Seth Cohen

Flowers in memory of Seth

The sad news reached us via Twitter that Seth Cohen has died. This photo shows the flowers and messages in King Street in memory of Seth. He was a well-known sight around Twickenham over many years and although in recent times he no longer had his trademark violin with him, he will still be remembered by many locals who didn’t know him personally as ‘the violin man’. It was apparent that Seth had his problems over the years, but the floral tributes show that he still had people who cared about him.

Flowers in King Street

A number of the cards include messages and memories of happier times. Here an old friend recalls the time Seth impressed the crowds on Richmond riverside. (click photo to enlarge)

Anecdote about Seth


Filed under Local Issues & News

58 responses to “Seth Cohen

  1. Ed

    He is on streetview, check it out! Right outside the Superdrug.

  2. jimbo

    This will probably make me very unpopular! Going past a fairly large mass of now dying flowers left to commemorate Seth, I couldn’t help wondering about the amount of good SPEAR could have done with the money those flowers cost.

    • Julie

      I have to say that the saddest thing about this is that all this attention to his plight has come too late for Seth, when he really needed it was when he was clearly suffering from severe mental illness and living rough in the garages in Clifden Road. Perhaps people will be more aware in future of the issues around mental illness, rather than dismissing people as “creepy tramps” or in the case of bipolar celebrities, lampooning them.

    • Simon H

      I don’t think buying flowers for Seth and donating money to SPEAR are mutually exclusive activities. Hopefully, the publicity the charity has got as a result of what’s happened to poor Seth will elicit some contributions.

    • I agree with Simon H – to compare the cost of possible donations to a good cause and flower tributes to someone who has sadly gone is a little skewed. Perhaps anyone who attends the busking tribute of remembrance to Seth on Sunday would like to donate and put money in a box for SPEAR? I am sure Seth would approve.

    • Simon H

      Sounds like a good idea.

    • Sazzy

      The memorial tribute was fitting and it was great to see so many people showing their respects. And yes, it would be great if all of us can donate to SPEAR in Seth’s memory.

  3. jay holmes

    only saw Seth when there was a rugby game on at twicks.. this went back a few years.. and remember him outside Macky dees .. now Super drug !so it sadded me to see he had passed away! to me he seemed to be a peaceful gentle guy.. and touched so many lives… I,m sure he is playing music up there !!

  4. Kyle gillespie

    Nice man, god bless his family. May we all learn from his passing. It’s an unfortunate truth that the ignorant do not understand anybody with mental health issues. I hope you share with your children that not all illness is physical. Shame on you if you don’t. Twickenham will be a lesser place without him. God rest your soul Mr Cohen.

  5. Martin

    I knew Seth and we were friends since the 1970’s as we both grew up in East Sheen. He was a lovely, gentle and highly talented man, who unfortunately suffered from progressively worsening mental health issues. I will always remember him as being an extremely erudite and funny guy prior to the onset of his mental health deterioration.

    Seth has elderly parents and a brother who still live in East Sheen and another brother who lives in West Hampstead who cared for him very much indeed, and are devastated by his passing away. The people who have left negative comments on this site regarding his alleged drug use, or who state that they found him creepy should be ashamed of themselves as they clearly did not know him, nor stop for a moment to think about how hurtful these comments would be to his family and to friends who grew up with him.

    RIP Seth I will miss you.

    • Sharon Keely

      Hear, hear, Martin. Thankfully most of the people posting here saw Seth for the good, kind soul he was; it’s amazing how much he touched even those who knew him only tangentially. I hope he knows how much he is loved. When I knew him, in his early twenties, he was on a spiritual quest that few of us lesser mortals could ever hope to embark on.

  6. terry gibson

    i first came across seth 15 years ago, told him my name gave him some money. then i didnt see him for 1 year, next time i spoke to him i was amazed he remembered my name, ever after that i would give him a fiver here and there, buy him a kfc, i used to buy him a toblerone from the pound shop, and once i strummed a few chords on the guitar to seth, and to my amazement he took the guitar from me and also played a few chords. i went away for a couple of weeks and came to twickenham and saw the flowers and immediately knew they were for seth and my heat sank, and what saddens me most is now i wish i had done more for him. if i have the guts i will play for him at his rememberance. terry gibson

  7. NJ

    So Sad.
    Saw him the first day I moved here and sadly go downhill over the years. Can’t understand how people could comment that they found him creepy, Seth and people like him are not the ones you should be afraid of.
    I wouldn’t give the drug story much credence, it’s not drugs, it’s more like schizophrenia, something that can strike anybody down.


  8. Federica

    My daughter told me about ‘the violin man’s’ death as she saw the flowers when she came back from school. We were so used to see him there, before with his violin playing unintelligible tunes (from all the comments above he must have been quite a player, I am sorry I never heard him at his best), then just sitting on the pavement. A couple of times we exchanged a few words when I stopped to give him a few coins. We wondered what had happened to his violin. I did not know his name in life, but now I know the violin man was Seth. And we will miss him.

  9. Dear all
    As the inquest into the cause of Seth’s death is not complete, there are no plans for a funeral at this stage.

    However, some of Seth’s friends have arranged a tribute to him. This will be a “busking celebration of his life”, on Sunday the 18th November at 2pm – on Seth’s spot outside Superdrug in Twickenham.

    This will be an open event and they are all hoping that anyone who wants to will turn up. They expect to be playing for around an hour.


  10. Ben

    Rip Seth x You gave me the gift of music you taught me tabs. What a gift. See you on the other side, i’ll never foget you. Sorry to have missed you. Now I can’t beat you at chess. I loved you buddy x

  11. Martyn Day

    I once played with Seth in The Crane River Aces, a cajun band based in St. Margarets. He was a kind and gentle man but to use an Americanism he had a monkey on his back which was inexorably dragging him down. I don’t think he was into heroin but he did have other needs linked to his mental illness. Tragically they had an adverse effect on his playing and his relationship with other musicians. It is a reflection of Seth’s true character that to the end he kept his sense of humour and a quiet confidence that somehow things would get better. I hope they have.

  12. Philip Moshi

    Just got back from half term holiday, on Heath Road grabbing for essentials saw the flowers and realised immediately what and who they were for. I almost broke down even though we hardly ever spoke and I didn’t know his name. Have been in Twickenham for 17 years and saw him almost everyday. We used to see him in the days when Superdrug was a McDonalds and Seth had his violin. My children used to love hearing him play. Saw Seth the day we went away and now can’t believe he’s gone.
    Please publish the date of any memorial service/gig when available.

  13. Ed

    I found him a bit creepy and kept my kids away from him.


  14. Elizabeth

    Seth was, is and always will be my friend. You have no idea how much you are missed.
    Forever in my heart.

  15. So sad, Seth was my little brother Gavin’s friend and a talented guy, he was always happy to see us when we went by and brightened up the day. RIP Seth.

  16. Paul

    It must have been 15 years or more ago i first saw Seth in the White Swan by the riverside in twickenham ,it was a cold winters night and we decided to pop in for a pint as we were passing,he was sat with a collective of local musicians playing the violin and it was fair to say we were mesmerised by his talent , at this time he seemed happy and coherent so i presume this was before life’s struggles got to him…. that’s how i’ll remember him.

    Living in Twickenham for many years we used to see him most days, he was busking at that time (later he didn’t instead just sitting outside Superdrug) a local character and real person that will be missed .

    RIP Seth .

  17. Anonymous

    Seth was kind and charming to my two young daughters (one of whom went on to play the violin), and was always a welcome presence in the town centre. The “violin man” will be much missed.


  18. Bettybamalam

    I really apologise for saying that Seth died of heroin addiction. I was told this but not from a reliable source I know now. However he was one of Twickenham’s characters, and sadly there are few left. If there is a memorial service, then lets make it a good turnout.

  19. Andy M

    So sad. I was amazed to see the flowers and read the comments. He was a character in a dull world where there are so few.
    Even though I did not know him, I will miss him.

  20. Pipp Bayliss

    It was always nice to see Seth and I hope that he will rest in peace. He was a part of our town centre and will be missed.

  21. Sazzy

    I am so angry with the heroin comment. Thats nonsense as far as I know and I knew Seth since we were both in our 20s. He had a mental illness that is all but was a talented musician and a kind gentle human being. We made him a big parcel for Christmas all wrapped with clothes, food and a few beers. He was a bit surprised. Last year it was just £20 because I thought he should do what he wanted with it. I met him in Chiswick High Road near work a couple of months ago and he said “i’m so glad Ive seen you cos ive run out of money” I gave him a kiss and a £5 cos I could and he was a lovely man. Am so sad he had died. His spirit will live on.

  22. Dave King

    Very sad.I often used to think when I saw him :”There but for the Grace of God go I”.Many of the people who were in Horton with me 20 years ago are no longer with us,because that Hospital was closed and turned into Luxury Housing .How lucky I have been to have had the support of friends and family.Unfortunately ,the Mental Hospitals have been closed,so there is no one to care for people anymore and I can assure everyone that “care in the community does not work”.Even the day centres are closing.
    Poor Seth was just left to fend for himself.
    By the way the man who lived in the Holly Road carpark was not a rock star and he did turn his life round,so I was told by the printer who used to be in what became the parking shop.

  23. Andy B

    Tribute to Seth Cohen

    Say not in grief: “He is no more”, but live in thankfulness that he was.

    RIP Seth - Hope you are in a better place now. Our thoughts are with you. Andy and family

    RIP Seth

  24. Leanne Clark

    I am a member of staff at Superdrug Twickenham. Seth was a lovely man that regularly came into our store never caused any problems and was a lovely man sad to see him gone, I don’t think he was a heroin addict as its going around Twickenham but whatever caused his death he will be remembered through the people that knew him and many retailers in Twickenham.

  25. George

    Very sad news. I’d never spoken to him (I probably should have) but it raises questions about how we can help people right on our doorsteps who are grappling with serious problems. RIP

  26. Hello all
    SPEAR is the local homelessness charity, and was in contact with Seth.

    We do expect there to be an event to celebrate Seth’s life – some of his friends are organising this. We will make sure that information about this is put up at Superdrug, and will post the details onto this site as well.

    Kaye – SPEAR

  27. Bettybamalam

    I wandered down to Twickenham today to take some photos of Seth’s flowers and messages. By the way this was arranged by a woman who works in Superdrug. I was amazed by all the people who stopped and asked me about him. They were all shocked and upset. Of course I know nothing but I did glean more information about him. One thing that a couple of us wondered was whether there will be a funeral. I think if it was advertised somewhere, (outside Superdrug?) quite a few people would turn up.

  28. Dee

    Very sad to hear this news. That is all. x

  29. Bettybamalam

    I have heard a couple of things about Seth in the last few days. He was not homeless but lived in a flat above a shop in Heath Road, he used to go up Albert Road quite frequently, and he died due to his heroin addiction.
    I don’t know if there is any truth in this but I personally saw him going up Albert Road a few times. I now think that this is where he scored his drugs.
    You cannot help Seth. But you can stop the drug trade. I see it happening all the time now in Twickenham, the most recent incident was tonight when I spotted a car parked in Tesco Metro up Heath Road. I saw someone get in the car and then get out a few minutes later. It is all going on in front of our eyes. Look and you will see. There are more Seths waiting to be helped so open your eyes.

    • You’re right! make drugs legal! Then we wont have to hide in the shadows.

    • jimbo

      well done; at least you’ve stopped the drug dealers that you saw. I’m sure the police would have followed up the car registration you told them. You are quite right – everyone should keep their eyes open for this sort of thing.

  30. very sad news, A totally harmless chap but for the grace of god etc. Does anyone else remember the chap in the 90’s who was rumoured to be Peter green from Fleetwood Mac?

    • anonymous

      Yes incredibly sad. I wonder if he had any family around who cared?

    • Yes – that was Roger who used to be outside the old 7-11 shop much of the time. He died. I remember being in the shop and buying an apple for him but he told me he couldn’t eat it because of his dodgy teeth so I went and swopped it for an orange, which he was happier with.
      Someone also once told me that they were sure Peter Green lived along the Embankment but thinking about it I realised they meant Barney at no. 24! P. Green re-surfaced a while ago; alive, well and still playing.

  31. Simon H

    Where did Seth live? I assumed, probably wrongly, that he was homeless.

  32. Video of Seth dancing in 2007 at Strawberry Hill festival.

    Was sad to see the flowers and picture last saturday but at the same time glad some people cared for him.
    I’ve always been intrigued by the guy as it was difficult to engage with him.

    • Astel

      Very sad . I knew Seth at college , before his illness he was a shy funny guy ,very talented music-wise, I still think despite his problems he retained his wry sense of humor , Whoever left that picture of him ,Thank you Thats how i and friends of his at that time remember him .

    • I agree. I remember him also. It’s extraordinary how much his death has affected the local community and also more importantly how sad it is that he has gone.