Sorrow's Gift

I heard today that my friend Paul Jeffreys, better known to some in the advertising community as Squeeze, passed away this morning.

Paul and I were in business together in the 1990's. Our company was MacGregor Jeffreys and Co, Saatchi & Saatchi lured Paul away. I resented that. I had high hopes for our little business and we were starting to get traction.

Paul was great company, we both loved music, him more than me. We worked with music industry clients ranging from the Opera Company, Polygram, Naxos and The Record Industry Association of New Zealand - nearly all of whom Paul brought on board. It was a laugh while it lasted. I had so much fun.

Paul was unique. He could talk backwards (I'm sure he wouldn't mind me telling you that - he was quite pleased his talent - learned at Stowe, his boarding school).

He had the most prodigious memory of anyone I have ever met. We would practice submissions to clients and Paul would deliver the entire pitch, word perfect.

We did the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life together - suing a multinational corporation for breach of contract. We should have won but didn't. We should have settled. We didn't. Lesson:always settle your differences.

He was a big man. I hurt his feelings by calling him a 'fat bastard' to a mutual colleague when he left our business. I have regretted that careless remark ever since and it drove a wedge between us that was never really resolved. Paul was always gracious though and we had been promising to get together since Christmas last year. He had beautiful manners and I'm sorry mine weren''t a match for his.

Paul's life changed from advertising man to columnist, author and autobiographer, he chronicled his weight loss on television and in his books. That took great courage. I loved reading his columns in Player, the sports magazine. Paul was a great writer.

Most of all I reckon Paul had heart.

I'm proud to have known him.

It is strange. I felt the curious need to take a walk at lunchtime today. I took a book with me and sat in the Rose Garden near my office: The Meaning of Things by A.C. Grayson - Applying Philosophy to Life.

Sorrow's Gift:

"We never quite get over the sorrow caused by losing those most loved. We only learn to live with it, and to live despite it - which - and there is no paradox here - makes living a richer thing. That is sorrow's gift; though we never covet it ."

It moved me. I wrote it in my notebook.

I learned about Paul's passing this evening.


  1. I'm sorry to hear of your colleague and i hope all goes well for you.

  2. barbara.salt@ntlworld.com8:09 pm

    I was filled with admiration at the goal set by Paul and amazed at his determination. A man who, I felt, loathed himself at his heaviest. I was totally breathless when I read the dedication at the end of the filming of a recent t.v programme. I am sorry for his loss as he would have made it great in his new body.

  3. Rob Treacher8:47 am

    Very, nicely put. I am sure that your friend Paul would have appreciated your sentiments.

    "While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil." - John Taylor

  4. Nice David! Thinking of you sir.


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