Lenny Love

Born: May 28, 1949;

Died: February 20, 2024

Lenny Love, who has died aged 74, was a popular humanist celebrant and had a long career in and around the music industry.

Lenny, who was born in Edinburgh in 1949, started DJing parties in the 1960s before joining Island Records initially as a merchandiser, and then as an A&R man.

Inspired by punk, he started the indie label Sensible Records in 1977 to give art school rockers, The Rezillos, their first shot at stardom, before going on to work for Bruce Findlay as tour manager for the world-famous Scottish band, Simple Minds.

Lenny then spent 10 years working in radio stations in Melbourne, Australia, before returning to Edinburgh, where as Dino Martini, he became part of the team presenting the popular Vegas Nightclub. He also worked as a presenter and producer at Radio Forth, where he won a prestigious Sony Radio Award.

It was only eight years ago, after a conversation with an old friend, Tim Maguire of Celebrate People, that Lenny trained as a celebrant and discovered his vocation.

“With that voice and that name, I knew Lenny would be popular, and he was,” said Maguire. “But far more importantly, it gave him a whole sense of new purpose. He told me – and everyone else he knew – that becoming a humanist celebrant was the best and most rewarding thing he’d ever done in his life.”

Read more: George Thomson obituary: Lancaster navigator who survived perilous landing in Germany

Lenny died (almost) with his boots on. On the 17th of August 2023, after conducting a wedding at the Balmoral Hotel, he had a blackout and collapsed. He was taken into the Royal infirmary where he spent three months before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Ward of the Western General Hospital, eventually choosing to die in the care of the nurses of St Columba’s Hospice at his home in Stockbridge, Edinburgh.

Bruce Findlay said, "Lenny has been a good friend of mine for over 50 years. Our record shop days when he brought people like Tom Petty and Ian Dury into my shop in Rose St or his involvement with me when I managed Simple Minds and Lenny worked as a quite amazing tour manager for the band for several tours. Lenny was an amazing character; eccentric and funny, but most of all a lovely human being.”

Alan Forbes of The Rezillos said, "Lenny brought his positivity and buoyancy to the mix as our first manager in the early days of the Rezillos as a young new band. His profile in the music circles helped in spreading the word, and ultimately connecting us with Sire Records which propelled the band to further successes. Good on yer, Lenny!”

Read more: John Miller obituary: underground comic artist, an appreciation

Gerrie and Susan Douglas-Scott, the founders of Celebrate People, which provides humanist celebrants, described Lenny as a warm, caring, funny man who saw and brought out the best in the people who he supported. They said: “Lenny’s wit made sure that ceremonies were always full of fun and laughter and of course love as he understood this to be the essence of human connection. Lenny loved being a Love and we all did too."

A rock ‘n’ roller at heart, Lenny decided years ago that when the time came, he would “do a David Bowie”. Like the enigmatic pop star, he opted to have an anonymous, unattended cremation, knowing that his friends would hold a memorial to celebrate his colourful life at a more appropriate time.