Steve Forman

You’ve possibly heard this week that Steve Forman, percussionist on Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason album among so many other things, is fighting to remain in the UK.

Steve, originally from Los Angeles, has worked as a teacher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow for four years. He has lived in Scotland for the last six.

Absurdly unable to renew his work visa because his academic salary is not deemed high enough (he would need to be earning in excess of £31,000 a year), should his appeal prove unsuccessful, he will be required to leave Scotland and return to the US within seven days. In the meantime, he has been suspended from his teaching post.

His students have started a petition to allow him to stay.

“We need innovators and mentors like him. I find it very odd that he is being faced with being sent back to the US when he clearly has so much to offer the next generation. It is wonderful that he has chosen to channel his unique talent into teaching. His skills and approach are totally his own and as far as I know there is nobody I know of like him teaching rhythm in the UK or even Europe.” – David

That’s the UK for you, folks. Convicted murderers can come in and kill again, maybe kill themselves if they wish. Drug dealers, hate preachers and other assorted wasters who cause such tremendous grief are allowed to stay. We’ll take a decade and spend millions of pounds trying to get those who we decide pose a threat to our national security to leave. We’ll house and pay benefits to their families whether or not they contribute anything to society. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t better ways of spending that money.

We’ll pay six-figure sums in compensation when we let the wrong person in and they raise hell. We’ll allow killers to exploit Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the “right to private and family life,” or use Article 14, which protects against discrimination, as a reason to bleat about their real or imagined “suffering” so that they too can stay.

We’ll grant asylum to boastful Sudanese war criminals who have wiped out entire villages, murdering countless innocent civilians.

So why exactly can’t Steve stay? And why isn’t £31,000 enough to support yourself when millions of us are getting by on far less?

We let the low-paid and low-skilled in – for whom £31,000 is, frankly, a small fortune – and, if you believe the hysteria, this causes great social unrest, which is why immigration continues to be the topic people won’t shut up about. But don’t you go worrying about that, silly old capitalism. You’ll always get your way.

I cannot grasp why anyone who is law-abiding and successful, who has a (part-time) job that pays above the national full-time average wage, is paying taxes and making a positive difference to people’s lives within the community he has chosen to make his own, should be turfed out when he is clearly welcome and wanted.

The Scottish Government, rightly pointing out that “immigration policy in the UK is inflexible and does not address Scotland’s particular economic and demographic needs,” has asked the Home Office to reconsider. Yesterday, a motion was lodged in the Scottish Parliament in support of Steve’s case.

(I promise to say nothing about how all this wouldn’t even be an issue were Scotland independent now, because then it would be for Scotland to decide who stays in Scotland, not London…)

The very best of luck to Steve with his appeal, and have a good weekend, everybody. May common sense and justice prevail.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

30 thoughts on “Steve Forman”

  1. Hmmm, more and more I get the feeling that Great Britain is on the best way to get Minor Britain (can’t say Little Britain, that show was fun)….

    Come on everybody, let’s not spend our money for education. 🙁

  2. That’s the UK for you, folks.

    Not exclusive to the UK I’m afraid.

    Yet another though-provoking topic FEd and thank you for bringing it to the attention to those of us who would have missed this kind of news just by virtue of living on another continent and being bombarded with other nonsense!

    1. It does make you wonder who makes up these ridiculous rules (and what drugs they’re taking), doesn’t it?

  3. What is wrong with this picture? You have a person who wants to help others by teaching and doesn’t care about how much money he makes to help others and is able to pay for his keep to do this. Where you have others who do not work and they live off the government when they could be out there working.

    I see this a lot here in the States where we get a lot of people that move here and they don’t work but live off the government. It’s really wrong and I hope that Scotland will make it right and let Steve stay so he can help others with his teaching.

    Take Care, Thomas

  4. Good Luck Steve, if Scotland won’t keep you, come to Canada. You can work cheap and meet famous musicians, just kidding!

    R.I.P. Jack Bruce, bass extraordinaire for Cream. Right now as I speak, I’m listening to Jack Bruce “Spoonful along with Jeff Healey. A live feed from the Pistoia Festival in 1993, check out his shorts on stage. Joe Rockman on bass playing guitar?

  5. Here’s another one of those who deserve to be deported, this story was in the Daily Mail yesterday Fed.

    This cheeky bugger doesn’t understand why he’s being targeted AND (he’s got lawyers telling him he’ll need £100k to take it to the European Court of Human Rights) he’s going to apply for legal aid of £100k.

    I found this story about the same case, dated 13/10/2014.

    What is particularly interesting are the last 3 paragraphs :

    “The judges found that the fact LC might not see his children for a decade or more was tough luck. As Tory MP Dominic Raab shrewdly observes, one swallow does not a summer make. But ministers will hope that – finally – judges have got the message that Article 8 should not be cited as a bar to removal. The key test will come next year, when we learn just how many criminals cheated deportation in 2014.

    In 2013, before the new legislation was passed, the number rocketed by 50 per cent. In total, only 1,310 of the 4,030 overseas convicts who were considered for removal were sent home.

    The offenders who weren’t thrown out included 15 murderers, five people guilty of manslaughter and 15 rapists.”

    It does make you wonder what’s going on. Is the Border Agency understaffed? Is this another civil service lacking sufficient funds to do the job? Are the staff purposely working on a go-slow or something in order to get a pay rise? Have they completely lost track of the not deported 2,700 so are picking on the Steve Forman because they are easy targets and make it look like they are doing something?

    ash 🙁

  6. Essentially it is no different than in the US. While I see how this seems unfair I do know a bit about how the immigration laws work here with respect to visas. So while it seems wrong the other side of the coin is that Steve is preventing a UK citizen from securing a job. And yes, an individual who applies for a visa should have a specific skill that cannot be filled by a resident as well as be earning a specific amount of money. These guidelines are there to protect your own citizens.

    I may not agree with how Steve is being treated but I do understand it.

    Question I have is why he didn’t apply for citizenship or is that not an option in the UK. Also don’t know if he can hold dual citizenship or if he would have to renounce US citizenship, which is financially quite costly. I hope he has been working with an immigration attorney.

    What I will add from a bigger picture point of view is that with such a high unemployment rate here in the US, it is unfortunate that we have so many folks who are working on visas and essentially denying US citizens job opportunities. That is aside from the vast number of illegal immigrants who do put a strain on the resources of the country. Bottom line, if you want to come live here, then follow the rules to make it happen. Do it legally and get the green card.

    That is the other side. I mean, isn’t it also a shame that Steve is not using his teaching talents here in the US?


    1. A very valid perspective. Perhaps Mr. Forman, being an expert in his field, has given consideration to multiple teaching prospects and went with where the opportunity was/is. I can think of less than a handful of music schools in the US that would likely specialize specifically in the pedagogics of Rhythm Theory as opposed to it being incorporated into a broader course offering of say, Music Theory.

      I too hope he has the services of a good Immigration Attorney at his disposal.

      By all accounts, it doesn’t appears as though he has been trying to circumvent the system in any way, shape or form, yet he seems to have been ‘singled’ out by the so-called “inflexible” immigration policy which seems very flexible to me. 😉 Surely there are “bigger fish to fry”?

  7. Go David!

    The Endless River and your solo album are coming soon…

    Hire Steve Forman as a FEd-assistant!

    Problem solved. 😉

    1. But Fed’s already an expert percussionist (spoons and coconuts) …

      Hmm, maybe busking could top the scales ….

  8. It says he was refused because he’s under-earning by just three grand. Can we not give the man a pay rise some way or make it look like he has other earnings to cover it?


  9. I can think of worse countries to get deported to. Mmmm, send me to Florida. Sun, sand, sea and fishing.


    Please deport me now before it gets too cold.

  10. Is it unlawful to have professional ties with the US? Can’t believe my own eyes reading that.

  11. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Surely all Steve has got to do is take a day trip out to Calais, jump on the back of a truck bound for jolly old ‘Blighty’ and Bob’s your uncle. He will then be given money by the British Government to subsidise his underfunded salary in Glasgow!!

    I really cannot understand how stupidly crass our officialdom can be. Someone please wake them up to the real world!!

    Best of luck to Steve and hope he can work it out.

  12. I hear David will be on BBC Radio2 but I missed when. Could you confirm Fed?


    1. That’s the first I’ve heard of it, Damian, but I can certainly try and find out for you.

      I think you mean this?

  13. Well, if he had played at the PF AMLOR, that is good enough reason to grant him residency. Case closed.

  14. I received this from my daughter yesterday: 🙂

    Hiya mom,

    There is a bell which sounds every day in the evening and morning… It’s the exact tone/rhythm of the bell on High Hopes… I keep getting Pink Floyd dreams with that song in.


    Extract from another I received a few hours ago:

    Still with the bloody Pink Floyd dreams – LOL


    I told her about the new album, also David’s and the tour. 🙂 She must be feeling it buzzing in the air!!!! I told her it must be in her genetic memory in her mitochondrial DNA. :))

    Spooky in a white magic way eh?

    ash :))

    P.S. Rob, sorry I had to rush away from the chat room yesterday.

    1. ‘Ain’t that mitochrondrial DNA something!!! We don’t even know the half of what’s in our genetic memory but as sure as I’m typing this, it’s there!

  15. Thank you, BBC Radio 2 for making your programmes available on demand for several weeks.

    I could listen to ‘Anisina’ (‘In memory of’… Rick, I presume) over and over again. Absolutely beautiful, grandiose. Guitar gives me chills. What a fine tribute, surely Rick would love it and feel proud. Bravo, David!

    So, here, at 2h15m39s.

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