A Warrior in Exile
By Jany Zaugg
It was in the early seventies when I lived in Rio de Janeiro, finishing my Journalism and Anthropology degrees. Hungry to discover the unknown and unveiling the occult, encountering bizarre situations, traveling to remote places, and meeting extravagant people, was the main menu of my daily life.
Clive Kelly was one of the most extravagant of them all. He was to me like a mythological Greek god and warrior, who landed in Brazil by accident while searching for an exciting adventure. He lived in Sao Paulo, which at the time was the third biggest city in the world.
Escaping the stress of the two big cities, we coincidentally sought refuge in the middle of the two states, which hides the charming little town of Paraty. “Paraty”, Tupi language for “River of Fish, it is a Portuguese colonial settlement from 1667, located on the Green Coast of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it is surrounded by hundreds of tropical forests, mountains, and pristine waterfalls. At that time, it was not a popular touristic place, and that was what made it so attractive to locals escaping big cities.
Clive owned a beautiful estate in the city of Cunha, and his entire friends had access to that paradise. Our friendship grew out of many common interests and we remained friends, experiencing eventful situations, enjoyed many celebrations, supported new ventures, following each other’s path, sometimes close and sometime from afar. I’ve always been very fond of Clive, by his exceptional energy, brilliant ideas, and a powerful determination to fulfill his projects and dreams.
Clive can be compared to many historic, mythological, and cultural warriors and heroes of all times. Today, I perceive Clive like the spirit of the main character of the10th century English poem “The Wanderer”, which is written by an anonymous author, and it is preserved as an anthology known as the Exeter Book. “It tells the story of a wanderer who roams the cold sea and walks the path of exile. He has a seaman's spirit who goes through every single dream every time he finds himself on a journey. He then realizes that the world is constantly fluctuating, and a man's life experience, good and bad, is ultimately what makes him wise”.
Clive claims he is not an educated man, he means academically, but I think he is one of the most educated people with no need for any diploma. What he has lived and learned has no equivalency in neither university degree nor academy prize. He has been publicly honored all over the world and where ever he sets sail, people always remember his unusual exotic looks and his courageous missions.
I wanted to write my perception of Clive, but what he represents to me is far greater than my verbal vocabulary. This compilation containing synopses of his life is a mundane version and I feel like it is been written by that young girl who met him in the seventies. My dear Clive, this is not to impress anyone much less you. It is a token of my respect for you as a human being. My hope is that this article will be another door to bring more exposure to your life’s information, which is cited at the end of the article, so people can experience the true gem of your warrior soul.
His early age – From Beatles to Raoni
Entrepreneurship in the entertainment business - Born and raised in Liverpool, in the midst of WWII, Clive learned to deal with fast survival. Working as a seaman for fishing boats and later a bouncer at night clubs, Clive was planting and harvesting opportunities. Clive strived to be a mediator for people’s success. It seemed that every task he ever undertook had a charitable intention and a victorious outcome. When he started a club in the basement of his family home in Liverpool at the age of 13, he invited many talented artists, which many of them later became famous. His mind was already working as a promoter for those talents.
Having befriended the Beatles in Liverpool, with partner Allan Williams, he found the Club Jacaranda where he hosts many musicians starting on their careers. In Brighton he opens the club “The Witches Caldron” and his friend Ringo Starr helped on the decoration. Many musicians starting their career were promoted by the club, and many made to the world of the stars, and to name few, Donovan, Little Richard, Rod Stewart, Little Eva, and of course, The Beatles.
Clive was a close friend with Brian Epstein, later the Beatles’ manager. After the mysterious death of Brian at the age of 32, Clive moved on to London. To survive in London, he became a street trader of his own jewelry and photographs, becoming friends with Freddie Mercury and Lemmy, who were also at that time, street traders. In one of his fortunate days, he met a Brazilian girl who invited him to move to Brazil.
In Brazil deciding to settle down, he bought some lands and opened his first club, “Strawberry Fields”. He continued his entrepreneurial endeavor opening in the great city of São Paulo, a Boutique called “Freedom”, featuring exotic and exquisite clothing and jewelry from all over the world. Following the same wave of success, came the “Victoria Pub”, which was a unique entertainment locale where only the VIP of the city and country was frequent. He opened other clubs in other states of Brazil but after so many betrayals, harassments, assaults and batters on his private properties, Clive moved out of the entertainment business and looked for a more humanistic challenging battle.
Battle for protection and preservation of the Amazon Natives – Life in Brazil exposed Clive to a vast form of corruption. One of them was the reprimanding living conditions of the natives in the Amazon, and he decided to do something about it. He flew to the Amazon jungle and befriended the Kaiapos Native Indians, and the Chief Raoni, of the Mekronote Culture, whom became his close friend and mentor.
In the Xingu Basin, his Indian spirit came forth, and Clive discovers the essence of his soul. Living within the group for several years, Clive immersed soulfully into the Kaiapos culture to a point of becoming one of them. He allowed his ears and lips to be pierced as one of their warriors, had his body tattooed and painted, and wore a chief’s feather head ornament. Wanting to raise money to help the tribes, Clive seeks out financial help from his friends, and one of them was Sting, whom he took to the Amazon to meet personally the entire group. Sting fell in love with the people, and his first charitable move was to purchase an airplane which brought fast aid to the people when they were sick.
Later with funding from other famous friends, Clive produced a film about the tribe called “Raoni”, featuring the voice of Marlon Brando as the Narrator. The film was nominated for several awards including the “Cannes Festival”. Read more on the sources listed below, and “The Clive Kelly Story” on YouTube. Source: http://www.cabalbuster.com and Costnet.com
Battle defending the Ecosystem
After being threatened by the Brazilian Federal Government and Police, and chased away from the Amazon Indians, Clive moved on to another battle…The defender of the ecosystem. With his 55ft long by 21ft wide Trimaran boat, which he named “Survival”, Clive converted the boat into a museum of South American Amerindian Culture, traveling around seas and rivers, with grim determination, teaching and calling awareness for the planet’s most precious nature and native cultures.
Sailing alone and advocating for preservation of the lands and waters of our mother earth, he instantly called the attention of authorities, and for sure opening an issue for escalating conflicts and many other forms of hostility. He had his boat assaulted in several occasions, and he has been physically attacked and imprisoned. Despite being harassed to the core, Clive gathered many supporters. He had many important people onboard of his boat, such as the president of Venezuela, President of Cuba, and he was recommended by the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda for the UNEPS 500 GLOBAL AWARDS.
Long live the memory of the warrior Clive Kelly!
“In the Wanderer experience, a wise man should not possess anxiety, braggadocio, or irresoluteness. The wanderer believes that no matter how hard a man tries to contain his emotions, he can never avoid his fate. He realizes that the world is constantly fluctuating and a man’s life experiences, good or bad, are ultimately what make him wise. The Wanderer concludes that life is difficult at times and everything is subject to fate. Battles are lost, wealth fades, friends leave, and kingdoms fall. The Wanderer now turns his experience into objects of wisdom and preaches these experiences as a wise man, or a sage, in meditation. This man is described as someone who is steady in his faith and, when something bad happens, he does not panic, but rather, stays calm until he can figure out a solution. In conclusion, the Wanderer advises all men to search for oneness with the universe and nature, being responsible for its preservation or fate.”
Today Clive is the wise man. He lost many wars but nonetheless, he has won many battles. Although the Natives of the Amazon are still been harassed by the farmers inflicting hardship on their lives, Clive’s battle to save them called world awareness toward their existence, as well as their condition of being the prey of their own dwellings. Brazilian corrupt government makes multimillion pacts with money and power driven companies, in hidden agendas, to exploit the wealth of the Amazon forest. While dams are being built, areas are being flooded, bringing disease to the tribe which consequently will contribute to their perishing.
The battle calling awareness to save the oceans and rivers is still being fought, and Clive still plays an important role in it. In spite of working tirelessly over the past decades, today at the age of 77, struggling to survive his own health battles with cancer and its side effects, he still advocates to the preservation of our mother earth. He still campaigns and advocates for the preservation of earth’s oceans, rivers, forests, animals and native cultures. He calls for awareness to find real solutions to resolve environmental problems, and insists that governments, industries, communities, and individuals, should be cooperating together to restore and save our beautiful planet, making it a healthy place for all of us. His physical journey describes a visible transformation of his life and mind, and his survival sent him into an eternal exile in search for a better world!
Sources: Private Source from Mr. Kelly
Raoni – Produced by Clive Kelly - 90 minutes Documentary about the Xingu Indians (1973)
Book Kelly Eyes – (2014)
Survival Films (2000)
Spiny Lobster Tails - Compass73 (2001) –
Nicholson Letter of Recommendation- Museum Antigua Barbuda 2000
“Clive Kelly – A man with a message” All At Sea (12/2002)
“Clive Kelly en Santiago de Cuba” -Sierra News - Santiago de Cuba (2003)
“All at Sea” (2002)
“Unsung Wirral Heroes” - Walrus-New Brighton Life (2016)
“Clive of Indians” (2000)
The Wanderer – Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins (2003) http://www.vqronline.org/essay/wanderer-anglo-saxon-poem-translated-jeffrey-hopkins [retrieved 06/04/2017; 15:21 SPT]