Steve Bentham
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1). 22.08.01 e-mail from "the missing Steve Bentham"
Yo Tim!

Chanced upon your site the other day.  I've gotta say I was thrilled (well, almost) to see you're still out there doing it.  You're wearing well. Excellent!

I've been living with Val (still together 36 years on) in the wilds of North Wales for the best part of 30 years, playing my tunes to the sheep.  Plus raising kids (4 - now the up-and-coming band "Estella"), renovating house, gigging/signing on, etc.  Thus poverty is my pal.......  No Jags here mate, strictly (t)rusty old Ford escort van!

Quick update for your files:  Name change to Ben (as in Big...) Bentham /Instrument change to bass (to allow more room for the ol' sausage-likes to dance amongst the frets ) I'm still as useless technically, but it's all in the feel - as they say  /  Been playing with Welsh-language "dub pioneers" Llwybr Llaethog until fairly recently  /  Now producing 
soul/garage/hip-hop/jazz/reggae/whatever the fuck it's Welsh!

Give my regards to Pete.

Keep living the life.



2). 25.08.01 e-mail from "woke up one morning"
Rock the baby.  All night long.

Dear Tim

By now you'll probably be going all gooey over the new grandchild.  Personally, I love the family thing - I've been a bit of a homebody for years - it's the one success story I have. 

We got tired of city life in the mid 70's and moved here to Blaenau Ffestiniog, a pretty rough little place - old quarry town - but cheap, and my garden opens straight onto the mountains of Snowdonia (if you like that kind of thing - we do).  I injured my back badly just as we were starting to renovate our house, which set us back 15 years and caused untold stress, but it's been relatively quiet for awhile now.  Val's been poorly too for the last few years, with shall-we-call-'em "menopausal problems" (it's easier to spell) but she's well on the mend too.

I never did settle into a job, and my various adventures into the world of commerce - record shop, market trading, furniture-making, gift manufacturing - have all come to the same sticky end: abject failure!  I like to think I was just too nice for business.

But the family thing....... now I've got nothing to brag about, you understand, there are no amazing accomplishments to write about here, but they're all just great kids (hope they don't read this!).
Okay, details:   Asa - he's nearly 30, a tree surgeon and musician, lives nearby in a beautiful little village, Llanfrothen, with his girlfriend, Keela. .....  Kaz is 28, dole-boy/bit of building on the side and musician.  He shares the house in Llanfrothen when he's not flying back and forth to Munich, where his girlfriend Helena is a medical student (she's German).  He's got 2 kids (by his ex) who live just down the road from us - Melissa's nearly 10 and Ceri's 7.........Eldest daughter Ysan is 24 and presently lives down south in Carmarthen with her little boy, 4-year old Cian.  She's doing a degree in Theatre Set Design.  She's got a lovely voice but is a wee bit shy - not that you'd guess from the gob she's got on her sometimes! .........  Our baby is Lauren ( we ran out of silly names!).  She's 21, and has just come back to live at home, having just finished a Music Technology HND in St.Helens, while she looks for somewhere to live with her boyfriend, Ian.  She's got the voice of an angel - simple as that - as the cliche says.  Hair-raising stuff.  It's the kind of voice that can make the tears fall, and cause a sticky dampness in your undies all at the same time!  (so they tell me)  Lauren is our pension plan - when she's famous, we plan to sponge off her!
Phew!  You still there?
Anyway, the 3 muso types all play in a band called "Estella" who're becoming quite famous on the Welsh language scene - doing TV and loads of live gigs on the radio.  They do songs in English too and are putting the final touches to an EP at the moment, so I think you'll get to hear of them on your side of the border before too long.
What a bunch of dreamers we are!  ( see business/failure up the page! )  In the immortal words of Sid Vicious -  "Aah did it maaaaaaaa waaaayyyeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuhhhhhhh".

I've been searching for a map of Coventry to try and follow your geographical meanderings through the city but alas, although the place names are familiar, I'm lost.  It's over 20 years since I was last there - and then only as far as my parents' house.  I suppose the obvious thing would be to download one, but the technology I'm using here (old 486/windows 3.1 etc.)isn't really up to it - an hour really does last for at least 60 minutes when you're waiting, wondering whether it's going to crash or not.

Sorry, I seem to be going on a bit.  Fck txt mssgng though, eh? 

I hope all goes well in Grandfatherhood.  Give my love to your family.

Val says hello.

I say good-bye.

See ya!


(Go change that nappy!)
3). 28.08.01 e-mail from "re-re-re-spect (just a little bit)
Dear Tim
Nice to hear from you - flattery will get you everywhere!
Okay Okay - I'm brilliant.
As for the the Great Bloke prize - I'd just like to thank my manager, my agent, my fans and my family and of course, God, for giving his little boy a name worthy of being shouted out loud on occasions like this - Jesus!!
Those late-night walks home were probably the foundation of the thought processes that've lasted from my formative years to the present.  I remember 'em well, with great fondness.
But Golf?  My one lasting memory of playing golf, is one drunken Saturday afternoon in the Memorial Park when someone's ball ended up in a wasp's nest.
 It took the intrepid TJ to attempt it's retrieval by whacking at it - until the whole swarm of little bastards chased us away!  I haven't played since - or been stung so many times......

Gotta go.  Hope you're all happy in your new home - and that you're able to find everything. Let me have an address and I'll send you a tape (have you still got something
old-fashioned enough to play a cassette on?) of family musical highlights.



1mbb website by Tim James