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Oldest heavy metal fan in county, Owen Brown, goes out in true rocker style
WEOBLEY said goodbye to a unique character on Tuesday as the self-proclaimed “oldest heavy metal fan in the world” went out like a true rocker.
Owen Brown, who died on August 14 aged 87, was played out by Megadeth.
Working on local farms all his life, he was described by Rev Bob King as a “true countryman” who was, in all other aspects of his life, gentle, loving and kind.
There was no Mohawk under his flat cap; he took great pride in raising a large, happy family and working the land – he just did so to a soundtrack that would have sent the Wurzels running for the hills.
“It’s like he had this secret life,” said son Pedro, one of five children surviving Owen, who remembers his Dad exiled to the shed to blast out rock and roll on his radiogram.
There he tended his vegetable garden, fixed his children’s bike tyres, and listened to Def Leppard.
“It wasn’t until my friends started coming round that I realised how unusual that was,” said Pedro.
As the years went on, Owen’s tastes grew heavier.
Iron Maiden and Judas Priest took over from Cream and Pink Floyd.
After retiring, Owen’s late-night Planet Rock sessions and heavy metal tendencies were soon known far beyond Weobley.
After featuring on television at 82, Owen became a YouTube sensation with one copy of the clip being viewed by more than 370,000 people.
His new found fame led to messages from bands around the world, posters and CDs from Def Leppard and Black Sabbath and celebrity status at home in Weobley.
“He brought a smile to everyone,” said Pedro, who himself plays drums in jazz and world music bands.
“My dad inspired me all throughout my life – for my music and to be happy, kind and loving to all people.”
While the whole village knew the kind country man who rocked, to his family first and foremost he will always be a husband and father who went out of his way to help others.
“He was the most generous, unselfish and thoughtful man I have ever known,” said his son Neil.
“He was always there for me,” added one of his three daughters, Ann. “He was one in a million.”
Owen leaves behind his wife Mary and children Pedro, Neil, Ann, Jenny and Margaret.
To the guitars of Skin o’ my Teeth he was carried out of Weobley’s church by six of his 15 grandchildren, and it is by them, his 21 great-grandchildren, the people of Weobley, Dilwyn and many beyond, he will be greatly missed.
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