Death of Benny Adams. Revolutionary Socialist N.Ireland
by John Throne
I have had four people and now Benny who were close to me die in the last two months. As a man who is politically backward, Willie Nelson, but musically gifted, said: "Funny how time just slips away." That is what seems to be happening.
I always thought of Benny Adams as "Wee Benny." A term of endearment and friendship and Comradeship. I first met Benny in a Comrade's house in Belfast in the early 1970's. I was a full timer at the time for the CWI. I was told that I needed to come along to meet these three guys, I think all from Protestant backgrounds, and from Ballymena. They already had their own wee group, the three of them. My memories is they were already organized as a group even to the extent of collecting regular subs. I think if my memory is right we had a discussion about amongst other things that it would not be a good idea to take physical action against one of them who was falling behind in paying. We explained the usual position. Discipline comes out of consciousness and the need to raise the Comrade's consciousness. I think we succeeded in convincing the Comrades. It was not a bad achievement to come out of Ballymena as a small socialist group. Wee Benny was the main man.
Benny. Men and Women cannot live by bread alone. But the left seems to think they can. They think that the revolutionary movement can live on perspectives and program and tactics and organizational details. This is not so. Why do we not think more about these giant churches and their hundreds of millions of members in spite of their garbage ideas. They use music, they use drama, they use art. Not so much dance as this can get out of hand and be too hard to control and too sexual. Why am I bringing this up in relation to Benny? What a great musician he was. I can always remember him with his guitar singing Waltzing Matilda, the anti war version. He would bring the room to silence. He would leave us all reflecting on ourselves and our world. He would make everybody there want to come back to the next meeting and social and struggle we organized.
Thank you Benny. I am very sorry that I will not hear you sing and play again.