Tributes to Ringstead music promoter Roger who booked David Bowie and Black Sabbath

Roger was told to 'get a proper job' when he married wife Chris
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Tributes have been paid to a Ringstead promoter, music-lover, champion of live gigs and recently published author who has died after an operation.

Roger Kinsey had been in self-isolation since March 13 before major surgery at Northampton General Hospital to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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He died on Wednesday, September 30, with his wife Chris and daughter Vanessa at his bedside after the operation. He was 75-years-old.

Chris said: "He was a gentle guy who who wanted to promote live music. He couldn't play a note but he knew everything about music.

"Someone told me that Roger was the 'most knowlegeable non-musician's muscian'. He was first person to put on a free four-day long event in the UK (the Cambridge Free Festival)."

It was a love of music that brought Roger and Chris together. After leaving Kimbolton School, he studied at Chelsea College of Science and Technology.

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As a music promoter and manager he auditioned musicians for band Elder Kindred. When Chris' brother auditioned she had tagged along. The pair met up a year later and married.

Roger KinseyRoger Kinsey
Roger Kinsey

He booked David Bowie for several summer balls in Cambridge and was instrumental in staging Cambridge Free Festival with acts including Family, David Bowie, Brian Auger Trinity, King Crimson, The Strawbs, and Roy Harper.

After his wedding, Roger was told by his father to 'get a proper job' to support his family - daughters Charlotte and Vanessa.

Music promotion was sidelined with jobs in marketing and then the family-run art supplier shop in Northampton, until retirement when Roger took on his 'bucket list' including researching Beck Studios founder Derek Tompkins.

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This year Roger co-authored a book chronicling the Northamptonshire music scene in Back Street Genius (Part One) telling the story of Derek and Shield Studios where young aspiring musicians Queen bass hero John Deacon, Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and three-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster first recorded.

Roger in one of his favourite hatsRoger in one of his favourite hats
Roger in one of his favourite hats

The book was written with Derek's widow Mavis and Kettering-based musician Dave Clemo.

Dave said: "I only knew Roger for two years and we were working on the follow up book. It will be dedicated to him.

"He was a real fan of local music and I am immensely proud to have had him as a friend."

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As the coronavirus crisis started Mr and Mrs Kinsey self-isolated, so neighbour and musician Bob Fisher began a daily gig for his friends singing in the garden to cheer them up.

Roger with the book Back Street GeniusRoger with the book Back Street Genius
Roger with the book Back Street Genius

Bob said: "He was one of the kindest gents. His knowledge of the local music business was phenomenal."

The couple were preparing to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary next year.

She said: "I loved him and we had 49-and-a-half years. We were really looking forward to our 50th anniversary. I was so lucky to find this gentle, music loving guy.

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"Since his retirement and our move to Ringstead he was happier than every before.

"Roger died peacefully with Vanessa and me by his side. We played him his favourite ever track, Shine On You Crazy Diamond from the great Pink Floyd, as he passed on to the great gig in the sky."

Roger is survived by wife Chris, daughters Charlotte, 48, and Vanessa, 46, and grandchildren eleven-year-old Izzie and Ellie, 12.

Chris and Roger KinseyChris and Roger Kinsey
Chris and Roger Kinsey

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