Rupert Hine

1947 - 2020

Rupert Hine 


1977 had been an exciting and action-packed year : a six week Geese and the Ghost Promo Tour of the U.S. and then the thrill of developing Tarka orchestrally before that project came to an abrupt halt.

I suddenly found myself charged with doing an album of songs - solo. All my previous professional writing and recording experience had been under the wing of the Genesis family. Terra incognita.

There were some songs ready to go - though were they any good ?  So I settled down to try and come up with some new, more varied, dynamic ones.  But an album...? Who with ? How...?!

Thus I found myself on a Saturday evening early in September going round to a house in Connaught Street to visit a producer. I was welcomed cordially. We listened periodically to the song demos, about which he was luckily complimentary, in between endless tales, anecdotes and allusions delivered with great charm and wit.  I felt myself slipping into a cocoon of deep relaxation, well-being and personal affirmation!  I stumbled out of there as the birds were starting to sing, bleary-eyed but happy, content and relieved !

Thus welcome to the world of Rupert Hine.

It didn't seem to involve a lot of sleep! Rupert somehow contrived to be everywhere, do masses, whilst still having time for everyone. The house he shared with his girlfriend Jeanette was a haven, an open-all-hours sanctuary for many, listening in Rupert's den downstairs or upstairs, in great comfort decked out with abundant cushions watching endless videos of gems such as 'The Fall And Rise of Reginald Perrin'. There were always people dropping in, made to feel welcome, with tea & coffee constantly on the go.

Rupert introduced me to a bewildering array of talented, remarkable and interesting people.  At the centre and seminal to the two albums on which we worked, were the dynamic duo Perry and Giles whose musical brilliance was matched by their kindness and forbearance with my insecurities and dodgy time-keeping (Michael legendarily sent me home at the weekend to practice with a metronome !) There was Mel Collins, Ray Cooper, Simon Jeffes, Gilbert Biberian and countless more.

But at the centre, Rupert. Infinitely patient, upbeat, positive, always encouraging and subtly instilling self-belief.  He was both full of innovation and ideas yet allowed one's imagination to run riot, often adding parts to songs that couldn't live together simultaneously yet were still valid. We spent TWO days mixing 'Now What Are They Doing To My Little Friends' -  all manually, flying by the seat of our pants.  Four pairs of hands with multiple faders, muting tasks.  The song would effectively be arranged in the mix itself, dropping out vast numbers of parts until they all finally came together triumphantly in the last chorus.

I couldn't remotely have done it without him. There was never a cross word and I never witnessed Rupert being anything other than courteous, patient and kindly with all whom he encountered. He readily suffered fools - without cynicism - and they left the less foolish because of it.

He was a fulcrum, a fixed point from which countless ripples flowed out, helping, enhancing and enriching those in his path.

A hugely successful producer, revered artist and composer, innovator, pioneer, original mind.  Yet he always remained at heart a thoroughly decent, self-effacing, generous and big-hearted Englishman.


R.I.P Humbert, from your old mate Vic (Stench).



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