I first met Steve in the early 90's when purely by chance he came to a BSO Tea Dance with his mum in Oxford. I was playing bass, and we had a chat. I liked him immediately, not just because he was a musician and we had lots of 'shop' to talk about, but because he made every effort to join in and enjoy the 'spirit' of the occasion. We chatted a little bit about the music business and a little bit about Pinski Zoo. Most of the conversation though was about football, and in particular his beloved Nottingham Forest.
We then lost touch for a few years until one day I got a call from him, totally out of the blue, telling me he had taken the Music Development job in Dorset. We met up and again we talked a little bit about music, a little bit this time about his new job, and a lot about Nottingham Forest.
About 2 years ago the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra needed a really good 'kit' drummer for a Youth Music Project called 'The Bottom Line' in which we were trying to encourage youngsters to take up 'endangered' (less fashionable) musical instruments - in particular the double bass and tuba. I rang Steve, as I knew he could lead workshops, could play in many different styles and was an all-round good bloke. He immediately agreed to be involved and we did a big 'tour' of Dorset ending at Poole Lighthouse.
During that time we went to Portland, and a visually-impaired youngster turned up to play. Steve made a bee-line for him immediately and helped him get his guitar sorted and then drummed along to anything the lad played. The lad thought he was in absolute heaven, and Steve kept working with him, encouraging him and always coaxing a little bit more out of him. It was magical to watch, and also a very humbling experience. Steve worked so incredibly hard that day, and it is something I learnt from, and will never ever forget. The Steve Harris 'magic' was there for us all to see, and was another example of Steve making an effort for somebody else, like he had that first time we met.
The last time we met we just giggled like a couple of schoolboys about the fun we could have performing in Garden Sheds down on the beach in the summer. I promise that will happen Steve.
Right now I've got a vision of the wonderfully happy place where Steve is, sitting with his beloved Elvin Jones on one side talking drumming, and Brian Clough on the other side talking Nottingham Forest. We'll miss you Steve.
BIG love to Kathie, May and Bella.
Andy B + the whole Bottom Line team. xxxx