Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's all part of my rock 'n' roll fantasy, It's all part of my rock 'n' roll dream

A belated note: Scot Halpin passed away February 9th. Who you say? Exactly, The Who's drummer ... for 15 minutes.

Unfortunately the best article about Scot is behind a subscription only firewall of the newspaper in the small town that Scot called home from 1995 until his death.

Here are some excerpts from the article sent to me:
Gig with The Who was a footnote in a life well-lived
By Mike Leonard [...]
February 17, 2008

Most people who met or became friends with Scot Halpin never knew that he occupied an amazing little place in rock 'n' roll history.

They knew the tall, gentle Halpin as an artist, an illustrator and the bass player for various local musical ensembles
, including Carlyn Lindsey and SnakeDoctor.
Rolling Stone magazine named Halpin as its "Pick-up Player of the Year" after he came up out of the audience at a show in late 1973 and filled in for the band's incapacitated drummer, Keith Moon.
A Bloomington resident since 1995, Halpin died recently at age 54 of an inoperable brain tumor. He had already been diagnosed with the tumor, but did not mention it, when interviewed for this column in 2006.
The drummer and artist would go on to meet his wife, Robin, in a painting class in 1978. Together, they would work in graphic art and design while keeping a hand in music and the management of a nightclub. By the time the couple relocated to Bloomington, Scot had switched from drums to bass as his primary instrument.
A few months later, Halpin suffered an on-stage seizure so violent he dislocated both of his shoulders. It was then he learned of his brain tumor.

He continued to play music, however, and his friend, musical collaborator and woodworker Jerry Farnsworth, helped him modify a bass guitar into a super-lightweight instrument that he could play with the help of a harness that kept his shoulders in place.
From another city he lived in:
Halpin was composer in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito and played with and composed for several bands. He also illustrated children’s books and donated artwork to various fundraising events.
And the surviving members of The Who also noted his untimely death.

I never met Scot, but to me he's the epitome of a good musician: He could step in and play with the best. He didn't brag about his gift. He participated in and added to whatever community he lived in.

In short, he did good work and good works. I aspire to the same.

Rest in peace Scot.