I happened to mention the knackered state of one of my Kirsty MacColl CDs in the pub last night, and whilst trawling the web later for possible replacements, I was inspired to have a bit of a poke around to find out a bit more about her. Like many people, I guess, all I really knew was that she was the legendary Ewan MacColl‘s daughter, was married to renowned producer Steve Lillywhite for a while, worked with Billy Bragg and The Pogues amongst others, and was killed in a diving accident off the coast of Mexico in December 2000.
I was surprised to find out she’d collaborated with a lot more people in my CD collection than I’d imagined… Simple Minds, Eddi Reader, Brian Kennedy (okay, he’s not in my CD collection, but Julie likes him!) and Roddy Frame amongst others. The reports of her memorial concert read like a who’s who of intelligent pop from the 80’s… and no, I don’t believe that’s an oxymoron
Sadly, it seems there’s no imminent sign of justice for Kirsty, despite an eponymous campaign led by her 81-year-old mother Jean. The owner of the boat that caused her death, Guillermo Gonzalez Nova (a wealthy Mexican businessman, who has business interests in the UK in the form of CostCo), was on board at the time, and some eyewitness accounts place him at the helm as it powered through waters from which such craft were banned. Instead, however, an illiterate boathand was charged with negligent homicide and fined all of £61, and attempts to have Gonzalez Nova himself charged as the senior crewmember on board have failed because authorities “couldn’t find him”. Er, right.