A Big Fat Zero

April 07, 2022 - 5237 views

On March 30th 2022 ExileFM lost one of its founding presenters and the world lost a minor musical maestro. Zero broadcast his first Surface Noise show (so called because everything he played came from his extensive collection of 7” vinyl singles) in July 2017 and he went out every Thursday, until ill health prevented him from doing so three years later.

The heading of this tribute is rather misleading because as a serious cyclist living in hilly south London, Zero was anything but porky. However when you consider the range of his interests, the extent of his knowledge and the sheer size of his personality, it seems unbelievable that he managed to squeeze it all into such a lean frame. 

It didn’t matter whether the conversation was about music — in all of its glorious variety — films, books, philosophy, politics, Crystal Palace FC, or an apparently inexhaustible range of other subjects, he always seemed to display a depth of understanding and a level of insight that belied the all encompassing nature of his interests.

His musical taste is best summed up by the intro to Surface Noise (on his noises website) which states: 

“You can expect to hear Surf, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Glam, Disco, Synth-Pop, New Wave, Bossa Nova, Post-Punk, Rock, Prog, Ska, Garage, Bluebeat, Rockabilly, Punk, Doo Wop, Be Bop, Hip Hop, Power Pop, Jazz, Klezmer, Mariachi, Psychedelia, Country, Rhythm & blues, and whatever else he can lay his hands on. Probably not techno, heavy metal, or polkas. Probably.”

And his show Manifesto boldly declares:

“I aim to play:

at least one tune you’ve always loved,

at least one tune you’d forgotten you love,

at least one tune you’ve never heard before but now love,

& just one tune that you hate…


…but always with love”

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ExileFM has always been very much a family affair and it always hits hardest when you lose a family member; but Zero had come to terms with his circumstances and he left this life the same way he lived it — on his own terms and surrounded by family and friends. He will be massively missed, but his legacy will live on as long as this station does.

13th September 1958 ~ 30th March 2022

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Rest in Music

- Dave Gurman 
(on "An Appropriate Adult")
3rd April 2022