Monday, January 10, 2005

Thursday morning as I was getting ready to leave, I had the news on because I was following the Snow Tsunami that was hogging the exact route I intended to take to Pennsylvania.

I saw a brief
news clip regarding the shooting death of a (relatively) nearby recording studio guy, and it crossed my mind that his name sounded familiar. I wondered if it might be someone who was somehow related to my musical circle.

A day or two later, I received the following email from a recording-days pal of mine, whose name I have omitted (just to maintain his privacy):


My friends,

Tuesday of this week I learned that my friend AJ was murdered in his recording studio, probably sometime over the weekend. We know little else.

For two days after I felt physically sick and I'm still in disbelief, it just doesn't seem possible that this could happen to such a wonderful person. I had only known AJ for about a year and a half, and every time I saw him he had a smile. When I first met him I just could not believe that he was for real. No one is that positive and upbeat ALL the time! I have met way too many people in the music industry who will, for instance, ask you how you are doing but then get annoyed with more than a two word answer. When AJ asked how you were doing, he really meant it and eventually I realized that.

Just a few weeks ago we had spent a Saturday night roaming Metro Detroit checking out bands that he knew or had worked with and even stopped by Greektown Casino for a bit to play the slots - which I never do because I never win. I won about $30, which is a lot of nickels and paid for my night out (I'm cheap)... AJ pointed out that it was a good night. We stopped for dinner at a restaurant in Greek town and he shared some of his octopus with me so I could try it - these little things seem meaningless until you look back on them.

I was supposed to see him early this week to consult with him on work he wanted done at his studio. I left him a message on Monday after I left work, but he didn't answer his phone so I left a message.

AJ was a percussionist in addition to being a recording engineer and he was currently playing with Jody Raffoul's "Like a Star" band. Do me a favor, please go to Jody's website and take a moment to see why the Detroit music scene is so choked up this week:



I spoke with RecordingGuy later on the phone and he told me that the bit about stolen equipment as a motive is BS and appears to be an afterthought (just a couple things that weren't screwed into racks). Furthermore, it was someone he knew, as there was no forced entry.

The moral?

I guess it's the usual kind of message that seems so sappy when we see it on a greeting card, but suddenly seems so profound when we're confronted yet again with evidence of how fragile we all are: love one another; you never know how much time you have. Also, don't wait, do whatever it is you want to do with your life now, because life is way shorter than you think.


brainhell said...

Sorry to hear this. I agree with the lesson you take from it.

argotnaut said...

Ha -- like you have to tell ME that!!!

liz said...

Oh, I know. How many times do we need to have this lesson presented?

This is the primary reason that getting older sucks.