When I think of Sam, I remember a gentleman: someone who’d give his bed to a friend and sleep in an armchair, who’d film a gig and refuse to take payment despite being skint, who’d forego food because he didn’t want his vegan diet to be a hassle. I would take pride and joy in introducing him to my friends. One, after the briefest of introductions, remarked what a fantastic, warm vibe he’d had from Sam. For Sam had an easiness about him and this seemed to make those around him at ease.
His big grin and lovable cheekiness are always foremost in my memories. He was an eccentric, a dreamer, an idealist; I recall him defending notions like anarchy and de-globalised economies with such vigour.
I was always touched when Sam would turn up unannounced to hear me at a gig – these were some of my last moments with him. I remember noticing the holes in his shabby jumper and yet thinking that anyone, no matter how snobby, couldn’t have failed to be won by his charm – and, importantly, the genuineness of it. Just a week before he died, I was telling a friend how fantastic my siblings were and how I hoped he would meet them one day.
Sometimes, when I catch myself crying over the loss, I chide myself for such self-pity. The people I should feel more sorry for are those that have lost nothing, who never got to meet Sam, never experienced what a wonderful man he was; I am lucky.