Tag Archives: RIP

(Disjointed) Musings about Kurt Cobain (2014)

Re: Cobain, 2014 / disjointed miscellaneous annotations 

Thinking of poor dead Kurdt today.

Barely bearable. So many memories:

Accidentally fortunate enough to be dialed in to the Nirvana zeitgeist.

I saw Nirvana at a perfect time, before Nevermind but after Dave Grohl joined. They opened for Dinosaur Jr. at the Pompadour (an old church) in Salt Lake City.

Went away with nothing but the thoughts that they were the *most perfect* band i’d seen: i could hum the songs right away (“gramma take me home, i wanna be alone”) and they were loud (i love loud but Dino Jr. afterwards made everyone huddle in a mass at the back with bleeding ears), and *dareisay* charisma & confidence oozed from all three. They knew what they had ready.

I’ve met Krist a few times since and had him sign the poster from that show, he was surprised to see it as it was part of a few show run to stretch the band out before the whole world changed (for them and us) when Nevermind dropped.

My fave jukebox track was playing the last song on NM which was followed by 10 minute-ish of silence to confuse the bar patrons before the psychedelic mystery track melted their heads.

At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ

Living in Olympia after he died, his ghost was everywhere and people always spoke in hushed tones about him.

His old house (from where he used to shoot at the Lottery bldg.) was right by my (OlyWa.net / Zhonka) office – the current resident was a customer even – i saw the graffiti he put on the walls of their jam space, drank at the bars he did, spent a year driving to Aberdeen on weekends for college classes and sadness of that town was palatable.

I learned he was dead weeks after it happened. I was in Japan working high in the remote mountains as a mushroom farmer and a pithy Brit mentioned it in a “good riddance” tone around a campfire at a log home builders party. I had to walk away.

{As an aside, i can’t thinking about another Olympia refugee who met an early self-inflicted (yet somewhat mysterious) demise, Elliott Smith. These dudes were more or less my age and i think my best work is still ahead of me at 43 and feel cheated from the songs we’ll never hear from them.}

But the strongest emotion is one is empathy and how i wished i could have helped them navigate the pitfalls of the “machine” which turned their outward projection into something they didn’t want to be.

And we all want to be known as who we really are.

The relentless photo, tours, hangers-on, pressure, misunderstandings. Let him breathe!

Be kind to artists, be kind to battered souls, be nurturing to those who dull the pain with the easiest escapes.

Here’s a peace pipe for us all to pass and remember a remarkable lightning bolt.

The 5 albums (counting Unplugged & Insecticide but not the endless bootlegs, other live, compilations, reissues blah blah blah) are all significantly different and explore so much musical territory in such rapid time is rather remarkable – reacquainting his muse with each release.

We missed the Kurt album with the 20 minute jams, the one where he played with Roma, the one where with spoken word stories, the one with lullabies, the one where he went surrealist, the one where Dave sang the songs, the one when they added an accordion player or a melodica, the one where he played right handed.

PS If you haven’t seen it, watch “About A Son” – a curious doc with intimate voice recordings with Cobain overlaid with scenes of Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. His voice oozes sincerity, intensity, sadness, elation and confusion.

Rest in Peace to Ayurveda Dr Rishi in Nepal

My heart aches at this shocking news. Dear Dr. Rishi was such an instrumental part in changing my life for which I will be forever grateful. In his presence, I felt a very rare and powerful and graceful energy which I will always remember.

His credentials and accomplishments are endless as he travelled the world bridging cultures and sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda as well as other healing modalities with scholars and practitioners. He kept up quite a schedule but also was the chief medical man of this highly efficient and effective group of clinics in Nepal.

DaveO and Dr Rishi at Ayurveda Health Home in Kathmandu. Nepal – note almost matching moustaches

I remember sitting with him at lunch as he gently ate and kindly answered my questions (building about the differences between traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, and the importance of being present and doing the most minor activities with intention – including eating and cleaning.

Importantly for my healing journey though, he travelled from Katmandu to Pokhara specifically for my intake at the hospital – along with his luminescent colleague Dr Rumee. After *losing* so many years of my life to chronic and complex illness I was so discouraged as doctors never seem to take the time to listen to me and thoroughly examine and inspect me. He listen to all aspects of my life, physical, emotional, spiritual and so on with a deep well of empathy and acknowledgment.

Wishing every blessing my wee heart can muster for his family, friends, colleagues and other patients. I will light incense in your honour from Japan and remember you always so very fondly.

In gracious remembrance of a wonderful human.

Note: much more to share about my time to Ayurveda Health Home in Pokhara and later a visit with Dr Rishi in Kathmandu.

Continue reading Rest in Peace to Ayurveda Dr Rishi in Nepal

Riff: Joe Strummer, Silver & Gold

Joe Strummer running London Marathon in 1983 by Steve Rapport as seen in the kura barn studio
^ I spy with my bespectacled eye… {DOA, Billy Bragg, The matinee, Buffalo Tom, David Bowie, Shred Kelly, Ramones, Hunter S Thompson, Allen Ginsberg, The Spores…}

Joe Strummer (Mellor) died around this day 17 years ago, not too old but old enough to leave an exceptionally eclectic legacy of undeniable mightiness.

His silver form hangs proudly in a 150 year old grain barn in provincial Japan in a beloved photo by (Vancouver treasure) Bev Davies from the US festival (the last show with Joe and Mick) in 1983 & has recently made friends with another version of himself from the same year, running the London marathon captured by Steve Rapport (former UK, now Pacifica, California and just releasing a book full of Joe/The Clash photos #PreOrder).

Hopping the stage and singing “White Riot” for the encore in 1984 (yes yes I know ya purists “out of control” wasn’t the *real*… oh forget it… and no way I could’ve got to the show at the Kerrisdale Arena a few years before with The Special’s playing and you know I would’ve loved that but born in 1970 is great for many things)

Take what you can take

and stage diving in front of Joe will always remain near the top of my list of “noteworthy life accomplishments” – I was 13, took the bus in from the suburbs, and stuck my dorky glasses in my jeans pocket and headed into the pit, completely overcome and immersed by this massive sound *and* songs which “really said something”.

I “celebrate his whole catalog ;)” from the 101’s, to The Clash, to Earthquake Weather etc, to the Mescaleros, to filling in with the Pogues, to hanging out at campfires at Glastonbury. And hear his legacy living on through voices from Billy Bragg to Don Letts and so many others.

Route 19 revisited

West Way to the world

The future is unwritten

PS if you need even more The Clash goodness, dig up a BBC audio video collage style film made on the streets of London around 1979, it’s so weirdly awesome great. (I’d’ve pasted here but I can’t figure out new word press blog thingie blah blah blah)

Oh here it is: 

Oh yeah, dig this Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Live In Roseland Ballroom, New York / familair classics with the Mescas world beat flair

 

Memento: Rod H. Ash, Grave + Poem, 2017

On my birthday August 16, 2017, I found myself in Provo, Utah sleeping in yet another bed in which someone died. 

I try to forget about the day and it’s entirety, fiddled with assembling chapbooks as gifts, stamping inky thumbprints on them and giving them to folks who i pretend were pleased, and reading poems by Richard Brautigan.

Then the potter Marty Kendall and I went to see the grave of our dear pal Rod Howard Ash who passed away shortly before at an untimely age. I brought him a poem on vintage hotel letterhead written when I heard about his death wow meandering seas between the Suez. Somewhere in Aqaba or Olympia. (note: inspired a cycle of the “Items: Forgotten” series called “Time Traveller“). 

This marker was a temporary one, apparently is changed now. I think about this kind man all the time, so much style so much cool. Ugh. 

Worth noting a few months before, during memorial day weekend, we threw a party called “creepers and chums” as a tribute to him and my mother who well, also died.

PS Later that night we went to see Rod’s best pal Mikael Lewis perform and he sang a song we wrote about yet another dead pal Foster

Peaches for John Prine (rip)

On April 8th Japan time, i wrote: 

“Digging loads of John Prine recently… he’s a funny as fck and exceptional songwriter / here’s him singing for his hero Gordon Lightfoot. The banter and songs are both top-level” and shared:

and a few minutes later, learned he’d passed from the “this g0dless plague”

so i wrote: 

Now ole postman John gonna drink a vodka and ginger-ale, smoke a cigarette 9 miles long, find mom and dad & good ole brother Doug and cousin Jackie…, and momma’s sister cause that’s where the love starts… take this wristwatch off my arm whatcha gonna do with time when ya… bought. the. farm.

and later added a lyric along with our peach tree growing in the backyard while we wait for our lil human to arrive, ergo: 

Throw away the paper
Move to the country
Build yourself at home
Eat a lot of peaches
Etc.

For dear old John Prine with admiration, respect and fondness

Continue reading Peaches for John Prine (rip)

Dad, 6 years gone / brief notes

Changing topics from Nagasaki to Olympics to… Dad. Well he’s gone 6 years today.

On my mind so much as now i am bound to be a Dad in June.

His last weeks are hard to reflect upon. Not just the heart hurting but all the toll it took just living through the process on someone dying. The physical and emotional strain was well… a lot. Cancer, ugh. Have we not raised enough money, enough research, enough science yet? Learned on Christmas Day, was gone before Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a snap of us January 26, 2014. He looks rough but so positive and strong during the stretch run – He was fun and kind. So much respect. Thanks to all of you who supported us with kind words during that time. (Also, a thumbs-down to those who decided his funeral was a good time to give me grief, you are lame).

Peace to you and your kin. Good health for all. Boo cancer, yeah fun times.

++
My brother James adds:

My brother Dave Olson expresses so many sentiments on the anniversary of my dad’s passing (6 years+1 day) so well that I figured that I would just share what he said and add a thought …

A THOUGHT: As his ever-wise fourth son, it was easy to find “flaws” in my dad, as it was to pick out things he was really great at as a dad and good human. As a dad now, not repeating some of those flaws is actually pretty easy but replicating the great stuff is actually really hard.

I am a way grouchier presence in the house than he was (ask my poor kids!); his optimism pertaining to people and things was most often beyond commendable (he saw good and potential way more clearly than I can); he didn’t always need people to rush, rush, rush (“Hurry up!” seems to be my favourite refrain); and the list goes on.

I take solace in knowing that he evolved into many of those qualities and ways of being and I have some time. 

Mom: 3 Years Gone – “Tour de Ashes”

Hi Mom,

Well today is 3 years gone and wow, so much has happened since the worst phone call ever in Auroville.

I won’t get into all the details but do want to catch you up on all the geo-locations (and other memorials) your ashes are distributed… for the time being at least.

Overall, you’ll be happy to know we’ve added a few more stamps to your figurative passport and there are many places scattered around the world where you are especially remembered. 

We’ll start the world tour with the most obvious and familiar locations in Utah: 

First, the Celebration of Life Monument in SLC right by the (fabulous) library. This wall took some doing to make it all happen but worth the work and looks great.      

Your entire full name with all the middle names is engraved on the wall and allll spelled perfectly! 

Continue reading Mom: 3 Years Gone – “Tour de Ashes”

Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84

A heart-wrenching poem about an abducted boy called Simon – who lived nearby, was my age and sorta looked like me – in Surrey, BC 1982 – by the “Beast of BC” Clifford Robert Olson (NO relation). Recorded and contributed to Dark Poutine Canadian True Crime podcast – shared here for posterity etc.

RIP Simon and the others.

Be wary for: Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84
(10MB, 5:27, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Simon, Stolen, Shame – Postcard #84

Mom’s Foreign Travel Treasures (Happy 75th Birthday)

Oh Mom, there are so many thing to tell you about this last year… the short is: for the first time in a loooong time, i have hope, optimism and a bit of peace.

Last year included a trip to Logan to deal with the rest of your items including the missing Agatha Christie books (still missing), green glass (duly distributed) and various bins of letters, treasures and papers. Long weeks at Anders’ place sorting it all as best as possible. Had hoped to scan, inventory etc everything but gave, as you’d say, “a lick and a promise”.

Assembled boxes for sons, brothers, and Lonnie Gee, Doug and Dan et al to spread memories around the world. Learned so many things about you! Flight attendant job applications, letters from Grandpa and Lorayne, records from your college days (so many colleges), oh made office supply kits for the Grandkids, and loaded up all your stationery/letterhead/letraset/postcards stash for me. And using it all too.

Also (almooooosssstttt) finished dealing with the conundrums with Service Canada (a true bureaucratic nightmare of nonsense) and your headstone should be arriving anyday from India (thans Uncle Bob) – i designed it and am so proud to do so. Also your ashes are well on their way around the world with stops in Pacifica, Logan, North Van, Pe ELL, Olympia, Nusa Ceningan, Sarpsborg and so on. Anders did a great job getting little vials filled up.

Big news: your wedding dress is getting altered and put into service for dear Ryoko (you’d love her) and, i ordered (finally!) my own kilt. Royal Stewart with Cape, formal sporran, Prince Charlie jacket and socks etc. April 20-21 will keep your ashes with me to feel your energy in some weird (totally not macabre way).

No doubt this week is tough every year as the anniversary of Dad’s death/funeral and your birthday all at once. So i write and make documentary art. So much more to tell you but must be careful of my energy and screen time.

So, in doing this all, i did photo-inventory many of your travel treasures. Sharing here to keep your story alive.

Speaking of “your story”, got your blog and Flickr and Ancestry all backed up. Learned a lot about impermanence of the internet. Frustrating as i want to be meticulous but also realize perfection is entirely overrated.

On to the treasures.

Fondly, davey

Continue reading Mom’s Foreign Travel Treasures (Happy 75th Birthday)

Artifact: Resume of Lorne H. Olson (aka Dr. O)

When going through my late Mom’s archive of documents, ephemera, photos, letters etc, came across this beautifully executed resume for my late Dad. The two were divorced after this time and very different people in general.

This document shows the collaboration from my parents as my Mom’s fingerprints are all over the layout and design. I would thing that this is well before digital desktop publishing but the typefaces and precise layout make me wonder the workflow. Anyhow…

Notably the multi-page dossier took me back to a time when the family was intact, before the rather tumultuous times which followed: Dad is smiling, has a Ed.D (Doctorate of Education which begat his nickname “Dr. O”) to his credit, and was fresh out of a few notable university gigs at Michigan State University (Lansing) and University of British Columbia (Vancouver) after earning his degrees at University of Oregon (Eugene) and BYU (Provo).

I see out last family address and phone number and the names of my brothers which allow me to date-stamp to probably 1981-3.

As it goes, he soon switched careers going into real estate sales (as Mom had recently done) at which he was diligent and successful by most any measure except some emotional categories. He also taught real estate licensing classes relying on his education education.

He died of cancer in February 11, 2014 at age 73.