17 May 2022

Magee On Music: A man you don't meet every day

He was one of the good guys and we will miss him sorely

Magee On Music: A man you don't meet every day

The late Lyndon Stephens. Photo: Stuart Baillie

“He was one of the good guys and we will miss him sorely,” said Joshua Burnside before dedicating the Pogues song to him on Friday week last, 10 January.
Lyndon Stephens died that morning after battling stoically against illness.
His record label, Quiet Arch, was already planning to go into hiatus due to his illness and had planned a farewell gig in the Belfast Empire for that very evening. As fate would have it, it became his wake.
I am a firm believer in the human spirit being how people remember you and I prefer to gather other people’s memories for things like this.
Ryan Vail: “The man that gave me a career in music, toured me around the world, put me on tv, put me on radio, made me a headline festival artist, got me sound tracking, got me remixing, got me producing, got me talking on some of the most important industry panels, got me the most prestigious funding awards my manager, friend, label partner Lyndon Stephens.“I was his very first signing nine years ago and stayed with him the whole time. We released together, toured together started labels together, found acts together and had hours of phone calls together daily.
“To be honest it’s been so so difficult to comprehend. I'm really grateful for the memories we shared together.“RIP Lyndon, thank you for changing my life”
Ciaran Lavery: “I first met Lyndon Stephens at Output, Belfast. He didn’t know me or owe me anything but kept putting me forward to talk to the local press that were at the event.
“After the show, he asked if I’d like to chat to him about working together.
“Over the course of the next five years we broke down so many walls and glass ceilings. We spoke on the phone three for four times a day every day. I could call him at ungodly hours and he always answered, he was always there, Lyndon loved to talk. He was an incredible human being with a wonderful family and friends circle.
“I know that when any friend/musician needed advice of funding I pointed them towards Lyndon and if he had the time, he gave it willingly. I have an incredible amount of memories. I will miss my old friend so dearly, but in truth, I am truly blessed to have met Lyndon Stephens”.
Francesca O’Connor, from Quiet Arch ,said “Lyndon Stephens, a man who wanted to make a genuine difference to this world, give the underdogs a platform to shine and to show the world the incredible talent coming out of Northern Ireland.
“He set up an artist management company, Champion Sound Music and record label, Quiet Arch, to put Northern Ireland artists on the international stage. I will forever be grateful to him for hiring me as a trainee artist manager 2.5 years ago.
“As a young female with little experience but an eagerness to learn, he gave me a chance. I can only take inspiration from his creativity, decisiveness, determination and unwavering passion to succeed to carry on what he started.
“Not long ago, he sent me the poem 'Go All The Way' by Charles Bukowski and I can't think of a better way to describe his tenacious spirit.”
She concluded: A loving husband, father, sister and friend, Lyndon is undoubtedly one in a million and will never be forgotten”.
Ben Magee, also of Quiet Arch said “Lyndon’s biggest strength, and of those he had many, was when he believed in you, you knew about it. He was never one to shower you with praise, but if you had Lyndon in your corner, he made you feel like you could conquer the world.
“A profound, hilarious individual who was always one step ahead of everyone else in the room, Lyndon never spent a second of his life saying goodbye.
“He always had his eyes fixed squarely on the horizon, eyebrows raised, a mad cackle dancing on the corner of his mouth. He was a mentor, a confidant, an always open ear and a friend. And I will miss him dearly.”
My memories of Lyndon are very similar to Ciaran’s and probably most other people’s. he was always willing to help and preferred to talk over the other means of communication.
If I ever went off the deep end with one of my rants at the music scene here Lyndon would message me quickly to calmly explain how things worked and how I might be right but mostly how I was wrong.
It always began with a text message but was always swiftly abandoned in favour of a chat. Always knowledgeable and always reasonable
I will truly miss the advice and am forever grateful for the counsel.

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