Earlier today it was announced that TV Smith’s long time friend and main collaborator Tim Cross succumbed to lung cancer just months after being diagnosed with the disease. As fans will know Tim Cross played keyboards on the massively underrated second Adverts album Cast of Thousands, joined them for a live farewell tour and featured on many classic TV Smith albums, from Channel 5 up to 2003’s Not a Bad Day.
The recent Adverts/TV Smith documentary We Who Wait showed Tim Cross as a very loyal and supportive music fan with great instincts, who stuck by TV Smith in the face of discouragement from virtually all sides of the business.
Tim Cross perhaps seemed an unlikely addition to The Adverts fast and jarring musical dynamic back in 1979, with his previous experience playing in the Mike Oldfield band, but he understood Tim’s intentions perhaps better than anyone, and refused to confine the sound to the singular narrow vision of punk’s adopted dogma.
His influence proved a punk record could also be an ambitiously arranged and inventively textured experience, straddling many styles without compromising the passion and integrity of the message. TV Smith had bigger ideas, and Tim Cross was the right man for the job in terms of putting it all together and reaching out to an audience hungry for something genuinely different that embraced change and development with each subsequent release.
He also worked with a wide variety of other artists such as The Upsetters, The Skids, Doll By Doll, Fleetwood Mac, Hall & Oates, and Sponge.
His passing is a profound loss for friends and family as well as everyone who champions open-mindedness and creativity in music, may he rest in peace.