This show was one of my favorite shows ever. I think it was our 2nd time to play the Wreckroom, and we got to play with Pablo & the Hemphill 7. They were my Fort Worth reggae heroes, and they still are. In the playlist below, I’ve got 19 tracks of theirs. These guys were amazing from the start.
Forces hold everything together. There are strong forces and weak forces. There are electromagnetic forces and gravitational forces. Cohesive forces hold together molecules of the same type, like water molecules. Adhesive forces hold together objects of differing types, like chalk adhering to a chalkboard. Some forces only impact objects within a finite range, while other forces have an infinte range of impact (like gravity for instance). Today I learned that a local band can be a force in a community, in a group of friends, in a family, and in the life of an individual.
Today we buried Jon Ward. The funeral was extremely moving. The burial was beautiful. A few hundred people and a sunny sky. It really hit me today that a local band can impact the world in a variety of ways. That a local band could be a force that provides inspiration. That a local band could lift the spirit of a man fighting for his life. That a local band could be a cohesive and adhesive force for a group of friends. That a local band could bring a smile to the faces of a grieving family. Darth Vato brought friends together and made people happy. That might just be the greatest memory I’ll have of our little band.
Jon Ward had a significant impact on us all. He was a force of compassion that apparently had an infinite range. Today I was humbled by the support and love shown for Jon. I sincerely felt lucky and blessed to have known him. He obviously had a deep connection with a lot of people, and it was very easy to see that in the slideshow. In a way, it seemed like people smiled bigger in pictures with Jon. He just brought that out of people. God must need more of that in Heaven.
A friend of mine passed away this morning. Jon Ward was awesome. He was a friend. He was a fighter. He was diagnosed with 2 types of cancers 365 day ago, and he’s been fighting for his life every day since that moment. Jon, we’re going to miss you, brother. I remember getting pissed when you were knocking people around in the pit at our shows because we had to deal with the aftermath of angry fans and even angrier club owners. But there was a part of me that was always glad to see you starting a pit because people in Fort Worth still don’t know what to do when a band starts to play a punk song. You were definitely a visionary in that realm, and when you started a pit, you made us feel like we were a badass punk band. When the scene changed from a punk show pit to a hospital bed, you continued to show us how courageous and brave you were. I oftened wondered if I could put up the same fight if I had to. I’m not sure I would have been able to do it. You were an inspiration to us all. Now there’s no more pain and you’re in a better place. Speaking of that, you’ve got the only Darth Vato tattoo in all of Heaven. Hopefully, St. Peter is okay with that! Jon, we love you and wish you the peace that only God’s love can bring. God bless you and your family. We’re going to miss you.
May 6, 2009 Update: Jon Ward’s Obituary here; Guestbook here
I played in a band for 7 years. We had our last show on Sat, April 27, 2009. It was a good thing, too. The next day, the only thing on TV was pig flu news. And the pig flu flew fast. It was in other countries within a couple of days. Or maybe the media was just jumping to conclusions. Pig Flu Pandemic must be one of the landing spots on the media’s Jump To Conclusions mat. If we were playing a show this weekend, I might be worried about the pig flu. Or maybe not. It almost sounds like it would be better to get the pig flu, so I could be immune to pig flu in the future.
It turns out that the pig flu raised its ugly head back in the 1970’s. 1976 to be exact. Apparently, President Ford ordered that all Americans get a swine flu shot. I read somewhere that 25% of all americans got a swine flu shot that year, but the pig flu turned out to be no big deal. I hope it stays that way in 2009. The last thing we need is one more thing to be worried about. I really don’t want to wake up one day and see people bringing out their dead.
And on a lighter note, check out this PSA from the 1976 pig flu scare. In the second commercial, they keep saying, “Betty’s mother gave it to _______.” They make the pig flu sound kinda dirty.