Thursday, August 2, 2012

RIP Bill Doss, and Bryson Avery

I was fortunate enough to interview Gary Brooker of Procol Harum earlier this week. You will hopefully see this interview soon. During our conversation, Brooker talked about having that moment in life when you realize how important life can be, and how quickly it can all change. Brooker knows this very well. Brooker took a nasty fall during a trip to South Africa this past May, and could have easily died there. His words have been ringing in my ears since I returned home.

Yesterday, I woke up to the news that Bill Doss had died. Bill was a member of the Olivia Tremor Control, and co-founder of the Elephant 6 Recording label. The Elephant 6 collective was a huge part of my listening experience, and in my early days of photography. I met Bill in 2003, on my way back from a Paul McCartney concert in Raleigh. Bill was a really nice guy, and was thrilled that I was putting him on the same roll of film as McCartney. I only saw Bill a couple of times after that, and I never got to thank him for his music and work as properly as I now wish I had.

A few hours later, I discovered that a friend of mine, Bryson Avery had died. Bryson was a friend to many of us in the Charlotte area. Musician, music fan, and all around life of the party. Like Bill, I didn't see Bryson enough, and he has left this physical place all too soon. There's a part of me that keeps waiting for Bryson to show up again on Facebook, telling us all that it was all a bad joke, or some rumor that started while he was out of town. I know that won't happen, but I wish it would.

Permanence is a fragile state of mind. We don't know why things suddenly change, and why our friends and loved ones sometimes leave us, without benefit of preparation, or goodbyes. It is that reality that is always hard to deal with. It doesn't get easier to deal with as you get older, you just become better at hiding the pain. That being said, the people we love are always with us. The times we had with them, the laughs, the mutual enjoyment of each other's company. That does not change, only our current frame of reference to those people. Bill and Bryson will always live on through their music, and our memories, and I look forward to revisiting them again, and again.

Safe travels, guys,
August 2, 2012

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