Here's the place to talk about our departed loved ones -- friends, family members, tour buddies, and others we've lost along the way.
By Craig Davis ~ TDS Taper
Last night I bore witness to one of the most exhilarating, unique and incredible musical events I have ever experienced, all in celebration of the life of Col. Bruce Hampton. The Col. (ret.) can't rightfully be accused of inventing jam music (for better or for worse) but damned if he didn't shepherd it along for over 30 years. Sitting there from the 2nd row for close to 4 hours last night as members of Widespread Panic, the Allman Bros, Blues Traveler, Govt Mule, The Rolling Stones, Leftover Salmon, R.E.M., Tedeschi Trucks, etc rotated on and off stage was magical and awe-inspiring. No one mailed it in like so many benefit concerts. People played like it mattered with an intensity and passion befitting Col. Bruce. Maybe it's because I've gotten older, had my priorities & passions redirected to my boys, or just list some of my enthusiasm for it but I find myself getting taken "there" by music less and less in recent years. Last night brought it back note by note and it felt incredible.
The encore started with a crazed spacey Zambiland into Lovlight as 30+ musicians filled the stage. As solos started making the rounds Col. Bruce walked over to the kid from School of Rock and motioned for him to start ripping. He then went down to a knee and seemingly gently down against a monitor. He stayed there through the kid's solo and it seemed like a classic one of the Col's gags. He told me once how he loved to tell the audience at every show that it was someone in the band's birthday. You just knew once the song got back around to the chorus he would jump up and tell us to turn on our lovelight or else start singing from the ground - which I have also seen him do. Pure theater was the Col's way. He was 1/3 musician, 1/3 showman and 1/3 carnival barker. Then the song stretched and stretched and you could see the faces on the musicians not 15 feet away who had been smiling and laughing and pointing begin to tighten up. As the crew ran in stage finally sensing this was real, Susan Tedeschi cut the song and show short and they tried to pull a curtain across the stage.
Standing in the pit we could see side stage that EMTs were furiously - and I mean with lightening speed and pressure - administering CPR and chest compressions. At that point they pulled those side stage curtains shut and staff urged folks to leave.
As we hit the street it was obvious most folks had no clue what had even happened. There was joy in the air. As an ambulance later pulled away near us I noted the crew in the back were sitting still rather than working on the patient we believed to be Col Bruce inside. Never a good sign.
By the time we downed waters and gatorades last night it was clear he had passed away.
Only the Col. could have his wake and his birthday at the same time. It was befitting him with surreal joyousness and poignancy. I will spend some time processing what I experienced. The joy and the disbelief and now the loss of a musician I love. I have a picture of Col. Bruce and I somewhere at home. Taken at Alley Katz as we were deep into a long discussion about pro wrestling, baseball and music. The Col told me I knew all I needed to get by in life with my knowledge of those three topics. It was a special moment for me.
Rest easy Col. Bruce. Thank you for taking me along on your journey and helping to lead me along my own for the last 30 years.
It has been two years today that Dale left this space, and I sure miss him so very much. Every day there is something to bring a memory to mind.
Miss shaking our bones at the shanty listening to the Grateful Dead, just living life. I miss everything about him.
Know my love will not fade away
Farewell to an original rock 'n roller
waiting on number three....
I hate gettin' old....reminds me of an old biker dude I took care of, had a tat of a noose with blood dripping down on his arm, spelling out...born to die
morbid, yes. But true.
what a miserable no good, sh!ta$$ day this has become....
Say hi to Jerry please, looks like you made it after all....
I'm beginning to feel like a ghoul, as if I wasn't depressed enough.
Thanks for the smiles and laughs. I'll never forget the closet full of walnuts. Me & my dad laughed ourselves silly.
Goodbye, Mary Tyler Moore. You were SOOOOO pretty.
RIP Claude Hudson Trucks
Love you man, say hi to Jerry for me....
...in rock 'n roll heaven. safe passage, Butch Trucks.
thanks for the heads up Ms. Katniss