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Alex BettsPortrait of Alex Betts by Anthony Lycett, author of Self-Styled: Dare To Be Different

In memory of Alex Betts

This cherished member of the Dazed family passed away last month – here we remember the kind intellectual who was always there for this magazine

In the 25-year history of Dazed & Confused there have been many behind-the-scenes players, but none have provided a more trusted guiding hand or been more of a rock in difficult times than the late Alex Betts – the unstinting legal confidante whose self-professed ‘Geovictwardian’ values never failed to guide the magazine through tempestuous waters while profoundly enriching the lives of all those who had the honour to count him as both a colleague and a friend.

The self-professed Consigliere to Dazed Media passed away in the early hours of the morning on Friday October 7 due to heart failure, and to say his bounteous presence and swift legal mind will be missed by all those of the Dazed & Confused family is an understatement. At the heart of any successful organisation is what might be best described as a coterie of unsung heroes who steer the ship and make sure it stays resolutely on course. There was no safer pair of hands in this regard than those of Alex, known to his friends as Albion. In many ways, he became as much a part of the core of Dazed as its founders, who trusted him implicitly and looked to him for advice.

Alex was very much the kind of man you could place your trust in. He was a stylish, idiosyncratic dandy of a gentleman, who, as a self-professed pagan, intuited the phenomenology and beauty of life in even the most seemingly innocuous of human exchanges, and such was the rarity of his soul and keenness of his intellect that, whatever you discussed with him, he would consider any response, advice or judgement in great detail before giving you a reading from his unflinching moral compass. He was the kind of person who could genuinely be described as a North Star, and was relentlessly selfless in his commitment to those he counted among his friends.

I am among those who will miss him greatly. When I first met Alex some 15 years ago I was working at the front desk of the magazine, in the now long-decommissioned Dazed Gallery, and the very first time he walked through the door he engaged me in one of his characteristically enlightening conversations. It’s testament to the character of any person that they engage with all people equally, regardless of perceived status, and Alex was a man who stood apart in this regard. We became firm friends and, over the years, we would often discuss his profound and esoteric ideas at great length – what it means to be truly awake, what it means to be a real human being, what it means to be alive. Like many, I shall miss his vast knowledge and natural gist for storytelling.

At this time, the thoughts of all of those at Dazed & Confused who knew him are with his family, who have lost not only a father, a brother, a son and a husband, but also the presence in their lives of a truly unique individual... In closing, it’s perhaps apt to mention that, upon giving advice of any kind, Albion would often say: ‘Good Hunting...’ It was one of his trademark phrases, often said with a cheeky glint in the eye and a warm, broad smile. We now wish him good hunting in the woods beyond the world, wherever those pagan vistas may lie.