Dementia diagnosis for The Enid's Robert John Godfrey

Robert John Godfrey, The Enid Robert John Godfrey went straight to his GP after a "scary episode" driving his car

Related Stories

A musician who has led a cult British band for 40 years says he has "lost any fear" about being diagnosed with dementia.

Robert John Godfrey, of symphonic rock band The Enid, has been told he has the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

The 66-year-old musician and composer said the band can carry on without him.

"I'm not fearful of the future and I've made the decision to retire and I'm looking to stop participating on stage as soon as possible," he said.

Godfrey formed the group in Kent in 1974 and has been the only ever-present member during a 40-year career of ups and downs.

The Enid and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Robert John Godfrey said he will retire from live performance and the band would carry on without him

The band, which is currently a six-piece based in Northampton, was signed to EMI and Pye in the 1970s, but has released its albums independently since the 1980s, partly relying on financial support from fans.

More recently they filled the Birmingham Symphony Hall with accompaniment from the the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and poetry from graphic novelist Alan Moore.

Start Quote

While research has shown that dementia is the most feared condition for people over 50, it is possible to live well with it”

End Quote Chris Quince Alzheimer's Society
'Scary episode'

"I have had a great life doing nothing but music - I lost any fear of death many years ago and the story of my life will come full circle as indeed it must," he said.

Godfrey, who plays keyboards, said he went to the doctor after a "scary episode" in his car when he forgot how to get home.

"I was diagnosed with minimal cognitive impairment - I've still got all my marbles, but I'm not as fluent in marshalling my thoughts or remembering names and places.

"Creatively, it's unlikely I'll have problems with my ability to play until the very end.

"I'm hopeful I'm not somebody who will descend into frustration and anger and start throwing things.

"I hope I'll just gradually sink in to childhood and be a happy little thing, but there's no way of knowing how this is going to pan out."

Chris Quince, spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society, said: "While research has shown that dementia is the most feared condition for people over 50, it is possible to live well with it.

"A timely diagnosis is vital to enable this to happen as it opens the door to support, information and potential treatments.

"It also gives people the opportunity to plan for the future."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Northampton

Weather

Northampton

12 °C 6 °C

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.