Edinburgh DJ Lenny Love dies age 74 - tributes pour in for 'amazing character'

Lenny has been described as 'a warm, caring funny man'.
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Tributes have poured in for former DJ Lenny Love who has died, age 74.

Edinburgh-born Lenny had a long and colourful career in the music industry including as a tour manager for Simple Minds. He was well-known as a founder of club Vegas and award-winning presenter on Radio Forth.

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But eight years ago he trained as a celebrant and said he had discovered his true calling. He considered it 'the ultimate privilege' to conduct ceremonies for weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies.

Lenny died at his home in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, on Wednesday, February 20 in the care of nurses from St Columba's Hospice. He had collapsed after conducting a wedding at the Balmoral Hotel in August and was taken into the Royal infirmary where he spent three months before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Ward of the Western General Hospital.

Tim Maguire from humanist organisation Celebrate People said: “With that voice and that name, I knew Lenny would be popular, and he was. But far more importantly, it gave him a whole sense of new purpose. He told me – and everyone else he knew - that becoming a Humanist Celebrant was the best and most rewarding thing he’d ever done in his life!”

Tim first met Lenny in 1980 while DJing at Buster Browns and later encouraged Lenny to become a celebrant. He added: "Lenny was coming in with all the records that were hot at the time. We became friends and we have been close ever since. The last few months were difficult for Lenny. I think I started grieving when he first became ill. I miss him but am grateful that he's no longer suffering."

Tributes pour in for DJ and celebrant Lenny LoveTributes pour in for DJ and celebrant Lenny Love
Tributes pour in for DJ and celebrant Lenny Love
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Lenny first started DJing parties in the 1960s before joining Island Records. Inspired by punk, he formed indie label Sensible Records in 1977 to give art school rockers, The Rezillos, their first shot at stardom, before going on to work for Bruce Findlay and Simple Minds.

After ten years working in radio stations in Melbourne he returned to Edinburgh, where he was one of the founders of the popular Vegas Nightclub under the stage name Dino Martini. Lenny also worked as a presenter and producer at Radio Forth, which saw him scoop a prestigious Sony Radio Award.

Broadcaster Bruce Findlay said, "Lenny has been a good friend of mine for over 50 years. Our record shop days when he brought people like Tom Petty and Ian Dury into my shop in Rose St. or his involvement with me when I managed Simple Minds and Lenny worked as a quite amazing tour manager for the band for several tours. Lenny was an amazing character; eccentric and funny, but most of all a lovely human being.”

Alan Forbes, from The Rezillos, said: "Lenny brought his positivity and buoyancy to the mix as our first manager in the early days of the Rezillos as a young new band. His profile in the music circles helped in spreading the word, and ultimately connecting us with Sire Records which propelled the band to further successes. Good on yer, Lenny!”

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Gerrie and Susan Douglas-Scott, the founders of Celebrate People, said: “What can we say about Lenny? A star among Celebrants, a warm caring funny man who saw and brought out the best in the people who he supported.

"And there were many of you. Families who were grieving a loss and couples in love, wee babies joining families and communities, young people coming of age. Lenny was there for everyone and was interested in all of your lives.

"Lenny’s wit made sure that ceremonies were always full of fun and laughter and of course LOVE as he understood this to be the essence of human connection. Lenny loved being a Love and we all did too.

"As co-founders of Celebrate People we were honoured to know and love Lenny and endeavoured to support him in his last days surrounding him with our loving thoughts meditations and care. For those of you who knew Lenny, he has touched your lives, so cherish these memories of an incredible man."

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A rock ‘n’ roller at heart, Lenny decided years ago that when the time came, he would “do a David Bowie”. Like the enigmatic pop star, he opted to have an anonymous, unattended cremation.

It's hoped that a memorial will be held for Lenny in the coming months. Tim added: "I think it can be hard to have a funeral when you are grieving and try to celebrate someone's life at the same time. The hope is that we can all get together soon and properly celebrate his life. It'd be nice if it could be on or around our joint birthday."

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