There are very few moments like that where you feel you have lived something so special that it will probably change the way you see the world, but more importantly when you feel it’s made you a better person.
This is how we felt by meeting with Bobby Womack, working with him, touring with him and listening to all those amazing stories he had to tell.
He was a story teller, a performer, a kind hearted Man.
There was the history, the life he lived, the dramas but we were fans of his music, fans of his voice. The rest didn’t matter.
What mattered to us was to give Bobby’s career a new life, push boundaries to get him to perform in front of different crowds so that he could see new faces, make new fans. See new places but more importantly allow him to tour with his big band which was very important to him. It made him feel at home.
Bobby ‘landed’ in our lives in February 2013. We were both excited and anxious to do things right but more importantly we were happy.
Our first tour started with Glastonbury in June 2013.
There were the rehearsals in Damon’s studios with the Bravest Band. The kindness of Damon Albarn and of his entire team who all embraced Bobby as one of their own and looked out for him. There was the 3 weeks tour that followed Glastonbury which I’ve had the privilege to do.
Bobby was a musician and if he felt the band wasn’t tight the night before, he’d go to soundcheck the next day and spend 2 hours setting things straight. He had an ear for everything, he was a hard worker. No matter if it took all the energy out of him. ‘If it’s not in tune, it’s not a tune’.
He was an young man inside trapped in the body of a fragile person and we could feel his frustration. But what I remember is his smile of content when he’d come out of stage supported by the loyal Arthur leaving raving crowds asking for more and when he’d say ‘My job is done here’.
He loved performing. He loved making people happy. He had this energy just before going on-stage, he was a new man.
Since then there has been more shows, more tours, more memories.
There was a melancholy of being one of the last ones from his time to be alive. There was the frustration of not being able to remember little things.
There was the happiness of being able to perform and to be supported by people like Damon and Richard who gave him a new life.
It all ended suddenly before a new European tour and an album in the pipeline. But it all ended peacefully and that’s what matters the most to us.
The music world paid tribute to Bobby Womack last week, he wasn’t forgotten. He was respected. The music legacy he leaves behind is rich and is valued by artists across generations.
We miss him already, he was family and he really was our Bravest Man.
Clementine & the 2FTR Team
We would like to thank the people who looked after Bobby (Regina Womack, Arthur Fullen, Don Smalls, Damon Albarn, Charly Hutchings, Imran Ahmed, Richard Russell, Jean-Philippe Aline, Altrinna Grayson, Hence Powel and all the band members) and the people who got on board to live this incredible story with us.