Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Screen Door Slams – Michael Copley

I have no idea how Michael Copley died (the news of his passing has spread on facebook and twitter) but I am completely shaken by it, and I want to say goodbye here.

Michael Copley was not a close friend of mine, but he was a long time institution. I saw him intermittently, mainly bumping into him at the Gardens Centre, and we worked together a couple of times; him as an actor and me as Art Dept, my all time worst work on movie and ad sets.

Michael and I shared a deep and lasting love for Bruce Springsteen. Every time I saw Michael he would quote a Springsteen song; and once he ran after me through the aisles of Pick ‘n Pay singing the whole of “Badlands” at the top of his (deeply beautiful) voice. Once he did a beautiful, spontaneous “I’m on Fire” while I tried to get to my car in the Gardens Centre parking lot.

I saw him at the Gardens Centre on Thursday. He called me over to where he was sitting and sang me, “Screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways, like a vision she dances across the porch, as the radio plays.” I replied “Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, hey it’s me and I want you only.” And I left with a bounce in my step; Thunder Road is my all time favourite Springsteen song.

Michael, I have no idea what happened. I hope you’re on your own Thunder Road, with the wind in your hair. Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.

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5 Comments

  1. Christine

    Wow, that’s sad news. I also didn’t know him that well but whenver i saw and spoke to him he was larger than life, upbeat and always with warm welcomes. sad. RIP Michael

  2. jane dederick

    I knew Michael in his early teens as he and my brother were great friends and classmates at Rondebosch Boys, Although i have not seen him for 30 years hte person you describe is very much as I remember him – warm, ebuillent, affectionate, singing songs and fooling about, and a strong, dynamic energy and intense senistivity to peope’s tastes and moods … my mother adored him as an energetic and creative visitor who brightened up her domestic life and they had a special bond. From looking at his website I see that he also wrote poetry and I was very struck by the poem to his guardian angel on that site. Michael, it looks like you went through quite a journey of hard work and transformation in your adult years. I am so sad to think you are no longer on this planet. Rest in peace. Much love to your family. From Jane and on behalf of Bobby and Charlotte Dederick.

  3. Janine Jordaan

    I first heard Michael’s poetry in August of 2007 and was amazed by the man’s talent. A friend of mine played his Messages from Trees CD whilst doing Reiki on me and I immediately wanted to know who Michael Copley was and where she got the CD. She told me that she received the CD as a gift from friends. The very next day I phoned Michael and ordered a copy of Messages from Trees as well as Meditations from Africa. I loved giving his CD’s as gifts. Michael and I spoke over the phone a few times and he would read me some of his new poetry. Michael Copyley was a most special being and I will miss him greatly. You are riding the waves of the cosmic sea now Michael – see you on the other side my friend!

  4. Liz

    Michael sadly ahd not been well lately, and had been suffering from high blood pressure. He was found dead in his flat and according to the autopsy it was natural causes either a stroke or a heart attack

  5. I remember michael as a talented and exceptionally friendly teenager at Rondebosch boys high. Michaell lived near us and stood out amongst his peers.
    I am saddened to hear of his passing and wish his immediate family well.
    Gareth Jones E76 Cornwall UK

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