Friday, April 18, 2014

Josh Hemminger

 This one hurts. He was too young, but as we all find out, life is fragile. Someone I considered a damn
good friend passed away. Details are sketchy, but the sad fact is, I'll never see this guy rock out to
another show, I'll never get to spend another barbeque with him, or have sidesplitting laughs with him
again. This guy kept me going, and I wish I told him that. In fact the outpouring of love I’ve seen for
him today is great. I however just hope most of you were able to tell him those feelings while he was
with us.
Josh had a great spirit. He was the life of any event or party. Someone who was real and not full of
anything. I don't remember him ever trying to be anything but strait with people. Whether is was
harsh, loving, or bombastic with chaos. For a few years I remember him front and center at almost
every show I played, screaming his head off. He was giving out more energy than the band. For years
after that he would remain probably my biggest supporter and fan, and thankfully a friend. He would
show up to almost every show I had, and if he didn't, you could bet the show was going to suck or lack
He was the kind of guy who would always be there for you too. Selfless. I could call that guy at any
hour of the day a total mess and he would pick up. Never upset, just glad to hear from you. I
remember having many deep and long phone conversations with him. Not sure if we figured
everything out about life, but we philosophized. He was a little deeper than people may think. I think
people liked to judge him by first meetings, but after a few minutes he could win anyone over. I don't
know if people gave him enough credit for how giving he was. I can remember a number of times
freezing outside some crappy bar and he would offer you his coat, or his shoes, or a couch to sleep on,
even gas money home.
He cared, but didn't cared too much about useless things. He lived by many of his own rules. I
remember seeing his “bank”, a can of money in the corner of his room. He said, “he was tired for
being charged and ripped off by other banks, so fuck it, that's my bank now.” He taught me a thing or
two about living life how you want and on your terms. All I can take away from this is, well, sadness.
But, also, I want to live life with the energy he had. I want to approach everyday with his energy. Play
every show with his fury. I won't forget him, and I will do my best to keep his memory alive in how I
approach life. I love you Josh.  I really wish you could read this. 
Josh, offering perhaps the first ever guitar duet played on one guitar.  One of the best shows ever.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kurt - April 5th 1994

So, I played a show tonight and totally forgot this day.  20 years ago Kurt took his own life.  I really remember this as I was a 13 year old at the time.  I actually had a small nirvana encounter not long before Kurt's death.  I didn't learn the full story until I stopped into a local guitar shop in Salem, Oregon.  I saw a picture of Kurt and a broken guitar neck in a case.  I asked the owner about it.  Turns out, the whole band use to stop by that shop often when passing through.  One such night they played the Salem Armory.  The stage manager got directions to my dad's shop to get a tattoo from him that day from that guitar shop owner.  That evening after my dad finished the tattoo, the stage manager offered my family back stage passes.  (From what I understand)  My dad of course said "no".  This is normal dad behavior.  I slowly died inside, but liked knowing they played my town.  The guitar shop owner told me it was actually a peaceful family friendly back stage and that my family would have had a good time there.  Not long after this show, Kurt took his life.  Such a flash in the pan.  Kind of one of those, "wish I could have seen that"  memories.  But, without my dad I probably wouldn't have had that run-in.  Anyways....Small world.  Wish the dude didn't go the way he did.  I think a lot of us have always missed him.  

My best Hokusai rip off.

New art.  Happy spring 2014 everyone.