In Loving Memory of Wim Oudijk

Wim Oudijk

It is with great sadness that I write about the recent passing of Wim Oudijk, my thoughts at this very sad time are with his family, friends and of course Bert x.

Wim passed away following a short illness on the International Day of Peace – 21st September.

“A massive loss to the world of alternative music” – Tom Robinson

60714_10151184809966310_844622143_n

Wim was a very special man and we have lost one of our very best. He was a musician, arranger and producer and possibly the nicest man I ever knew.

People will tell you that to really know a person you have to look them in the eyes, you have to meet them in person – well I am here to report that the greatest friendships can be borne out of the internet when two people invest so much love and care into the relationship.


Wim Oudijk was a massive breath of fresh air, he made me feel special and he was an absolute joy to spend time with; he was my best pal and was the greatest friend I had never met, he was like a member of my family — cherished and loved like a brother. If you set the rules of engagement you do not need to meet someone in person for them to have a massive place in your life.

And let me be frank: those who knew this wonderful man will totally understand how he touched lives and made you feel great about yourself, the sheer brilliance of his personality came bursting out of the optic fibres of the internet and reached so many with love, peace and understanding.

10624593_10203954651403243_1694485122665678580_n

We met online about 8 years ago and it was as friends rather than artists where we first established a strong connection and bond.

We shared an affinity for pop music from the left field and revelled in the wonderful community subculture of music that was bubbling up on the social network platform Myspace.

I can safely say I had never met anyone quite like Wim, and I doubt I ever will again. You hear people say “he was one of a kind” a lot, but on this occasion the phrase is perfect for this unique gentleman — they truly broke the mould with Wim.

301968_2557885463040_2140574391_n

When we first met I was so taken by his wonderful nature, sense of humour and sense of fun that I was surprised when Wim eventually asked me whether he could produce a version of my gentle love song Just To Let U Know for his album The Love Album. I hadn’t realised he was a long term music artist and producer of international repute as I had been too busy laughing with him and swapping stories of life and music. I was delighted to work with him and we started a lovely collaborative relationship that saw Wim produce a great many of my releases as Snippet and Johnno Casson – what a lovely journey we had!

Until the very end Wim worked on music because he lived for it and was brilliant at it; he told me it was the best distraction from what life throws at you and I greatly admired his strength and eternal optimism. He had an amazing talent as a producer and arranger and used to make my songs sparkle and make my voice sound the best it ever had, we were about halfway through my next Snippet album when he passed on, and he was sending me mixes as recently as last week.

I played back Wim’s mixes over the last few days just so I could be with him again and the subject matter of this new mix of my as yet unreleased song We Love You seemed so apt I am sharing this with you as I know so many of you, like me, loved this man

Wim worked with hundreds of artists and sprinkled his magic over so many releases, one of my favourites was on the song Collecting Skies by The Big I Am as I think it brilliantly aligns the gentle understated loveliness of the band with Wim’s deft production and string arrangements.

Wim Ouijk reached thousands of people and many of them have their own stories of how he supported them or made them laugh or brought out the sunshine or just spent time with them – I hope a few of you will leave comments below sharing your stories of Wim as I know how much joy, fun and goodness he brought to people’s lives through music and as a truly wonderful human being.

He once told me to always let the sun in, even if it’s cold outside you can switch to internal sunshine, just let it shine and do its thing. He taught that what we shared was not just a connection in melody and notes or seeing the good in people but in both having what he termed a sunny disposition.

I’ll miss him calling me bruv or his main man, I’ll miss his humour and his unflappable inner and outer joy and zest for life, I’ll miss seeing the joy he brought to others every day. I’ll remember the things he taught me and never forget the lessons he offered me (often without me realising), and when I see the sun coming out I will give thanks to a beautiful man called Wim.

Thanks for lighting up our lives bruv, we will do our best to let the light back in, have fun and be happy just as I know you would want us to be.

Switch to eternal sunshine.

Johnno
x

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom’s legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music – having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

11 Comments

  1. That’s a touching piece, Johnno. I’m sorry I never had the opportunity to meet Wim; clearly he’s had an immense impact on many people’s lives. My thoughts to his family and friends.

  2. A lovely send off fine Sir, we were both his brothers, guess that makes us related too. See he left a legacy;-)

  3. Wonderfully articulated squire. A true nurturing spirit where ever his leaves settled. Thank you J 4 putting this 2gether and thank U Wim 4 making our life colours richer 4 knowing U. Peace my brothers.

  4. Charles DeArmon

    When someone as special as you, writes such things about a person, then that person is truly outstanding. I’m sorry your friend has gone away… But I’m certain you two Buddies will laugh together again some fine day.

  5. About 7 years ago I got ill.

    I had a young family and I had a high profile and high pressured job and over the course of a few weeks, maybe a little longer I noticed I was getting badly fatigued when doing simple tasks.
    I noticed that when walking to a meeting or popping out to get lunch my body felt like it was full of concrete and at times my brain wasn’t acting like it should and I couldn’t remember how to do simple things.
    I pressed on thinking I just have a funny bug and it will pass but it didn’t pass and one day I was sitting in my office and I could not get up, I could barely move and it scared the life out of me – the brick wall I had feared I was about to hit finally did that – hit me square in the chops.

    With family support I got home and was sent for bed rest, my doctor agreed that something was wrong and signed me off work to undergo tests.
    Long story short, I was housebound for over a year as I underwent all manner of tests, including invasive heart procedures as the medical experts felt I had a faulty heart. I couldn’t manage more than a few steps or couldn’t do simple household tasks and I was basically stuck in a chair.

    I had lost my work which had filled so much of my time, I lost my ability to do things with my family and I lost all of my friends and social networks as I was stuck at home in another town (Colchester) when everyone I knew was in London.

    Finally I got a diagnosis for the condition that impacts my life to this day but here’s the thing – I am not writing this to pull attention to me or to say woe is Johnno, no, I am telling this tale because throughout this period there was one person who kept me going above all others outside of my family and that person was Wim Oudijk.

    We had already started a musical collaborative relationship and I was extremely blessed that there were 2 things i could continue to do whilst being ill
    1.continue to write songs just as I had done since I was 15 and
    2.use the internet

    Wim was my saviour, he gave me support, love and the sweet possibility of making music and along with my beautiful wife and children and people like Tom Robinson, Pete McPartland, Bobby Wotnot and Duggy Degs I slowly got back on the horse again.

    I had started to get insomnia and would find myself wide awake in the early hours of the morning and who was there to chat to, make me laugh and pick me up? Wim

    I had lost my confidence and who (alongside my wife) helped give me it back? – Wim

    I had lost my dignity as a man and lost all outlets to the world and to a normal life and who gave me a technicolor online world to get lost in? Wim

    I had lost all my friends and who came along and filled that massive gap? Wim

    I was broken and more than almost anyone – Wim fixed me

    And I bet there are so many people like me with similar stories of what Wim did for them and what he meant to them.

    I will smile every time I think of him and never forget the man he was, it was a true pleasure to know him

    I am deeply saddened by his loss as we lost one of our very best humans but I am also fully aware that he would be the first one to say – pay your respects sure but c’mon people – let’s have some fun, let’s enjoy life, let’s appreciate the day ahead with so many possibilities of wonderfulness.

    Let the sun shine and smile – its a wonderful life and its there for the taking – grab it with both hands people
    x

  6. Ady Johnson

    A touching and lovely tribute Johnno. Here’s to that ‘eternal sunshine’. x

  7. Thanks for all of the kind words

    Johnno
    x

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Episode 190: Dressed to Kill | The Epileptic Gibbon podcast music show
  2. Fresh Faves: Batch 214 | Fresh On The Net
  3. Episode 195: A Festive Special In Memoriam | The Epileptic Gibbon podcast music show

Comments are now closed for this article.