Drew Mulholland

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Drew Mulholland, a Glasgow-based composer and musician who got to know Derbyshire in the last five years of her life [says] "She was a hero, a pioneer. She was a completely unique, one-off composer. Her stuff sounds ahead of its time even now, never mind in 1965. When you realise she was just beavering away at the BBC in Maida Vale with the most basic equipment, it is amazing." ...
When Mulholland first made contact with her in 1996, she was bitter towards the BBC and the music industry, which had seemed to ignore her achievements. "She was an eccentric. She phoned me five times in 20 minutes one night. She had such a brilliant mind. She was great but there was a kind of melancholy about her. You always felt a kind of duty to cheer her up. One thing she always said was ‘No-one will remember me’."
To Mulholland, she is a much-loved, much-missed friend. "She was a lover of life. She was very funny, very sarky. She was the only person I’ve ever known in my life who could say ‘Oh golly’ and it didn’t sound forced. Even after she died I could never put a line through her name in my address book.
"I wish she had lived and finished her record. She really could have got huge amounts of recognition. All that’s left now is the music. That’s how people are going to judge her. But what a way to be judged."[1]

“I phoned her one night at seven o'clock and she said “I'm busy now. Phone me back tomorrow at noon”. The next day, when I got through, it was a minute past noon, and she picked up the phone and said “You're late”!”[2]


  1. Article Variations on the Dr Who theme in The Scotsman, 25th September 2004.
  2. Interviewed for Breege Brennan's thesis