy a particular book.

    I used to give him shit, and he to me, as only people comfortable in their own skins can be.

    He loved music, and he loved People. He would flirt with any pretty young lady who crossed my door.

    Tonight I rang his home, because I had something for him, and asked if it were too late to pass a message onto Bob ( It was 7pm ).

    It was.

    I am raising a glass of vodka to Valhalla, and toasting a dear friend

    Vale Bob

  4. I met Bob nearly 40 years ago. I am not even sure how a 17 year old gets into the “Château Commodore “. But I did. This lovely..vibrant..crazy man..took an interest in me and my voice. I love him for all he did. He pisses me off for when he let me down.
    I reconnected some times with Bob but clearly not the last.
    Another love I have lost.
    I wish he could have trully felt free to be himself.
    I wish I had said goodbye and thank you.
    Bob changed my life and very many others.
    To those who knew him recently..I wish you could have known him before.

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