Jasmine is dead

Backstage pre-show at the ICA, London, October 1998. Photo by Ruth Bayer. L-R Mona, me, Jasmine, Luis, Holly
pre-show at the ICA, London, October 1998. Photo by Ruth Bayer. L-R Mona, me, Jasmine, Luis, Holly

I found out a few months ago that Jasmine died. Again. This time for good.

Jasmine was one of the singers of my first significant band, Six Inch Killaz, about whom I thought I'd pretty much done with boring you.

But then early this summer, I got, in quick succession, a Facebook message from Luis (Six Inch Killaz bassist) and a couple of emails from Simon / Mona (guitarist and main songwriter) pointing me towards her online death notice, which laid out, in simple terms, and under Jasmine's male birth name, the time of her death (some two years earlier than we found out) the family she left behind and how they intended to commemorate her passing.

It seemed simple enough but the story of Jasmine's death was far from simple, and came in three stages, over fourteen years or so.

Sometime after the breakup of the band, which was accelerated by Jasmine's sacking after heroin had made her impossible to work or even be with, we heard that she had died alone in her London flat from septicæmia caused by a dirty needle.

This was followed a few years later by the revelation that she was not actually dead.

Someone had seen her in North Wales where she came from. We guessed that she had faked her death to sever ties with her ruined past and start afresh. According to the friend of Luis and his wife Pauline who saw and recognised her, she had kicked the smack but had replaced it with booze.

Both pieces of news were, for me, equally hard to deal with, to the point where I almost denied to myself for a time that I'd heard them. I wrote in more depth about the circumstances and my reaction in this post.

So when I heard this year, in May 2014, the news that Jasmine had finally, really died, back in July 2012, though, I felt nothing but a finality tinged with melancholy, and a desire to remember the happiness of my early relationship with Jasmine.

See, I remember Jasmine fondly still, despite the horrible way our association ended, because, for all the fragility, insecurity, fits of anger and sharp tongue, she made me welcome into her life and was as warm, funny, likeable and sharing as just about anyone I've known. We wrote some good songs together and we had some good times, albeit briefly.

She was my friend you see, and my friend is now, sadly, really dead.

Jasmine (+ Miss K) April '96
Jasmine post soundcheck, upstairs at The Garage, London, April 1996 (and my thighs)
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