Martin Cox 1950 - 2014
Martin Cox, our Saxophonist, sadly passed away on the 28th December 2014. On the 22nd January 2015, funeral services were held at Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs and Thanet Crematorium, Margate. These services were followed by a Celebration of his Life, held at the Pavilion, Broadstairs.
Martin was born on the 6th May 1950, in Ramsgate and lived in the Thanet area of Kent his whole life. After leaving school, he worked as a car bodywork sprayer; a social care-worker; and after gaining a qualification, taught at the Royal School for Deaf Children, in Margate.
It was always a fact that "Soul" and "Funk" Music was his love. Martin’s main musical influences were Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, James Brown and The Morrisey Mullen Band. Dick Morrisey became a very good friend of his. Martin was very knowledgeable on music and listened to all styles, such as ‘Jazz‘, ‘Reggae’ and ‘Ska‘.
In the years to come, this proved fortunate for "Beggars Belief".
Martin started learning to play the saxophone in 1983. By 1985, he was gigging alongside his best friend from the age of 15, Denny Barter. They were among two of the co-founder members of the successful band ‘EK1‘, who are still performing. The following years saw him working on his own solo projects. He played with many bands including, "Peddlar", "The Jeff Barker Band", and duo performances and groups with long time close friend, Lawrie Bolton. When the opportunity arose he always loved checking out bands on the local music scene.
Unfortunately, in January 2006, Martin was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was obviously a terrible blow to himself and his family . After leaving hospital in February 2007, wheelchair bound, he was given a life expectancy of three months to a year.
But "Music" was his medicine and it kept him going.
He organised and performed in a number of successful benefit and charity gigs, involving "EK1" and "Beggars Belief", raising over £20,000 of much needed money for the Pilgrims Hospice.
Martin first met with the "Beggars" at the end of 2010, after being invited to one of our rehearsals in Birchington. He informed us of his illness immediately, but this did not deter us from welcoming him to our band.
He loved what the band was about and joined us, embracing the thought of creating, writing and being involved in new ideas of the ever-evolving music "Beggars Belief" were offering!
Settling in straight away, it was clear that this man had talent and a great sense of humour. That suited us! His comments and antics would have us, sometimes, unable to rehearse and crying with laughter.
This was going to be fun and it was!
Over the next four years we had together, with a variety of line-ups, we performed at festivals, weddings, functions, clubs, pubs, bars and cafes. We also busked on the streets, which was one of his favourite things to do, meeting people and making new friends.
On stage he was a true professional.
During a radio interview, he said that he was “chuffed” at getting into Beggars Belief. When asked about t.v. talent shows he said, “We have no sob stories. We could never go on X-Factor because we’re too happy!” Typical of him ; always joking, never complaining!
At times, during Martin’s illness, we brought in Suzanne Wood on saxophone when he was unable to play. An accomplished player and teacher, she had been a follower of the band from the early days and struck up a close friendship with Martin. There were a number of gigs when they would even appear together and he would tell her, “Don’t get above your station. Play some bum notes.” He would affectionately call her "that bitch", even to her face, but she never minded. It was Martin!
Martin once said, “The point is friendship and the joy of playing with great musicians.” Beggars Belief would like to state that he was a great musician and it was a joy and a privilege for us to play with a wonderful friend!
If one word sums him up, that word is "SPIRIT".
Martin is deeply missed by the band and all that knew and played with him. He will remain in our hearts and our music forever.
So Much Love,