I’m sure I’m not alone amongst RBP contributors in mourning the death this weekend of Carol Clerk. I first met Carol in 1972 when she turned up out of the blue at the offices of Melody Maker on Fleet Street, just to say hello to the staff on the paper she read avidly each week at her home in Belfast. Charmed by her enthusiasm and probably not a little flattered, Roy Hollingworth and I took her for a drink in our local, the Red Lion at the back of the building. She was a big MM fan and no-one was surprised when a few years later she joined the staff, hanging on in there until the bitter end in 1999, its News Editor, a real pillar of strength on the ailing magazine and a fine journalist to boot.
Later she wrote four books for Omnibus which I commissioned and edited, on The Damned, Hawkwind, The Pogues and Madonna, and all of them reflected her superlatively professional work ethic. Until she moved down to Kent we saw one another about once a year to discuss projects, and I was last in contact with her in January, wondering why she hadn’t delivered a promised update to the Hawkwind book that was slightly overdue. She said she was sorry but she hadn’t been well. My God! But that was Carol – 100% professional even if she was in the throes of a fatal illness which, bravely, she kept to herself.
I will miss her a lot. RIP Carol. One of the best of us.