POMPEY POP

TERRY SHULMAN

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I’d just posted the message below then found this one from Nigel:

Terry 1974

Farewell to Terry Shulman.

“At 9pm on Friday evening I received a phone call from Phil Shulman who from 1970 to 1973, was multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the local progressive rock band Gentle Giant. It was a sad call in which he told me that his brother Terry, and my friend since the 1960s, had died that morning. Pre-dating Gentle Giant the band had been called Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, brothers, Derek, Phil and Ray Shulman were founding members of the six strong group who played some of the best soul music on the local scene. Though Terry wasn’t in the band, he was their road manager for a while. His brothers expressed themselves through their music and Terry expressed himself through his colourful modern art, (his life’s work of canvasses filled a room at his flat), he and I often used to exhibit our work at the arches in Old Portsmouth on Sundays. Terry wrote poems and was a member of the Portsmouth Ranters, and also a  sculptor making models of animals and birds from paper mache and wire. He was also an entertainer, often dressing as a clown and playing his instruments at indoor and outdoor social functions.

During the 1970s/1980s he ran a Saturday morning art club in a church hall just off Somer’s Road for the children of Somerstown. He funded the hiring and all the art materials etc. from his wages as a street cleaner. Musicians and audiences in clubs and pubs over the years may remember seeing Terry at the side of the stage usually joining in with his trumpet, bongos or drum. Terry was a quiet and reserved character, so side of stage was where he preferred to be and that’s where I first saw him at a Simon Dupree gig at Portsmouth Guildhall in 1966. A week later I saw him in the Indigo Vat in Hampshire Terrace and I asked him why he was at the side of the stage and he told me that three of the musicians in the group were his brothers. We became friends and spent many good evenings in the Apsley, the Palmerston, Pomme D’or, Tricorn club, Soul Parlour, on the beat cruises and at the first Isle of Wight Festival at Godshill in 1968.

In the 1970s Terry and I decided to form a group with me on guitar, my wife Audrie on a cheap reed organ and Terry on trumpet, we used to practice (make a row) at his house in Canterbury Road, but our mixture of instruments were never the right assortment for the things we wanted to play and when late one night in the Sallyport Hotel in Old Portsmouth, the manager of the South Parade Pier offered us a gig, we chickened out and decided to abandon our musical efforts! Over the years our paths diverged, we kept in touch infrequently until he vanished from the scene. I traced him to the Q.A. hospital where he had been taken after being found collapsed on the floor of his flat and had lain undiscovered for two days. He was in the Q.A. for many months until he was discharged to a care home in St. Ronan’s Road. He had suffered three strokes and the result of those and other ailments severely hampered his movement and the ability to use his hands. The uncontrolled shaking in his arms eventually made artwork impossible, but he drew until he could no longer hold a pencil.

Two months ago he relapsed and was hospitalized again before returning to the care home for the last time. Plans were underway for an exhibition of his artwork and poetry at the Portsmouth Music Experience exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall. Terry’s artwork has always had an underground following but his very individualistic style has never received the recognition it deserves. The last time I saw Terry was on Tuesday afternoon, along with my wife, Chris and Jan who run the Caravan Gallery (http://thecaravangallery.photography/about/) and Phil Freeman and although Terry was aware we were there, he was clearly not well . As we left I looked back from the door, Phil Freeman was the last to say goodbye to him, adding in that great projected voice of his, “You’re going to have an exhibition at the Guildhall Terry.” We like to think Terry understood that and after all the years in the artistic jungle, he knew that his work will be displayed for people to appreciate in a proper gallery setting.” The exhibition will make interesting viewing and will be a fit and proper way to remember Terry as a Portsmuthian who had many artistic and musical talents.

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Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

5 thoughts on “TERRY SHULMAN

  1. A real one off character and a lovely, lovely man. He lived at a housing cooperative in Southsea for a while in the late 80’s/early 90’s, as did my stepdaughter Danielle. He was always very kind to Danielle and her son Aaron, who both thought the world of him. Terry would do anything for anyone without any thought of recompense. Always first at the Southsea folk & Roots Festivals on the Pier, and always tried hard to make sure that the bar took enough money! Bless ye, Terry, you were one of the good guys……

  2. Terry was a fantastic brother. For many years my family made the journey back from NYC to Portsmouth at the end of the year to celebrate the holidays and new year with my mother and Terry, My kids loved hanging out with Terry who would show up at mom’s house with the Sunday newspapers and plasticine putty to make models with them.
    We would go down to his local where I was always amazed by how many people Terry would know and who had been touched by his friendship and his artistic creativity.
    RIP Terry..
    You are deeply missed by us all.
    DS

  3. God bless mate…………..We’lre gonna make sure that ‘the other Shulman’ and his extraordinary talent become part of our city’s heritage………………R I P Terry….

  4. RIP terry. We did many gigs with him, I have his poetry books, a painting too. A true one off. Myself and andy recorded some of his poetry and andy (a while ago) put a web page up. The recordings are in boxes somewhere (I have just moved house) but here is a link to the web page
    https://web.archive.org/web/19991010024307/http://www.btinternet.com/~themagiccat/poetry/poetry.html
    Kev

  5. My uncle Terry will be missed. We had so many fond memories visiting Portsmouth at my grandmothers house. Terry would always stop by and spend Christmas and New Years together. He was such a talented artist and loving uncle. He will be missed. RIP Terry.

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