My Obituary. By Me
“My aim in life is to be remembered.” Not my words – they were spoken to me by what’s his name on the other end of my block. They’re my sentiments too, though, so I’ve written out my all-too-often unsung life’s achievements for “The Times” obituary column when I go, which I hope won’t be for some time yet (my bookie feels the same way).
At the age of 13, Tony built the first cellular communication device. Sadly he was legally blocked by the Trade Descriptions Act when he tried to market the 40lb, 3’ by 2’ by 1’ product as a Mobile Phone.
His literary leanings took him to Oxford University. Elected President of the Union, he spoke in the famous debate “This house believes the British should get out of India”. The event happened twenty years beforehand, which did not detract from the truth of his arguments.
Tony Kirwood became a key figure in 1960s Swinging London. He introduced Keith Richards to the (literally) revolutionary reversed strings-next-the-body guitar technique. This was used in “Jumping Jack Flash” - the title referred to Keith’s electrocuted dance.
In the early 1990s Tim Berners-Lee contacted Kirwood in desperation, having hit a mental block trying to invent the World Wide Web. “I just can’t get it to work” said Tim. Tony looked behind the machine and said, “Try putting that plug in”. The rest is history.
Danny Boyle, stuck for ideas for the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, had no choice but to ring Kirwood up for advice. Boyle’s original concept was for a brass band to play “Floral Dance” while the audience held up cigarette lighters. “It’ll take James Bond to rescue that idea,” said Kirwood. Boyle replied “You’ve got it!”
Tony Kirwood leaves behind a wife, some baffled relatives and 37 unpaid bills.