How to Say Goodbye, or a Jager for the Road

April 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Photo by Melissa Zahnweh (Bells Bells Bells, Floozy, Undergirl)

From Paul Dellevigne:

I found out tonight (courtesy of Dave Lorenz) that his name in Polish means “good will”.

How appropriate. He gave me my first bar booking ten years ago, and he and Dave Rogers gave me my first bartending job over five years ago.

And in between he was there for me more times than I can count.

It wasn’t always pretty. More often than not, his advice hurt, hti you right to the core, but it was almost always right, and he always meant what he said.

He would hurt you sometimes, his honesty cutting you to the quick, and in a blink of an eye, he would realize that he hurt you and take you aside to apologize and make sure you understood that he was just exaggerating to make a point. Then, after he calmed you down, he’d sit with his drink and make sure to say, “It’s true, though.”

When my band stopped playing certain songs, he was livid. “You have three absolute fucking hit songs, and you’re too much of a pussy to demand that everyone just shut up and play them!” He was convinced that one day the Sinners would hit it.

Then, when he first heard Dave’s other band, El Dorado, he took me aside and told me, “They’re good. If you want to keep Dave in your band you better step it up.”

I never did.

He shouldered me through every broken relationship and did his damnedest to make sure I never did anything stupid, even when it meant forcing me to crash at his place.

When Tara came with me to TriTone for Skinny Dave’s memorial service just a few weeks ago, he took me aside, hugged me, and said, “It’s about time.”

Goddammit he cared so much that the only time he ever yelled at me and meant it was when I held my problems from him. “Dammit, Paul, how the hell can I help you if you don’t tell me when something’s wrong?”

After Skinny Dave died, another friend, Bruce, died. I talked to Rick about it and told him that our friend Kevin Karg was trying to find out what happened. Rick called Kevin to tell him personally. Kevin then asked how Rick was doing overall.

“I’d be fine,” Rick said, “If only everyone would stop dying.”

He had a heart attack less than a month later.

One more person has died, and I’m not going to be okay with it for a very long time.

In my heart, I want to say so much more about this man, but I truly don’t know what else to say except that he was so strong for so many people I just can’t believe we have to go it without him now.

In the long run, it makes sense that he had a heart attack. He carried so many people in there for so long, I guess something had to give eventually, and he just never stopped caring about the rest of us.

We’re going to bury Rick in the morning. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to say that.

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Entry filed under: Rick D, They Served, Uncategorized.

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