(photo Greg Allen 1987)
You taught me how to sing harmony. How to find the root, the third, the fifth. How to find the ninth tone in a guitar chord.
Crazy maybe; you willingly went along as tour manager of my bands first tour, in the dead of winter, in 1988. You and Waygone Rex got into a fight, almost really bad, back stage in a lousy club in Birmingham Alabama, the last gig of the tour. You said "that's it" you were going to take a Greyhound bus home, you went back to the hotel. Instead you got up the next morning took the terrible $1500 van in for an oil change and we drove back to Southern California our friendships still in tact.
When I was ready to leave home, leave my parents, you were a safe place to learn how to become a un-child. Maybe not an adult just yet, but not a child. I paid rent, got my first job and listened to your extensive record collection, on shelves made of boards and cement blocks
You were my friend and advisor when I needed to talk about guys and figure out where I fit in. One time you said, "what's with you?" I said I had a big wall (I was 22) and that if anyone wanted to get close they'd have to knock it down. You said, "okay I'm knocking it down". You really knew how to be my friend.
Our friend David Ruderman reminded me the other day, of the time we went with you in your old 1940s Ford truck, tooling down the freeway, on our way to a little gig at a steakhouse and the entire front wheel came off the axel. Thump! And then it, the wheel, rolling on ahead of us, passing in front of us, while we screeched and sparked to a halt, safely somehow, miraculously, on the shoulder of the freeway.
When I got married to Paul, you were our photographer. When our little 4 year old son had a birthday you were the train engineer that told tall tales of steam-engines and sang songs of railroad yards.
Everyone (Elizabeth Hummel, Veronica Boyer, Bart Mendoza) looking cool for your shutter snap, at the wedding..
Rick, the last time I saw you, in 2005 or 6, I was pretty much a mess with everything going on with Paul's health, as you remember he was still living at home. And raising a young child on my own. I wasn't much a friend to you and your sister these past 12 years. But I've always got you here, in my heart, and in my harmony, and those photographic memories. May your life now as a free spirit of energy take you to all the places you always wanted to go, the Holland Tunnel, Route 66, and beyond.
Rick Saxton passed away 2 weeks ago.