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.