Nevada Hill, RIP

Nevada Hill died. I don’t really imagine most of you recognize his name. He was a musician & graphic artist & dad. More or less interchangeable with me I suppose. I was first in touch with him because he was the guitarist for Zanzibar Snails (Michael Chamy’s band that appeared on a few Silber comps). Part of us hitting it off was he told me he was named after one of my favorite movies, Nevada Smith. He had just had a kid when I was launching my musician dad interview series & we did a phone interview, which was rare for me at the time. He had some insight in his interview that really stuck with me about having less free time making you find away to make art more immediately & spontaneously & though I have seldom worked that way, I admit it is where some of my best work comes from. Anyhow, he’s got an interview about being a touring musician in the next QRD (whenever I get my act together & get it out) & even though I knew he was fighting cancer it never occurred to me it would kill him. Sure he was going through experimental cancer treatments, but he was also booking a tour. He was talking about doing something for the 5in5 series if he could work it around his tour schedule, not around his cancer schedule. I don’t know, I only really knew him through a couple of phone calls & internet communications which I guess can be skewed from reality, especially when dealing with us artist types. When a friend who’s a junkie dies of an overdose or there’s another rock & roll suicide it doesn’t really hit me anymore, but when someone younger than me with their act more together than me it really hits. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time a friend has died since my daughter was born. Maybe it’s because I just saw a photo of me for the first time since I lost weight when I had pneumonia last month & can see how close I let myself get to dying (I look like a junkie now more than ever), but right now I’m terribly afraid of not having completed whatever my mission is (that’s a Nevada Smith reference). So thanks Nevada, for one last time helping to give me some perspective. Reminding me my time is short & I have work to do. I’m sorry we never got to hang out. I’m sorry to all you other friends I never see. One day I hope to see you all, but today I’m just going to try to get some work done.

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