A Tribute to Friendship: Nick Tesco
Putting together The Light Pours Out of Me was a daunting task. Weaving a thread that became the story of John’s life was only possible by way of the amazing contributions from his family, musical allies and friends. Friendship has been a watchword throughout the process. John had a lot of good people in his life who cared deeply for him and have cherished memories of the times spent in his company. One such person was Nick Tesco.
My introduction to Nick came via a chat with John’s first wife, Janet. She told me about the bond that he and John shared and that I really should speak with him. I’m so glad she brought it up and that I was able to get in touch with him. Initial contact was made online prior to our conversation over the phone in November 2020. Nick informed me that he had been thinking about John a lot since I approached him. It had brought back a lot of memories, some sad but in the main lovely and fondly remembered. He spoke in glowing terms of what kind of a man John was. What great company he was and just what an impact he had made on him. It was a wonderful interview and he was clearly moved when I informed him that Janet had made mention that at that time in his life, John had considered him to be one of his very closest (if not closest) friends.
He recalled the setup when John and Janet moved into a large house in Ladbroke Grove with him and his then girlfriend. Tales of great times ensued, and he said that he looked back on that period of his life as a really happy time, for all of them. Nick was busy with The Members as John’s career was taking off with the Banshees. The two friends offered each other support through the ups and downs of being on the road and the pressures that are so entwined with it all. Nick was really wowed by the work that John had done with Siouxsie and he was quick to add just what a great drummer Budgie was and how they were all just perfect for each other as a group. He talked about how much fun it was to be in and around the band at that time and what good company Siouxsie and Severin were. He told me stories about John playing him rough mixes of songs that ended up on the amazing album Juju. In particular ‘Monitor’ had left a mark. Nick was a great raconteur and brought the times to life for me. He made me feel like I was there.
It was obvious that Nick was a genuine, caring and giving person. Just a few minutes in and it was as though we’d spoken dozens of times before. He was just one of those very open and personable characters. He made me feel at ease and I was hanging on his every word and totally engaged in an engrossing conversation. I’m glad I was able to share my transcriptions of the interview with him, so we could go over certain points. He was very encouraging and happy that a book was coming about somebody he really loved (his words). Nick said how honoured he felt to be involved. Absolutely genuine. He spoke with such admiration for John, the scrapes and funny stories that went with it all. Likewise, Nick didn’t hold back when recounting his friend’s funeral and the pain of that sad day was clearly still fresh for him.
He wanted John to be celebrated. He wanted his achievements and what he had brought to the world to be recognised. “He was a joyous person to be around, a really intelligent and sharp man. His company was just bliss. We even spoke about doing something together musically. He hasn’t been credited enough for the stuff he did”. Nick spoke at great length and detail about John’s talent and legacy. Magazine, the Banshees, Armoury Show. Nick knew it inside out. He was especially impressed by what he saw of John in PiL and how he got that same sense of satisfaction seeing him up on stage with Lydon at the Astoria as he had when seeing John at his peak with the Banshees. It was also because of Nick that I was able to speak with Lu Edmonds. He put the word in and we made it happen. So, I (and the book) owe him for that also.
I was so taken with Nick that I mentioned to him if he would be interested in writing a foreword. He was flattered and more than up for it. Sadly, it didn’t happen and perhaps my one regret is that I didn’t push enough. That being what it is, I am forever grateful to him for being so enthusiastic and ready to help. He has made an important and loving contribution to The Light Pours Out of Me and I will never forget him for that. Nick believed in the project from the start and got on board very early. Having people show that desire and want, it means an awful lot. They are entrusting you to get it right. They are putting their faith in you that you will deliver what you say you will. I hope Nick would have approved of the result.
I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with his family and friends. He’ll never be forgotten and his talent as a frontman and a lovely bloke will remain in the hearts of all who knew him. The tributes paid to him are testament to that.