R.I.P. Tim Cross, Adverts Collaborator and Musical Believer

Tim Cross RIP

Tim Cross RIP

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.

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14 comments on “R.I.P. Tim Cross, Adverts Collaborator and Musical Believer”

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  1. A lovely tribute to a talented musician. My condolences to his family and friends.

    • Yes agreed, a fitting tribute to a talented man, may his music live on, my condolences to all who new him.

  2. Tim is my beloved and precious brother. I thankyou for these kind and insightful words
    finding this lovely tribute to dearest Tim means more than you can know thankyou again!

  3. A great tribute – the only thing it missed is that he was also a really nice man; although I only met him the once, when we stayed at a B & B for a special gig he was doing with TV a few years back, he certainly left a lasting impression; full of fun and was kind enough to encourage my children in their musical ambitions with friendly advice.

    RIP

  4. I also hardly knew him but am deeply saddened by his passing. What remains of him now is his lovely spirit in our memories. Condolences to those close to him, and rest in peace, Tim.

  5. I was fortunate and privileged enough to have known and worked with Tim in the 90s. His energy and inspiration were and continue to be a huge influence. My sincere condolences to those he leaves behind.

    RIP Tim

  6. A fine piece of writing, thank you. I was lucky enough to enjoy over 30 years of Tim’s friendship, fun and wit. He first introduced me to TV when we visited their west London home and Gaye made us tea. They were a great combination of song writing and musical talent, I saw them perform live many times. It’s Tim’s funeral today, I’m sure we will give him a fitting send-off. Bless you Tim, you won’t be forgotten.

  7. Jeff Davis, Lumpy & the Lumpettes

    I have had the pleasure to have known and played with Tim Cross with the Robertsbridge band, Lumpy and The Lumpettes for the past 10 years. His humor and artistry never failed to amaze. His pure talent shone like an aura. He will be deeply missed. The last recorded video performance of Tim was with the Lumpettes, taken at a fund raising gig in April, to raise money for a Christmas party for the children of Robertsbridge, when even though he was ill, he was still putting back into the community he loved.
    Video can be viewed on YouTube.
    Lumpy & The Lumpettes

  8. Dunno what I can say that it is at all meaningful. Tim was one of my best friends, we met in 90s over an ill-fated musical called “Hogarth” and I was immediately impressed by his musicality and deeply empathic and sympathetic treatment of the performers in the show. He lived in Robertsbridge and I lived in Hastings for awhile and we saw a lot of each other. He came to visit us at our home in India and we came to see him whenever we were in the UK. Tim lived for music – and for other people- and his death is a profound shock to me, almost unreal still. I shall always miss him and his humour, his musicianship and his generosity. RIP Tim, I shall never forget you, man…..

  9. RIP Tim Cross. I knew Tim Cross. He lived in Robersbridge, East Sussex. My mad raver bongo playing Brother worked on some tracks with Tim Cross in his Robersbridge home studio in the early 90’s. Tim produced a CD called “Ambient Light” which features my Brothers bongo playing. I had a copy of this CD but it went missing. I would love to get hold of a copy of this CD agan. Evn my brother has not got a copy. there is If any one out there who knows where I can get a copy of this CD then please email me.I would be so made up if I can find a copy. Geoff, East Sussex.

  10. I knew Tim pretty well way back, when we shared the same piano teacher, and when he was at music college nearby. The last time we spoke was when he came out to see me after I went to a Tubular Bells concert (when I was at the same music college). Soon after, I ‘disappeared off the radar’ and I didnt know how to track Tim down.When I finally learnt some mysteries of the internet, I traced ‘Tim Cross’! -1 month too late.
    I havent wanted to intrude on the grief of those who were close to him. But I’d like to say now that sometimes much time passes way quicker than you realise…I always wanted to continue and grow my friendship with Tim-I cant add memories of him at this time, Im sorry -but I agree with whats been said. But Im still grieving about the Tim I didnt know (and was a month too late). -Didnt know as a person, and out of interest and fascination, about his musical directions -such a free spirit musically, and brilliant!
    I just wonder if now, I may ask if anyone who knew him -the person and /or the musician, would feel happy to tell me about him in all those later years (c.1979 onwards), I would love to hear about him ( and all the ways his creative genius had developed and was manifested -I would have really enjoyed interacting with him re that!) Thank you, Lyn. You can make contact on yesHeisgreat@googlemail.com Thanks

  11. I don’t know if this will be read as it is now four years since Tim died. My mother loved Tim and Nigel and she is now very ill. Tim was one of her most favourite people (apart from Nigel) in the whole world.

    My mother’s name is Judith Blyth. If there is any nice comment that you heard from Tim referencing her I would be very grateful. If you could let know me what he said. She loved Tim. And so did I – for the very short time I knew him. I didn’t know he had died until about 2 weeks ago. There’s a story attached and too difficult to type.

    • Hi Deborah,

      my name is Peter Cross and I am Tim’s eldest brother. Sadly our other brother Arvid has also died. I knew your mum a bit after Tim asked if I could write something about the ‘Piece of Cheese’ cottage that she was at that time trying to sell. I’d only sold a few newspaper pieces at the time but did get a piece about the place in the property pages of The Daily Telegraph. As the house was three sided the editor asked me to find and write another two places and told me where I could find them and was taken back when I did and wrote the piece. I felt so pissed off when the Telegraph took out my first paragraph I didn’t show it to anyone but a year later added it along with other cuts when trying to get something in The Times. The editor asked me to rewrite the piece for them so I put back all the material the Telegraph cut out and thos piece came out.

      I only met Judith a few times but could see why Tim and Nigel were so fond of her. I talked to Tim about collectors and collections once and he said he collected people. I never met anyone who had so many best friends. And they were such a wide and diverse bunch each an original. Tim always rated Judith’s art and the way she continued to carry on despite the lack of recognition. But the last time I discussed your mum with Tim he told me that belatedly she was starting to get some success.

      I thought the piece of Cheese was a wonderful place and it wasn’t just the odd shape that made it interesting there was a quirky colour scheme and stencils of grapes . If Judith is still around please send her my regards. Peter

  12. Please can anyone tell me why Tim fell out with Paul and Rick Martinez who joined The Adverts for their final tour? The documentary “We Who Wait” glosses over the entire of 1979 and fails to name these musicians except as “the Martinez brothers” and TV’s comment to the effect that they at last had a band that worked but then the same old arguments started – which apparently led to the break up of The Adverts.

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