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Obit: Rita Foreman, 1930-2016

Will Fly 19 Oct 16 - 03:59 AM
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Subject: Obit: Rita Foreman, 1930-2016
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Oct 16 - 03:59 AM

Many here will know of singer John Foreman, but probably fewer of you will have known his ex-wife, Rita, who was a talented lady in her own right and mother to sons Chris and Nat. Rita - maiden name Rousseau - played guitar and banjo, but was better known for being a washboard player of some note, as well as an artist and poet. Rita worked for many years at the British Film Institute, and her knowledge of cinema was incomparable.

I first met her and her partner, Brian Catchpole, when the London jug band, the Egbert Sousé All Stars - a loose confederation of retrogressive pop musicians - was formed in 1971, and played it's good-time music for around five years at the Redan, a Bayswater pub (home at the time to Diz Disley). Brian Catchpole, was a vocalist and harmonica player with the band. Rita was a character, to say the least, and her favourite greeting when we met in the pub to play was to twine herself around me and say, "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?".

The band dispersed in 1976 when several of us moved out of London, but we kept in touch sporadically. Four of us, sadly, met up with family and other friends of Rita at her funeral on Monday, 17th October. A short ceremony at the Manor Park Crematorium was followed by a knees-up with music at the Golden Fleece round the corner. John - very much alive - was there. He described to me the very special washboard he had bought for her many years ago, and showed me a book of poems and drawings she had done when they were first married.

A very special lady. You can, if you feel so inclined, see a photo of her on one of my website pages - about halfway down this page:

Rita Foreman

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