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Tribute to the memory of Danny Longstaff, musician, promoter, activist and MU official.

A dedicated site in memory of Danny has been opened and all who knew him are very welcome to contribute messages, stories and pictures.

A dedicated site in memory of Danny has been opened and all who knew him are very welcome to contribute messages, stories and pictures.


‘Danny touched all of our lives in different ways and made his mark on all of our worlds. He influenced part of what we have all done and what we are. We all have our personal memories of Danny, our own stories and anecdotes. I just want to share some of my memories and to pay tribute to the work that he did and the influence that he had, on the lives of the musicians that he worked with and whose interests he was passionate about.

I first met Danny when we were both young brass players in the 1970s, and on and off over the next 20-odd years we met occasionally - mainly in a pub somewhere. As most people will know, he worked as a musician in Iceland, in Northern Ireland and of course, in Birmingham with the CBSO. He was also a pub landlord and live music promoter, he also turned his hand to a bit of building and plumbing and the like. But my main involvement with him was through the input and influence that he had as a Musicians’ Union activist and, in the last couple of years of his life as an MU official.

Danny always gave as much as he could to the Union. He was a stalwart of the Birmingham branch committee and the Midlands District Council and a regular MU conference delegate for many years. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2002 and was appointed by his peers as Chair of the EC in 2005. He filled this role, save for a one-year break, until the end of 2012 and in 2013 he became the Union’s orchestra official working closely with orchestral musicians the length and breadth of the country.

As Chair of the EC he played an important ambassadorial role for the MU, but maybe more importantly he was an influential and respected figure who worked tirelessly to improve the working lives of musicians. He did not just work on behalf of his UK colleagues, but attended numerous International Federation of Musicians meetings and was a popular and well respected figure across the world. Our colleagues in other countries have shared in our sense of loss and I have received many tributes to Danny from musicians’ representatives from around the world.

For me personally he was a friend, colleague, adviser and confidant – he could always disarm the most tense of occasions with a smile and a quip – Danny was the best joke teller that I have ever met.

He was cruelly taken away from his family and friends long before his time and we will all miss him immensely.’

John Smith, MU General Secretary

Published: 14/04/2015

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