July 22, 2010

What's Up This Weekend?

I was left to divine the message in a tale of two men who died this week and whose lives, like mine, were shaped by rock and roll.

I didn't know "Andyman" Davis that well. Since 2005 my office was on top of his and we often met in the parking lot. He was a passionate supporter of local music and so of course he loved Comfest which is what we usually talked about. I always got treated with his trademark warm hospitality at his Treehouse. The smile on that big bear of a man is one I will always remember. The rest is public knowledge. He was a legend in this town for his work establishing a successful independent alternative-rock radio station, the only one of its kind I believe, and the marathon Christmas shows for children's charities. He earned the happiness and satisfaction that comes from working at what he loved to do and building a loving family.

David Getreu was my best friend from high school through my twenties. He was a musical genius who taught himself to play the Hammond B3 organ as well as anybody in the world. He hard-wired my brain to appreciate good music and initiated me into the rock and roll lifestyle. Nobody had more of an influence on the person I became, for better or for worse, than he did. I helped lug his B3 and 2 Leslie cabinets around when he played with the Dave Workman Blues Band. He wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics for six songs on an album that was released by Columbia Records in 1978, the highlight of my creative life. I'm not sure why he was so unhappy and had to anesthetize his pain with drugs. After many years of trying to get him to write songs with me again, I left him behind. He was in a methadone program for more than 20 years. The last time I saw him, he was practically unrecognizable, wearing an orange jumpsuit in court. He died without family or friends.

Andy Davis led a life to be celebrated and his untimely death is a tragedy. David Getreu wasted a life that was full of promise and his death brings a tortured existence to a peaceful end. Tonight, I will be at the LC gathering for Andyman which will be filled with just some of the many people who loved and admired him. Alone, in my heart, I will mourn for an old friend whose flickering flame, once so strong and bright, has finally been extinguished.

Thursday, tonight, the "Andyman" Davis remembrance at the LC. Doors open at 6 PM. Later, the Circus has Righteous Buck & the Skull Scorchers and Joe Ong is at Dick's.

Friday, Circus of Cool is at Dick's, The Shrunken Head has Joshua James & Erika Carey, The Muzzleloaders are at Ravari and You're So Bossy is at The Summit.

Saturday, Jen Miller is at Dick's, Ruby's has Fort Shame, Rosehips and Curtis Cole, Rumba has The Wet Darlings and Bourbon Street has Mike Rep, Ron House, Cheater Slicks and Guinea Worms.

Monday, the Burlesque-A-Pades show at Skully's might be fun with the Potaini Sisters, Viva Valezz and Lady Monster.

Children are playin' on their way home from school
Keep the blankets on the windows, that's my only rule.

From the song "Congratulations". Music by D. Getreu. Lyrics by mark


  1. Hi Mark,
    I'm sad for the loss of both Andyman and David. What a nostalgic time for us both. My life with David encompassed the gamut of joy and hope to finally, despair and utter depression. It literally broke my heart to leave. His mark on me was intrinsic - both bad and good. He has passed through my thoughts these past 30 years - randomly - but never without always wondering "what if?" not so much for us but for him. He was unique, gifted, and I believe destined to be lost - I could never find another explanation. The blankets are on the window.
    Susan Gordon Humphress
    P.S. Check out WMNF Tampa - 88.5FM.

  2. Mark and Susan, Hello. You don't know me but I have heard so much about you both. My name is Susie Morris and I was introduced to Dave through my boyfriend, George VanHorn. I just had to reply to both of you to let you know that the last 2 years of Dave's life was about as normal of a life as he had probably ever had. I met Dave at his home (Pineview Dr.) and it was in forclosure. He was living without water or heat with a small dog. George and I started helping him from small things like me getting a new food stamp card issued to him to buying him snacks and drinks and taking them to him every night. He left his house with nowhere to go and I let him move into my home with me and my 3 kids. David had never experienced children too much, let alone teenagers. It took him awhile to adapt but he fit in with us. His dog loved to play with my dogs and cats and Dave helped around the house and let me know what was going on with my kids if I had to step out. I helped Dave get off all the prescriptions that he was taking. When I met Dave, he was on Methadone, among 2 or 3 other types of pain medication. He dropped all of that stuff and went down to a very small dose of Methadone daily (about 20mgs) to keep him from being sick. He had gone from 120 pounds when I met him to 160 pounds when he left my home. He moved from my home and sadly 3 weeks later was found. I don't know a whole lot about that but we (my mother, step dad, George and I) kept in touch with Dave and helped him continuously. I know that he thought of you allot Susan. He used to tell me sometimes that I reminded him of you. . . .well, R.I.P. Dave and please contact me for more private conversation at susie6770@yahoo.com. My mother and I are going to try and claim his remains from the coroner as he is still there. David's sister wasn't sure what to do about his remains so maybe we can think of a good place that was a big part of his life to spread them or bury them. . .
    P.S. I adopted his dog because where David was staying, the lady he lived with called the dog catcher and she hurt Cosmo when trying to remove him from Dave's body. He is doing well and loved allot here.