My life went down a new road on
He had us booked at The Stagger Inn in Edwardsville that evening. For some reason my mother and brother decided to drive out to see us that night. My father originally said he’d be there but backed out at the last minute. He had decided to go the DuQuoin State Fair with a girl friend.
We had finished sound check and were relaxing in a back room before the show. Mark Gray was our sound man. He came into the room in hysterics. His face was red and his body was convulsing. I wondered if he was having a bad reaction to some drug. He looked at me and said, “Your dad is dead.”
Everything went yellow.
Mark’s mother Suzy was on the phone. I could barely understand anything she said because she was crying and having trouble catching her breath. She later told me I was able to comfort her enough to give me details.
They had decided to go to a friend’s property at
This all came to me 15 minutes before we were to go on stage. In a trance like state I went on. At our first break my brother Patrick and I went to the local morgue to claim his body.
I was given his personal affects. Patrick refused to believe he was dead and insisted on seeing his body. The mortician was reluctant but my brother persisted. We went into the basement of the mortuary to find him with tubes pumping liquids into his body. It was unreal for me and I was angry with Patrick for making us go through it. There was an open casket at the funeral home and I was never able to get closer than 30 feet from him. It felt like there was actually a physical barrier.
Somehow we made it through the show that night and everyone told us it was one of our best. After loading up to leave it was time to get paid. Buzzy said the bar short changed us $25.00 but he made up for it by stealing an expensive bottle of scotch. Dominic was still drinking at the time and was more than happy to take it as part of his pay. Buzz always looked out for his acts. Everyone loved him. He’s gone now too.
The funeral service was held in
"He who dies with the most friends wins."