I knew Jon when I worked at the MRC APU in Cambridge in the early nineties. He was a wonderful character - caring, full of life and ideas. He used to join a gang of us for dinner (James Tresilian, Randy Flanagan, Francoise Mathieu amongst others). He was always entertaining and kept the conversation alive - with plenty of fun and laughter. I remember him as fairly driven in an off-beat kind of way. I didn't know anything about his successful musical past but it fits the man and his extremely cool persona.
When I first knew him his then girlfriend Nilli was living abroad … but my memory is that he talked about her constantly and couldn't wait for her to join him. I remember meeting them together once in the gardens of the APU and he was clearly very happy. I moved on to London and I don't think I caught up with them again. It almost happened once somewhere near Wormwood Scrubs when I gave James Tresilian a lift to visit the two of them… but I think I had pressing child-care duties to return to. I do remember on that occasion being extremely pleased to hear that they had started a family. He must have been a wonderful and wise father.
I saw Jon on the telly a few years ago… and had that "boy done good" feeling when I saw the fascinating things he was up to. ln fact I was discussing the program with a friend only last week. Her son may be benefiting from some of that research. That was my reason for looking Jon up today and discovering this really devastating news.
Chronic pain is a hidden evil with untold consequences - I speak from experience - my heart goes out to all those touched by this.
Jon's death is without doubt a great loss to the state of human knowledge and the many people that could have benefited from his further work. Though perhaps we should be grateful for the advances he did make in his short life which are clearly reaping fruit.
My main thoughts are with Nilli and their kids - to whom I extend huge virtual hugs.
All the best Jon - wherever you are...