Breve riepilogo. Due anni fa Vini Reilly (56 anni) era stato colpito da due infarti che non gli hanno comunque poi impedito di realizzare l’ennesimo lavoro pubblicato nel 2011 (‘Chronicle’). A giugno l’uscita del quarto disco “perduto” dei Durutti Column ‘Short Stories For Pauline’, un lavoro diventato ormai leggenda, registrato nel 1983 per la sorella belga della Factory (Benelux), e “cancellato” quando Tony Wilson (allora manager della band) riuscì a convincere Reilly che sarebbe stato meglio pubblicare un album totalemente strumentale sulle orme del brano ‘Duet’ (fu così che vide la luce nel 1984 ‘Without Mercy’). Fin qui normali notizie “musicali”. Poi a novembre sul profilo Twitter ufficiale della band un annuncio alquanto singolare e per certi versi triste: “Vini Reilly is selling a pair of his headphones so he can pay £1,200 rent that is currently unpaid“. Oggi la situazione appare più grave. E’ infatti il nipote a lanciare un commovente appello che ci lascia a dir poco increduli:
Helping Vini Reilly …
I’ve previously posted this on Facebook, but copied it over for those who aren’t on there. My uncle – The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly – has hit a bit of a rough patch money-wise, and is currently struggling to cover basic outgoings such as rent, food, electricity, etc. Some of you have mentioned that you’d like to make a donation to Vini, which is incredibly kind, so we’ve been working out the best way to do that. As Vini doesn’t have internet access, I’m going to use my PayPal account to receive any donations and forward them to his bank account. We looked into the PayPal situation and found out that using a donation button, as we’d previously hoped we might, results in fees being taken by PayPal even if they are personal payments. So it seems the best way to do it is for people to just send a personal payment to my Paypal account, simply using my email address (email@example.com) as the ‘person’ receiving the money. It also seems to be better to pay using your bank account rather than credit or debit cards, as that results no fee being charged. Otherwise, it seems that about 5% of what people pay may be deducted in fees by PayPal. Hopefully that all makes sense – the link to PayPal is: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/send – Any donation, no matter how big or small, is very gratefully received. Thanks in advance
“Firstly, a huge thank you once again to all of those who sent kind messages, ideas, and donations for Vini. I’ve just spoken to Vini and told him how much has been donated by fans and music lovers worldwide – he’s ecstatic. He’s said that enough has now been donated to ensure that he can pay off all of the backlog of rent that he owed, and he’s asked me to pass on his huge gratitude to you all and let you know that no further donations are needed. He’s explained that going forward he should be able to afford to pay his rent, but the debt relates to the period after he had his three strokes but before he was assessed for disability allowance.
It has been a stressful time for Vini, with the constant worry of knowing that he couldn’t afford to pay his debts and that could mean being evicted from the place he rents. But he says he now feels like you’ve lifted the weight of the world off his shoulders. He has asked me to send his love to all of you… You’ve given him the best start to his new year that anyone could have asked for. And he’s determined to fight his way back to fitness and rebuild the power in his hands so he can play guitar again. It’s going to be a hard road ahead for him, but you’ve all made his life a lot brighter. Thank you all so much for helping my uncle. All the best to you all for 2013″.
Update from Vini Reilly and Matt Reilly
An inaccurate story has appeared on the BBC’s website this afternoon stating that Vini Reilly spoke “of his ‘embarrassment and humiliation’ after fans sent £3,000 to help him pay his rent after he had three strokes.”
The article also states that “the musician’s nephew put a message on the band’s website, without his uncle’s knowledge, appealing for donations.” I’ve just spoken to Vini and he says he has been completely misrepresented in this article – I’ve included a full quote from him at the end of this. I’ve never spoken to the journalist who wrote this story, but I too feel misrepresented. Vini and I have been in constant contact, daily and sometime hourly, since this all started. And it all started after I explained to Vini at the end of December that a number of fans had been in contact – after hearing he was selling a pair of headphones to pay off some debts – to see if they could send donations to help him out. This idea came from The Durutti Column fans – amazing people that they are. This was not my idea, or me doing something without Vini’s knowledge or consent. And Vini was hugely grateful that his fans had chosen to react in this way – he was incredibly humbled by the positive help that was being offered. He said yes the fans could help if they wanted to, and we thought there might be a few donations that might go some way to covering a few of his debts. Vini had a £1,200 rent bill, which was for a number of months’ worth of rent, and dated back to before he had been assessed for disability allowance. In the end, we have been sent just over £4,000, which has meant that Vini has been able to pay off his outstanding rent bills and also paid off other debts he’s picked up during the time he’s been ill. As stated before, Vini is over the moon. His fans have been amazing, and he is not embarrassed by their support – he’s overjoyed, and it’s given him a new lease of life. The article also says that Vini “was not sure whether the donations had yet been processed.” Just to clarify, the money has been received and transferred to pay off Vini’s debts. It’s quite sad that a positive and life-affirming story has been spun to try and create a negative one. But we (Vini Reilly and Matt Reilly) wanted you – fans of The Durutti Column – to know that this story simply isn’t true. To ensure that the true story of Vini Reilly and The Durutti Column is told, Vini and I have been discussing something that we know a lot of fans have been waiting for – an official biography. We’ve talked about it for a while, but there seems no better time to let you all know that we’re going to write the official story together rather than have other people write unofficial ones. Thank you again to everyone who has provided support, whether it’s by donations, emails or tweets.
[I’ve just come off the phone to Vini, and he’s asked me to put out the following direct quote from him.]
Vini Reilly said:
“At first I was so utterly overwhelmed by the enormity and extent and the generosity and kindness and practical assistance that people have given me that it threw me a little. I felt humbled. I have their names and contact details of the people who donated and I’m looking at ways to give something back to these incredibly loyal people. Their help has enabled me to keep hold of my home and clear debts that should never have been accrued if the benefits office had got their act together. Furthermore, the only complaints I wanted to make were not on my behalf, but for the thousands of people who can’t get on stage, and can’t pay their bills – the voiceless people that successive governments have never taken care of. The acts of kindness that have been given to me by people who like my music have given me a fresh and more hopeful outlook and refreshed my belief in the basic decency that human beings are capable of showing each other. They have shown me kindness, empathy, love and affection, which is reciprocated. It’s hard to overstate how much this has helped, with the fans stepping in to initiate this, and my nephew facilitating it. I was skeptical that anything would happen, but this has been a life-changing moment for me, so that I can now reclaim my power of making music so that I can carry on playing my silly tunes for wonderful people. I’m trying to think of someway to repay all the people who’ve helped me, in order to thank them for their loyal and loving support. There are no words that can describe such kindness, but it’s a testament to human nature. In conclusion, I just simply want to say thank you to everyone concerned and I will find a way to repay your belief in me. Peace and love
Vincent Gerard Reilly
p.s. Without the constant support of many people close to me – especially Mr Bruce Mitchell, my favourite drummer, and Mr Les Thompson, William Rance, all my family and so many people (too many to name) I probably wouldn’t have been able to keep myself alive. This is not an exaggeration of the damage that three strokes have caused me. But even though I’ve had three major strokes, I believe that everyone who has listened to one of my records is repairing some of the damage. So, thank you.”