Robert John Godfrey

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Godfrey in 1998

Robert John Godfrey (born 30 July 1947) (age 73) is a British composer, pianist and founding member of The Enid.

Early career[edit]

Born on the Leeds Castle estate in Kent, England, Godfrey was educated at Finchden Manor in Tenterden, which was described by its founder George Lyward as a "therapeutic community for adolescents",[1] other alumni of which included Alexis Korner and Tom Robinson. Although he didn't start to play the piano until the age of twelve, Godfrey's talent was prodigious enough to gain him admission to the Royal College of Music, then the Royal Academy of Music. He studied under concert pianist Malcolm Binns, and those around him included Sir Michael Tippett, Benjamin Britten and Hans Werner Henze.


From 1968 to 1971 Godfrey became resident musical director with Barclay James Harvest,[2] making musical contributions to early recordings which established their full, orchestral style of rock music. The relationship fell apart and accounts differ as to why.[3][4] In 1974 the Charisma Records label released his first solo work, Fall of Hyperion. Although not a commercial success at the time, this work has since become collectable.

Godfrey is gay, and claimed this was one reason he was fired from BJH. “It was the band’s girlfriends who forced the issue,” he told Classic Rock magazine. ‘‘They were from the Lancashire/Yorkshire area and couldn’t handle the idea of a gay man like me with a plummy accent.’’[5]

He then went on to form The Enid.

Godfrey was the winner of the Visionary award at the 2014 Progressive Music Awards.[6]

He has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.[7] In 2016, he retired from playing with The Enid due to his illness. His last regular performance with the band took place on 2 April 2016.[8] However, in June 2017, it was announced that Godfrey would be joining The Enid in August of that year to celebrate his 70th birthday with a one-off performance at the Union Chapel in London, that took place on 5 August.[9] A statement issued by The Enid at the end of April 2018 announced the Robert John Godfrey may not suffer from Alzheimer's disease after all and that he may come back in the band.[citation needed]


  • Fall of Hyperion (1974) (CAS 1084)
  • The Music of William Arkle (1986)
  • Reverberations (1987)
  • The Seed and the Sower (with Steve Stewart) (1988) (later reissued as by The Enid)
  • The Story of The Enid (1991)
  • The Art of Melody (2013)
  • First Light (2014)

"Fall of Hyperion" track listing[edit]

  1. "The Raven" (8:46)
  2. "Mountains" (6:56)
  3. "Water Song" (5:57)
  4. "End of Side 1" (0:04)
  5. "Isault" (5:10)
  6. "The Daemon Of The World" (14:44)
    1. "The Arrival Of The Phoenix"
    2. "Across The Abyss"
    3. "'The Daemon"
    4. "The Wanderer"
    5. "IHS"
    6. "Tuba Mirum"


  • Robert John Godfrey - keyboards
  • Christopher Lewis - vocals
  • Neil Tetlow - bass
  • Jim Scott - guitars
  • Tristan Fry - percussion
  • Ronnie McCrea - percussion
  • Nigel Morton - Hammond organ


  1. ^ "Notes On Finchden Manor". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Robert John Godfrey and Barclay James Harvest". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "The End of the Long Road to Nowhere". Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  5. ^ "The Enid are in tune with their fans". 14 October 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  6. ^ Masters, Tim (12 September 2014). "Peter Gabriel honoured at Prog music awards". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Dementia diagnosis for The Enid's Robert John Godfrey". BBC News Online. BBC. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ April 2016, Malcolm Dome01. "Robert John Godfrey On His Retirement from the Enid". Prog Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  9. ^ Munro, Scott (22 June 2017). "Robert John Godfrey to join The Enid for his 70th birthday". Future plc. Retrieved 28 August 2017.