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John The Finn

October 19, 2017

From Mick Brophy

Hi Simon,

You’ve done a great job on the MySpace site!

I think Keith’s wrong and John the Finn did not commit suicide, rather he was pushed under a train at Birmingham New Street.

When The Cheaters were about to do our first tour of Scandinavia, we though John, with all his languages, and being a seasoned crew member for all sorts of 70’s bands behind the iron curtain, would be perfect. I contacted Brian Devoile, who then tried to contact John for me. He was put through to the Police and given the 3rd degree, John having just died. Brian was seriously shaken about this – not just John’s death but the manner in which he was quizzed.

OK, maybe suicide. However John had friends in Turku, Finland, a band call The Fabrics who we tried to help out. The Cheaters did our first gig of the Finnish tour at Turku and the Fabrics came to say thanks. They told us his body had been returned to Turku for burial and expressed utter astonishment that we did not know of his clandestine political activities. Quote “Didn’t you know (impleid: he was a spy)”?

As soon as they said this you re-run what you know about the guy. Trash backdrop – revolutionary art – picked by John. The guy had no material needs whatsoever (he lived in our cellar for God’s sake). Brilliant linguist – fluent in many East Bloc languages. Went from East to West at random in vans full of difficult to search band and PA gear. And not forgetting Finland was THE cross-roads for spys of both sides during the cold war – the government ran a tightrope of pleasing both Russia and the West.

My guess – he was a courier. But for who?

Can anyone offer any further information ?

Cheers

Mick

Rooftop

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