No’ bad for a wee lad
“As part of the BBC’s One Show tribute to Diana on the anniversary of her funeral, they did a feature on four people who had contributed in some way to the event,” says Tom Dolan of St Andrews.
“Craigie readers may have detected the local accent of one of the men interviewed. He was former Dundee man, Alec Brown. Alec is a piano tuner, and was responsible for preparing the piano which was played by Elton John during the funeral ceremony in Westminster Abbey.
“Alec’s services are much sought after throughout London, as hewasemployed for many years by the BBC, and was responsible for the preparation of the pianos used on every show for the broadcaster. The number of celebrities he has encountered in his career has probably caused him to lose count. Alec can also list Buckingham Palace as one on his ‘job list’.
“In 1967 Alec set off to London with wife Gladys and the firstborn of his daughters, Melanie. Kelly, who was born in London, came later. Soon after he arrived down south, he was reunited with his great friend from their Dundee past, Pat Murray. Pat and Alec had ambitions to get their songwriting collaboration up and running in the music scene that was London.
“Their fortunes quickly took a strange turn, and they found themselves writing comedy scripts which brought much success to them with such names as the Two Ronnies, Mike Reid, and Marti Caine, among others. Sadly, the collaboration ended with Pat’s very sudden death.
“Alec, or Eck as Gladys calls him, started his career as a trainee piano tuner and technician with Larg’s Musicsellers in Whitehall Street in Dundee, and reflecting back on his 77 years, he says: ‘No’ bad for a wee lad born three stairs up in a Dundee tenement to make it to Buckingham Palace.’”