Last Thoughts on Steven Jump 1957 – 2013
It’s not very often you can remember the first moment you met someone 37 years after the event – but the memory of the first time I set eyes on Steve is indelibly imprinted upon my mind – a moment when in 1976 the 20 year old me saw someone I just had to get to know. He was on top of a dining table, one of many in the 800 seat holiday camp dining room where Kiwi Steve and I had just started work. He was dressed like Keef would be if he worked as a waiter for Pontins Holiday Camps – rock-n-roll boho catering chic – topped off, or bottomed off, by a pair of monkey boots. I remember the boots because Pete Townsend of the Who always wore a pair. The reason I thought of that was Steve was in mid air above the table, doing a perfect impersonation of Pete Townsend – windmilling imaginary power chords – jumping in the air – legs curled – the wild haired boy from freecloud – or Cheltenham as it turned out. And oh, what a friend he turned out to be.
I had met a friend for life – who changed my life and in turn our close friends Paul’s life as well – for we both drove on the road he built – he gave us the keys to the universe – or at least to the “glamour” of the music business. We had many rock n roll adventures together – the road to excess on the road to rock n roll led us to many fun places – and occasionally the gates of paradise, or was it the doors of perception? Ok the doors of the Bayshill Inn, it didn’t really matter where it was because being with Steve was above all: just the best fun.
His intellect was paired with a wit he could use with the speed of a gunfighter, I can not remember the exact moment he said this but have never forgotten what he said, but lets assume he had just been given a derisory tip after waiting on a “punter” at Pontins for a week, he looked at the money and just said “an altruistic gesture of magnanimous proportions” turned on his heel and left the baffled punter wondering if he was pleased or pissed off.
He loved good food with a passion – so when a crowd of us were heading to the Bayshill and a car full of teenage lads stopped and asked, “can you tell us where McDonalds is please” Steve wandered over, duly gave them directions and as they sped off turned to us, pointed to them over his shoulder with his thumb and with perfect comic timing and disdain just deadpanned “Gourmets”
I loved discussing music with him – no one I have ever met knew more – and could use that knowledge to be profound, erudite and hilarious all in the same sentence. This was a skill that went beyond music – film – food – politics – theatre – literature – it even went as far as football. For I know nothing of the beautiful game – and most conversations on it are like aural Mogodon to me, however, even a football conversation with the addition of Steve’s wit and insight became enthralling entertainment.
Rock n roll snaked through Steve like a main circuit cable plugged straight into Keef, I have never known anyone so passionate about rock n roll. As all his many friends and family poke over the embers of his memory till they glow bright and true, others will tell of his greatness, kindness and humanity – but we will all come to the same conclusion – his passing has left a hole in the world so enormous that it will never be possible to fill.
I think it is also fair to say I will never forget Steven’s final goodbye, from the opening bars of All Down The Line as we filed into the Chapel – to the last glass of red at 3am – it was the most memorable of days. If it was a gig – and it was closer to a gig than anything else as an emotive experience – it was the Stones in ’73, it was Dylan in’75, it was The Clash in ’78 – it was simply unforgettable – just like the big man himself. It would be unfair to single out any one moment out of so many so precious, but to make mention of his brother Philip – a friend of us all, who delivered a moving and funny tribute under the most exacting of emotional circumstances – that was, as Steven would have said: “monumental”.