Afterword: RIP 2022 This Time It’s Personal

RIP 2022 Ron Miles (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)



Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE


This is the third RIP music column I have written in so many years. The first was inspired by the musicians we lost during the start of the pandemic. Next, it was the passing of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

This time it is personal.

RIP 2022 Alan White, drummer for Yes and John Lennon (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

In 2022, I lost my dear friend and artistic collaborator Dave Zekman. We were partners for two decades, along with Mark J. Rosoff, in the performing group TVS and two fingers — playing hundreds of shows in alternative venues, festivals, and schools.

Zekman was also known for his work in the experimental music ensemble Biota and recorded tracks for numerous other NOCO artists’ projects. He was also part of the house band at the Whole Life Church. His music will be missed by many.

RIP 2022 Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The work we did together was one thing. But also losing Dave’s voice on the telephone, or friendship over lunch, or just shooting the breeze while listening to music leaves a big hole.

That’s what I am saying — losing Dave wasn’t just a professional thing, but very personal.

Maybe losing musicians is a personal thing in general. 

RIP 2022 Dave Zekman (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

People often grasp onto music because of what is going on in their lives — pop music is something we remember. Mentioning an artist or hearing a song sometimes brings the past back. Losing these musicians can be a shock, like losing a good friend.

Hearing that jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis died in 2022, for example, made me think of one of the earliest records I “dug”.

My oldest brother had a 45 RPM record of Lewis’ 1965 hit “The ‘In’ Crowd” and I played that thing constantly. I liked the jaunty instrumental music, as well as the crowd noises in the background — it sounded like people were having fun.

RIP 2022 Yes drummer Alan White (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Hearing that Gary Brooker, keyboardist, and vocalist for the band Procol Harum, passed away in 2022 brought to my mind the mid-1970s.

Sure, I was aware of Procol Harum’s signature song, “Whiter Shade of Pale”, but I was in thrall to albums such as “Broken Barricades” and “Grand Hotel” — and I got to see the band twice during this period.

Also, around this time, I was a big Yes fan. Longtime Yes drummer Alan White — also a sideman for both George Harrison and John Lennon — is now gone.

The loss of Jim Seals of the 1970s hit makers Seals and Crofts made me think of a buoyant show I saw in Santa Barbara, the audience dancing in a big circle around the venue.

I was sorry to say goodbye to Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the last of the rock and roll originals. I just danced to Lewis’ hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” at the recent Blues Circus show in Loveland.

Keyboardist and composer Vangelis died in 2022, too — reminding me of inspiring music in movies such as “Chariots of Fire” and “Blade Runner”.

Losing Bunny Diamond this year — of the reggae band the Mighty Diamonds — made me remember an excellent show at the Boulder Coast. Willie Nelson’s sister Bobbie Nelson also died in 2022 and that made me think of an epic Nelson show at the Lincoln Center.

Other musicians we lost in 2022: Christine McVie, Ronnie Hawkins, Meat Loaf, Ron Miles, Coolio, Loretta Lynn, Pharoah Sanders, Olivia Newton-John, Woodstock producer Michael Lang, Taylor Hawkins, Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, and James Bond composer Monty Norman.

There were so many others, so many precious memories.

See “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.


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