Things I will keep


That’s a Guided by Voices song. I saw them at The Cotton Club (remember that place?) in Atlanta a long time ago with my friends John Thompson and Lindsay Bianchi. Lindsay was an editor for this section more than a few years back. He passed away the other day and he will be missed.

In the scope of things, I did not know Lindsay for a very long time. I met him through John and we discovered that we shared a number of common interests: indie rock, cult movies, Pee Wee Herman.

You know, the usual things.

Lindsay helped build a nightclub atmosphere in John’s garage, papering the walls with old issues of the National Enquirer, setting up a DJ booth in the corner and painting things on the floor and ceiling in day glo colors, lit by strobes and colored lights. It probably sounds garish but if you were lucky enough to be at one of the many parties there, whether the stereo was blasting disco, new wave (or Eminem or the Beastie Boys when I took over), you couldn’t help but be enchanted by the charms of the club.

I hadn’t seen Lindsay in years but the last time I was in the club I still remembered thumbing through albums with him and just chilling out.

Lindsay had a wicked sense of humor. He was snarky and sarcastic, but also sweet. Underneath the cynicism he wore on the outside was a reservoir of optimism and an appreciation for all of the things that make life wonderful. For Lindsay, this was art and art, to him, could be found anywhere. He was a terrific painter and his eye and talent were truly astounding, especially to someone like me who struggles with making stick figures. His dry wit gave me some of the biggest laughs in my life.

Like most of us when someone we know passes away, I wished that I had kept in touch better or had been able to see him again and get that old feeling of shooting the breeze and talking about movies, music and the like.

That’s not the way it worked out though. People go in and out of our lives and our day to day routines often keep us from reconnecting. Despite knowing how the world works, we often think there will always be some more time to do this somewhere down the line.

There wasn’t this time.

I know Lindsay would hate it if he knew I was crafting some afterlife fantasy for him, but I hope that there is something for him. I like to think that he has a big warm studio with blank walls to fill and a great sound system. He can play Sonic Youth or Arcade Fire as loud as he wants there and it isn’t going to bug anybody.