Friday, February 3, 2012

Several Species Of Small Furry Thoughts - Harry, Barry and Larry

       In my role as a member of the board of The Colorado Music Hall Of Fame I spend a good amount of time thinking about Colorado music and the people involved in its creation and promotion. Thus, I am proud to promote the next fundraising event for the hall. On February 12, we will honor and induct musician, historian, teacher and purveyor of The Denver Folklore Center Harry Tuft, and one of the most important rock promoters of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Barry Fey. Both of these guys have made an indelible mark on both Colorado, but also on the bigger world of music. Harry has done so much to champion and nurture folk music over the years. His store has been a touchstone for thousands of traveling musicians and he is a living repository of musical knowledge and wisdom. He’s also a really nice guy. Barry, on the other hand has made his reputation as one tough bastard, a guy who would do anything to get the show, book the tour, grab the gate. He entered a business that barely existed in the early 60’s, and over the next couple of decades he, along with a few other guys, pioneered a huge industry and put Colorado on the map as a concert location. These guys are both legends, and it will be fun and appropriate to see them inducted.

The event is something that shouldn’t be missed. The ticket price benefits the Hall Of Fame, and for your money you get an amazing spread from Pasta Jays and music from the likes of Rob Drabkin, Otis Taylor and Firefall. The place will be lousy with Colorado music type people and it is a really good time. Check the details here, and see you there.
I just got back from a funeral. This has been happening a lot lately. I’m really getting tired of it. This was a guy many people in the Denver music/arts community knew: Lawrence Epstein. He was someone I’d been friendly with since junior high (they call it middle school now). He was a fellow public school teacher, a lover of music, a great guitar player, and one of the most inquisitive and alert people I’ve ever met. He was never there when you expected him, but he remained in my life for over 30 years and always showed up at an unexpected time with an unbelievable story and an incredible zeal for living. I used to say to him: “Tell me something wild that happened to you recently so I can live vicariously.” He always obliged. In recent times darkness started to descend on him. He thought the best was over and he didn’t have anything to look forward to anymore. I saw him a few weeks ago and he was still energized - but not about living unfortunately. He took his own life a few days ago and his funeral this morning was filled with hundreds of hipsters, tripsters, students and family in spite of a raging snowstorm. The room was heavy with grief, and not surprisingly, some laughter.
So farewell Lawrence, Awrence, Lonely Lonely Lars, Larry, Bolt-savage Nazi Hunter, Schwa and all the other wonderful people you were. I’ll miss all of them.
Paul Epstein

No comments: