I was saddened to hear of the passing of a good friend and long-time collaborator, Taisto (Tise) Vahimagi, who fell victim to his love of Marlboro Red.
I was introduced to Tise by his fellow-Cardiffman, the fine artist Rob Lee, in 1976. Rob had heard I was putting together a magazine about fantasy films and knew of Tise's passion for such and his desire to become a writer.
So began almost a decade of working together as Tise became a key contributor, first to Monster Mag, then House of Hammer and on to Starburst. In fact, it was while working on House of Hammer that Tise met then-script editor of Hammer Films, Chris Wicking, now also sadly passed away. Together they wrote the 1979 bible of US TV, The American Vein, before Tise went on to a long-lasting career with the British Film Institute where he authored such work as the BFI's indispensible Illustrated Guide to British Television (1994).
Along with fellow film historian and author John Brosnan, Tise and I spent many highly enjoyable evenings and weekends together during those heady days.
I'm sure I speak for many who knew Tise personally or through his never-less-than excellent work when I say that, at 62, he died far too young.
Below is the only photo I have of Tise, taken on one of those wild Seventies weekends, with him flanked by yours truly (seated) and the equally much-missed John Brosnan - and a colorful dress in the background which we all disowned, despite John's pointing finger!
I'd love to think that there's a pub in the sky somewhere, with Tise, John and Chris all resident there, arguing frantically over the merits or otherwise of the latest crop of horror films!