Please forgive my grammar. I’ve been drinking. I shall continue to drink until I fall asleep. Then, I may drink some more. Dan Wilson has died, and this is personal.
Kind of pissed about this. I’ve been carrying a defective heart around for well over a decade and goddammit, I was supposed to be the next one on the train to Wherever. Dan, you took my seat. Now I can’t even call you up and say WTF.
Dan was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the very best human being that ever logged into the swampy morass that we call social broadcasting. He simply had no peers in terms of kindness, intellect and that rarest of all human attributes, grace. He is gone now, and we are all immeasurably poorer than we were.
I’m a touch sketchy on the details (the when, the where, the mechanics) of his passing. I swapped a few texts with Mrs. Dan – I needed to confirm that what I sincerely hoped was an idiotic rumor heard on the Ivlog was in fact just a rumor, but it wasn’t. Not much to say at that point, is there? You offer to do whatever you can, but short of performing a 21st century version of raising Lazarus, it’s all just words. It leaves one feeling a bit (well, more than a bit) empty. I can do all sorts of shit, I have many interesting skills. Can’t do a single goddamn thing about this.
Dan was arguably the single most fortunate man who ever lived. For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Dan, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. She was a perfect match for Dan on every level (smart as a whip, stunning, and had that grace thing in spades). I know not which angels guided the two of them to meet, but it was the best day’s work they ever did. A remarkable woman, a remarkable couple.
Dan was directly responsible for steering me onto Taylor guitars, and I suspect he approved of the one I ended up buying, even if it wasn’t the exact one he played. Whenever I would see him in chat and say “Hey, I got a new toy”, he was just as excited about it as I was. G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) will do that to you. It turns a normal (well, sorta normal) man into a little kid with a new bike. Between the guitar lust and our somewhat eclectic tastes in music, a friendship grew pretty quickly. He listened to what I played, I listened to what he played, and we were delighted when we discovered we were both fans of some fairly obscure performers. It’s a rare thing when we find someone with tastes as peculiar as our own; it’s something to cherish.
We shared some other interests as well, we were, after all, of an age demographic that sociologists liked to refer to as “baby boomers”, born in the fifties, growing up with Davy Crockett coonskin caps, hula hoops, black & white TV that picked up 2 (3 if you lived in a big city) stations, Project Mercury (NO ONE under the age of 60 can name the original seven astronauts), The British Invasion and your parents could (and did) smoke everywhere, including the doctors office (not making this up, kids). In other words, just a perfect friend. Never had to explain a damn thing to Dan. He was there, he knew.
So my friend Dan has passed on, and this is where I say “gone but not forgotten”, not because it’s a cliche, but because it is the exact word-for-word truth. I have read in various tomes that there is a philosophy that as long as someone is remembered, they have not truly perished. So I would ask the two or three of you that read this, remember Dan. Remember just how good, how decent, how kind, how remarkable Dan was. Keep him with you, in that secret part of your heart.
I need to drink more now.