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'He was a great guy' - tributes to Beat poet Dick
TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran beat poet who made his home in the rural surrounds of Colwall.
Dick McBride passed away at home on August 28, aged 84.
Having grown up in Indiana and small-town Illinois in depression-era America, he went on to be part of the famous beat generation in San Francisco in the 1960s, and was friends with legendary names including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, among others.
He was placed at the centre of the beat universe when he became a book clerk in the now world-famous City Lights Bookstore of San Francisco.
In the 1960s, City Lights became such a tourist attraction that even Bob Dylan paid a visit.
It was the beat ethos of travel and the need to offer City Lights Books in England that first brought Mr McBride to the UK in 1969.
He moved to Colwall in 1988 and made the Malvern Hills his base, continuing to write and publish books and performing at local venues and the Big Chill festival at Eastnor. His funeral is being held at Co-Operative Crematorium, in St John’s, Worcester, today (Friday).
His son Sean described Mr McBride as a “quiet egotist” - someone who liked to be the centre of attention but was never fond of anything too big or showy.
He said had many local friends who “thought an awful lot of him”
and would appreciate the chance to raise a glass to “The Last of the Beats”. Or, as Mr McBride preferred to refer to himself, “The First of the Mavericks”.
Mr McBride is survived by his sons Sean and Brennan, grandson Antony, ex-wife Betty, stepchildren Rachael, Stephen and Ben, and housemate and good friend Pat.
Anyone who would like to get in touch with Sean regarding his father can email seanmcbride@ blueyonder.co.uk.
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