A text from my old pal and bandmate Patrick Weklar brought me the news.  Sarge Blotto was gone.   It hit me hard.  Despite the hour I poured a scotch and drank to memories.   So many friends and colleagues have posted their remembrances online.   I’ve loved seeing all of them.  A prismatic view of a great person.  Like when Vito Acconci died I felt strangely reluctant to say much.   As if anything would seem less than it should be—and that is, of course, true.  But like Acconci I realize that we all hold pieces of a greater whole and part of being a community is sharing those pieces. 
In the early 80s, I was a suburban music kid outside Albany so-- of course-- I knew who Blotto was.  But even more, Mitch Barron and I scoured the local music writing and we commiserated most over Sarge Blotto’s Rockin-Roll Call-   which provided us little glimpses of the then-burgeoning Albany music scene.  He was a local hero, Sarge.

In college I worked for Blotto- road crew and then road managing.  What a set of humans…   welcoming, forgiving, mentoring, uproariously funny. I was always stage left- on Sarge’s side of the stage -  we had the crazy changes to affect--  Goodbye Mr Bond, Metal Head.  And glances to exchange when some keyboard part… strayed from the familiar.

We drank at QE2-- many nights in the late 80s laughing about some musical story.  Ranging over topics-- the Cabaret Voltaire, Jandek, performance art, critical theory.

On our first date, Tara and I ran into him at a Bob Mould show.  She couldn’t figure out why I had so casually approached Sarge Blotto- realizing only later that we actually knew one another.  She had spent her teen years in NJ belting Lifeguard while, in fact, a lifeguard.

I didn’t know him best, of course.  We didn’t play music together, but Sarge was a constant over the course of decades-- shows and openings and run-ins.  Were any of those run-ins ever less than wonderful?  Less than confirmational?  Did I ever leave a meeting with Sarge not smiling?   

He was always Sarge to me.  34 years after meeting him- still Sarge.  It’s difficult to imagine that I won’t run into him and have a chat and exchange some tale.  He laughed when I said I find Close to the Edge “catchy”…  he had some tidbit from some show he just saw, he laughed about some shared memory.  Which was the last run in?  Things just end, unexpectedly and incompletely. 

Thanks Sarge.  You were a hero, a mentor, a model.  fabulous, fabulous, fabulous….