I went to investigate the reason for one of my favourite bloggers’ recent quiet spells today (he has changed blog host before and I suspected that was the reason) to be met with some tragic news. Doug died following an incident where he was tasered by police at a store for a minor misdemeanour. Anyone familiar with his writings (and they are usually not for the faint-hearted) would recognise the events leading up to his run-in with the law, as he had described numerous similar encounters, all good-natured and almost always resulting in someone (okay, usually a teenage redhead) being left feeling good about themselves.
The fact is that Doug lived the rock ‘n’ lifestyle to the best of his ability; not the drug-addled, constant partying mythology, but the real, gritty, struggling musician fighting for good, live music in the face of audiences who want to hear the same crap as they are spoon-fed on x-pop-idle-factor. It took him a while, but he did find a venue for his own blend of cover versions and original compositions that took a Zappa-esque delight in mixing the serious with the absurd.
As well as music, he loved writing, most often in a style influenced by Hunter S Thompson or H P Lovecraft. His occasionally posted recipes were always entertaining to read (and yes, his Gumbo recipe is pretty damn awesome), as were his tales of how he discovered certain bands and his explanations of his own bass and guitar-playing influences.
I can say with confidence, that it was Doug’s blog and his dedication to music that helped get me back playing music regularly after a break of many years. It gave me great delight to hear his enthusiasm for the piece of music I constructed around his original solo bass tune, “Requiem”, which then featured on our first album, Eponymous Debut.
I had hoped that I’d get to work with Doug again in the future on another project, but that was not to be. He leaves behind him two great achievements. Firstly a small, but thought-provoking and entertaining body of written and musical work and secondly his daughter Katie, his pride and joy, whom he taught to question everything and enjoy a good fart joke.