Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jim is dead

Let me tell you about Jim. I met Jim in 1979 because he was dating a friend of mine from work. Jim played bass in the Young Canadians with Art Bergman and Barry Taylor. I saw them for the first time at the Commodore Ballroom opening for Black Flag. Pre Henry Rollins. They rocked. Jim was very mellow, a bit of an introvert, except when onstage. He was a study in dynamics, a whirl of sparks. New Years Eve 1980; we got very drunk and went to see a show at The Laundromat. The Subhumans were playing. Jim was refused entrance because of his advanced state of intoxication. Toxicity. We had to take him to the hospital. He survived. He was very apologetic the next time I saw him, but it was one of my most memorable New Years. Thanks Jim.
I lost track of him over the years, but one day I saw him in Vancouver's Kitslano area with his Mom. Jim had mental health issues that required a fair bit of medication and he didn't look too well at the time. I felt bad about not making the effort to talk to him. Luckily I did bump into him a few months before his death, at my favorite Broadway eatery. He seemed to remember me (it had been at least 23 years since we'd last hung out). We talked about music and the state of the World and promised to talk again....over a bagel and coffee. That was 11 months ago. I picked up the paper last week and read that Jim had be killed in an accident at a Kitslano supermarket. This was a few weeks after his home had been destroyed in a fire. Some people might say that it's a tragic tale, but I don't think Jim would have seen it that way. He would have taken it in stride, dignified, and Jim, we have been enriched by your time here with us. Rock on.