Sunday, August 09, 2009

...

(Expanded August 10, 2009.)

Very sad news...

My friend Brian Cook, a devoted husband and all-round brilliant fellow, an indefatigable collector geek possessed of a devious and genuinely subversive aesthetic, a superb bassist with an unerring ear who graced the lineups many outsider ensembles (including Pineal Ventana, Accustat, A AAL Aachen Nevada Jim, and Black Love), and most humbling of all, an avid supporter of TLASILA, died earlier today in Athens, Georgia.

His wife and childhood sweetheart, Melinda Henon, is devastated, and my heart goes out to her. She and Brian were fused for as long as anyone could remember. They were soulmates, and I make no apologies for the use of the term. There was nothing saccharine or soporific about their wild, three-decade-long ride...

I am stunned and deeply saddened by his death, by this sudden and all too cruel departure. It's a goddamned shame...

In shock, I took my bicycle and drove through the deserted Sunday morning streets of Hannover. Apart from the odd clump of stumbling drunks and unfortunate 6:25 commuters, I had the city to myself. I took Brian's spectre on a tour of one of the office complexes where I teach, stopping to admire a favorite crumbling wall here, an anomalous suburban garden structure there. I've scarcely felt more numb, but somehow the ride managed to induce a temporary sense of calm. I phoned Mel later in the afternoon, and wept silently with her.

She is one very strong woman. Brian adored her, utterly...

He was tortured, yes, but even in his flailings he was courtly, compassionate, infused with a compulsive, tangled joy... He was a splendid human being.



(Melinda and Brian, from B's MySpace profile...)

I love you, Mel. Stay strong...

Requiescat in pace, B...

TS