Lenny Love, the popular Humanist Celebrant, has died in Edinburgh aged 74.

Lenny, who was born in Edinburgh in 1949, had a long career in and around the music industry. 

He 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 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 ten 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. 

The Love Groove when Lenny worked at Radio Forth

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. 

Tim said: “With that voice and that name, I knew Lenny would be popular, and he was.

“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.” 

Lenny died (almost) with his boots on. On 17 August 2023, after conducting a wedding at the Balmoral Hotel, he had a blackout and collapsed. He was taken into the Royal infirmary of Edinburgh 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 Street 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 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!”  

Gerrie and Susan Douglas-Scott, the founders of Celebrate People, said: “What can we say about Lenny? A star among Celebrants, a warm caring funny man who saw and brought out the best in the people who he supported. And there were many of you. Families who were grieving a loss and couples in love wee babies joining families and communities, young people coming of age. 

“Lenny was there for everyone and was interested in all of your lives. 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. 

“As co-founders of Celebrate People we were honoured to know and love Lenny and endeavoured to support him in his last days surrounding him with our loving thoughts meditations and care. For those of you who knew Lenny, he has touched your lives, so cherish these memories of an incredible man.”  

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 will hold a memorial to celebrate his colourful life at a more appropriate time. 

Lenny Love
Jane Hamilton
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