It’s atypical for me to be sitting here contemplating a blog post at 6:12pm on a Friday evening – especially since I just returned from a quick jaunt down to Martha’s Vineyard for a couple of days. However, I received some news on Wednesday that really shook me and I’ve been trying to comprehend, analyze and figure out just what the hell is going on right now and what it all means. The picture you see here is a guy by the name of Rick Crawford. I first met Rick when we worked together at a failed dot.com back in 2000 & 2001. I actually worked with his brother, Pete, back in the mid-1990’s at Rounder Records, too, so we had a connection right awat. Upon meeting Rick, we pretty much hit it off from the start – he’s a big, big music fan, plays in a band, writes a blog and we have a strangely similar odd sense of humor. Rick’s posted quite a few comments on this very blog, too. He always told me that every morning, he’d get into work with his cup of coffee and scroll through various sites – news, blogs, etc – and that my blog was always on that list. Every day!

Rick had a heart attack about a week ago and died. I’m still having trouble even comprehending this. Ever since I got word, I keep thinking “Rick died of a heart attack” and it all feels like a surreal, very cruel joke that someone is playing on me. I mean, it’s just totally impossible. I know that next time we all meet at Redbones, Rick’ll be there and we’ll catch up. We’ll have a few beers and laugh, like we always do. And we’ll talk about the new Teenage Fanclub album and “hey, did you see Guided By Voices on Austin City Limits?!” But it’ll never happen now. Gone. Poof. Just like that. Rick. Dead.

I hadn’t seen him in the last year or so. Life happened. I got married, have been traveling a lot for work and keeping up on the treadmill of life. Rick also got married and even had a daughter, who’s now probably eight months old and will never know what a damn good guy this was. Will never even get to hold his hand to walk down the street. Will never even get to remember the sound of his voice. All she’ll have are pictures and questions. Tragic. So sad. And totally fucking unfair.

He was roughly a year older than me. I have no idea what caused this and I’m confused. Have I already reached the point in life where I have to start dealing with this? People of my own generation? People my age? I guess I do. While it seems uncommon for a 35 year old to die of heart failure, I suppose it’s certainly not unheard of and I know one thing: I’ll be making an appointment for a physical real soon (it’s only been a year-and-a-half, but I’m still freaked).

I still don’t know any of the details, either. I don’t know his family history. I don’t know anything and I can’t shake it: Rick. Dead. He just posted to his blog on June 17th, for god’s sake. It can’t be. No way.