Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crappy month!

This month has been hard. My Uncle Bill passed away. That has been hard to come to terms with. On top of that Saturday at 1am our dear friend Ken passed away. Aric just had band practice with him on Friday night. Training has been few this month. Because of my IT band, the girls school (I help out Monday's and Friday's on top of Teaching Art Adventure for two classes), kids getting sick, me getting sick, my uncle passing, and now our friend. I am more motivated to workout, to stay healthy for my husband and kids. Now to get healthy so I can workout. ")

This is what my husband wrote about our friend passing away. I think it's well put. He had a hard time writing it and was crying while writing. My hubby has a big heart.

Ken Giere was a fantastic musician. I met him in February of this year, when I replied to a Craigslist posting for a bass player. I was looking for a new band, and they were looking for a new bass player. I called the number listed in the ad, and the voice at the other end was friendly, honest, and knowledgeable. Ken and I spoke for the better part of an hour that first day, and I was really excited about the prospect of auditioning his band.

It was several weeks before an audition time was available, and I drove to the location with the map he sent me. It was thorough and accurate, by the way, which was a good thing because the house was well out of town in the hills. I grabbed my gear and headed into the practice room to find a big, affable fellow parked behind the keyboard. That’s probably how I’ll always remember him. He always sat in the same spot, the same way, every rehearsal. Like a tired St. Bernard on his favorite warm rug, he looked very comfortable there. That’s where he wanted to be. He belonged there.

When we began playing, I was hooked by his style and his taste. He and I spent the better part of that evening, and so many evenings since, testing each other’s musical chops. He would play the intro to a song, looking slyly at me with his eyebrow raised. Without a hitch, I’d sing the first line of “I’ve seen that Movie, Too.” A smile would spread across his face and we’d jam through most of the song, exuberant that someone else shared our obscure musical predilections.

It wasn’t just music. There was a real kinship in the band, and with our families and friends. He was loved for who he was, his personality, his wise-cracks, his kindness. And his cooking! That man could whip up a mean Mexican food feast. I’ve never been in a band that had such a family feel, and so much of that was his presence.

And so it was for the rest of our time together in Hot Audio. Every rehearsal, he’d say “what about…” and the next several minutes would be a trip through musical nostalgia where we’d get to impress each other. It made him happy. It made me happy. In fact, just this past Friday night, that’s how things went. It was a happy evening, and I waved goodbye to Ken Giere for the last time.

Sometime that night, around 1:00AM I’m told, Ken suffered a massive heart attack in his sleep and died. That great smile, that whip-smart sense of humor, all that kindness and talent; all of it ended there that night. At least, in the corporeal sense it ended. The memory of those things is so fresh in so many of his friends and his family, in me, that I can’t really say it will ever truly end. Nor will the loss that we feel ever truly end.

Goodbye, Ken. Making music without you will be bitter in your absence, but sweet in your memory.

Aric's Grandma who left us to be in heaven this year.
My Uncle Bill.