If I were to draw up a list of the most instrumental people in our community, it would begin with Melissa Reagan, David Day and Rich Diakun. Last night (May 3) we lost the last of those great friends, as Rich passed away in hospital.
There is plenty to share about Rich, and plenty to remember him privately for, but he’ll be popularly recalled by us all for his encyclopaedic musical knowledge and his warm (yet dark!) humour. Rich grew up in Williamsburg at the same time as Bruce, and was a huge fan of music, both listening and creating. He shared his love of both very generously. He contributed to our fundraising cover CDs, and his unique take on “Passing Through” (below) caught Bruce’s attention, who really appreciated his rendition.
Rich and I shared a passion for a lot of the same diverse, sometimes obscure interests – Bill Watterson, wacky Beatles covers, Pearls Before Swine… and we would exchange gifts across the pond to pay tribute to that.
Rich had a terrific input into this website, and actually coined the phrase “Daily Dose”, which was a series of daily live music downloads that we ran for about ten years on this site.
He had been poorly for some time, but never once passed up the opportunity to support me (and apparently, many of you) through some difficult challenges.
His own music was tremendously imaginative and, as noted, was appreciated by Bruce. Here’s his version of Passing Through, from our Shadow Hands release.
I’m going to miss Rich greatly.