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60’s the magic number

12 March 2007 by Sam

Norman Killen at the turntable

Norman Killen – lost in music

Two Liverpool legends turned 60 this week, both of whom I met when I started working at the Walker Art Gallery a long time ago (we’re talking more years than I have fingers here).

I’ll never forget being introduced to Julian Treuherz on my first day of work as an information assistant at the Walker. He told me that he thought the front of house staff were the most important people working in the building, as we were the first ones the public saw when they came in.

Give him his due though, as the keeper of 3 national galleries (the Walker, Lady Lever Art Gallery and Sudley House) and the brains behind blockbuster exhibitions including Rossetti in 2003 and Alma Tadema in 1997, he wasn’t exactly insignificant himself. Julian retired on Friday but I hear that he’ll still be involved with a major exhibition at the gallery next year.

Also celebrating his sixth decade is one of my former colleagues from the info desk, Norman Killen. He spent most of my first weeks tidying up after me, then once he had knocked me into shape he started broadening my musical horizons with some mix tapes that I still treasure. He was well placed to do this, for after DJ-ing at many of the city’s coolest clubs including Eric’s and the Sink, as well as working at Probe Records, he has played a major part in improving the musical taste of the city over the years.

As you’d expect, the music at his party on Saturday was fantastic. The birthday boy himself got behind the turntable, in between live music from the Rocketeers and Deaf School, who were joined for one song by a singer who was truly ‘one step beyond’. Happily Norman has no intention of hanging up his uniform, or his record bag, just yet. The Walker just wouldn’t be the same without him.

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