Raymond Gandy, affectionately known to his friends at The Heath as Mr. Gandy.

A celebrity of The Heath Café, at 90 years young Mr. Gandy comes in almost every day to have his lunch, stopping what seems to be the entire restaurant to have a chat with his friends.

The conversations round the table at lunch times consist of his passions; Football (Liverpool FC in particular), Politics, History, Music, Culture and Current Affairs. These conversations and debates are always filled with passion and emotion, disagreements leading to the occasional slam of a fist on the dining table.

Raymond often tells the people round the table that these conversations are ones that he looks forward to every day and truly cherishes.

As mentioned, Mr Gandy is a big Liverpool FC fan, even resulting in him winning the Liverpool Fan of the Year Award back in 2012. He is often offered a ticket to the matches by the Managing Director of The Heath, John Lewis, and he sits with John and John’s son Ryan in the Upper Kenny Dalglish Stand.

Last Year, Mr Gandy attended Liverpool’s historical 4-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League which Liverpool went on to win in Madrid.

Mr Gandy claims that as the best football match he has ever been to and one of the best nights of his life.

Raymond is a huge fan of studying music. He also plays Organ, Piano and Cello amongst others, and is particularly fascinated by Beethoven (1770 – 1827).

The musicality of Beethoven astounded Mr. Gandy from an early age. With Beethoven having such wide appeal, internationally and throughout history, intrigued Mr Gandy and led him into further research. This deepened his admiration not only for Beethoven as a musician but as a person and his philosophical outlook on life.

This appreciation reflected in his Favourite 5 choices below. 

Beethoven’s 5th symphony

Probably the most famous piece of music ever written. Mr Gandy first heard this when he was 21 in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall played by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra which was the pivotal moment that drew Mr. Gandy to classical music, in particular Beethoven. 

Beethoven’s 5th Piano concerto – The Emperor

Beethoven was a virtuoso pianist, a complete expert at the instrument. Mr. Gandy chose this piece particularly for the cadenza (solo) which is always improvised, so each time you hear this song it is different and showcases the pianist’s musical prowess. 

Bach’s Toccata adagio fugue in D major

Mr. Gandy chose this piece of music by Bach (1685-1750) because Raymond is himself an organist and used to love playing this piece on the church organ. Bach’s use of rests and adagio (slow movement) in particular is what Mr. Gandy likes about this. Bach was a virtuoso organ player, not only that Bach was a hero of all the great composers since such as Beethoven, Mozart, Handle, Stravinsky amongst others.

Silent Noon – Poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) – Musical accompaniment by Ralf Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a poet and a painter, and wrote the poem Silent Moon. Some years later composer Ralf Vaughan-Williams put some music to the poem, resulting in this song. Mr Gandy used to love playing this song as an accompaniment to the students of The Heath School (where Mr. Gandy was a governor) while doing their musical grades up to the highest, grade 8.

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Mr Gandy first saw Freddie Mercury on TV and was completely bowled over by his charisma and stage presence, not only that, he thought Mercury’s musicianship on the piano and his vocal prowess. After hearing songs such as Barcelona, Mr. Gandy believes that if Freddie Mercury had lived longer, he would have gone on to be an very accomplished Opera singer, but sadly was taken too early.