Object Details

Memorial to Rob Needham

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Makers
General Information
Classification
Object Parts
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History
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Copyright for Photograph:

Steve Needham

Location

Street:Lewes Road
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Garden
and in:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Parking spaces, east side of The Level
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:162
Grid reference:G4
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Company/Group :Friends and family of the deceased
     Role:Assistant

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General Information

Construction period:25 September - October 2005
Installation date:25/09/2005
Work is:Lost
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Dilapidated car, decorated with graffiti, floral and written tributes as a temporary memorial to 'Punky Rob' (Rob Needham, 1972 - 2005). A homeless guitarist who died from a heroin overdose at the West Pier Project, Regency Square, Brighton on 25th September 2005. He slept in the car when he had nowhere else to go.
Inscription:Various written inscriptions including on passenger side of car body:

'never hurt noone loved by everyone
sleep tight my old mate
love Jung Jung (?)

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Classification

Categories:Commemorative, Temporary, Roadside / Wayside
Object type1:Readymade
Subject type1:Symbolic
Subject type2:Figurative
Subject type3:Pictorial

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Object Parts

Part 1:N reg. Vauxhall Astra Car
     Material:Sleeping bags, flowers, paper messages, tributes

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Object Condition

Condition 1 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, Deterioration
     More details:Car dilapidated, floral tributes etc. decaying.
Date of on-site inspection:20/10/2005

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History

History:Information also provided to Jill Seddon by sister of deceased in discussions at the site on 20 October 2005.

'A fond farewell to Punky Rob'
(first published Tuesday 11th Oct 2005.)
Friends of a popular homeless guitarist who has died have decorated his car with loving messages.
Rob Needham, 33, better known as Punky Rob, played with a number of punk and metal bands including Mutant Cells, The Black Hat Band and Sperm of Doom.
He also busked outside The Spa, in Lewes Road, Brighton, where he would happily chat with passers-by.
After battling for years with Brighton and Hove City Council to get housed, Rob was eventually taken in by The West Pier Project, in Regency Square, which helps drug addicts get back on their feet.
Rob had become addicted to heroin in the early Nineties and was determined to kick the habit but was found dead from an overdose at the project on September 25 - just two days after he arrived.
Rob, also an alcoholic, would often sleep in a car parked at The Level. Friends have transformed the vehicle into a vigil commemorating the Brighton-born man.
His brother, Steve Needham, 36, of Old Shoreham Road, Southwick, has inherited Rob's 16-year-old mongrel Cabbage. He said a tribute gig was being organised in memory of his brother.
Mr Needham said: ''Everyone knew him around town. Old ladies would stop and talk to him because he was such a nice guy. He had a great sense of humour.
''He had charisma. But he got involved in drugs over a period of years and it ended up ruining his life. You only get one shot at life, and I ended up nagging him so much to quit drugs that it created a distance between us.
''He was nearly there and could have got himself better. The last time we saw each other, he said he loved me. That was great.''
About six years ago Rob featured in the Channel 4 series Best Friends. The episode showed Rob and his friend Chris Savage, also homeless at the time.
Another friend, Brighton-based tattooist Stephen Griffin, 36, grew up with Rob.
He said: ''He was like my brother, and I loved him. He was one of a kind, and had the time of day for everybody. He could listen to anyone with a story. It didn't matter who you were, he wouldn't judge you.
''He made one mistake and paid for it with his life. I'm angry at him because it's such a waste of a beautiful person.''
Rob's funeral is at Downs Crematorium, in Bear Road, Brighton, at 2.15pm on Thursday.
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:Brighton Argus
     Type:Newspaper
     Author:Kwintner, Adrian.
     Date:11/10/2005


Further information:
http://www.punkyrob.fotopic.net/
http://archive.theargus.co.uk/2005/10/11/203955.html

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Photographs





Date: 10/2005
Copyright: Steve Needham




Date: 10/2005
Copyright: Steve Needham




Date: 10/2005
Copyright: Steve Needham




Date: 10/2005
Copyright: Steve Needham

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