Inspired by the August 1 birthdays of Public Enemy‘s Chuck D, Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Robert Cray, Coolio, L7’s Suzi Gardner and Luna’s Dean Wareham.
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Yesterday was my friend Christoph’s 37th birthday. On Friday night a group of his friends and colleagues got together to honor the man. Sid Krofft of H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos and Land of the Lost fame and a client of Christoph emceed an evening of musical performances by Brian and Nikki of Silversun Pickups (Christoph and I worked with Nikki at Rhino Entertainment; he and Nikki became close friends), Chrysta Bell (who worked with David Lynch, another client of Christoph), Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 and Luna (Christoph and I worked on a Luna retrospective release while at Rhino) and Joey Altruda. Sid entertained us with stories of parties he attended with Christoph. Chrysta thanked Christoph for being so instrumental in her career.
After the performances we watched a short film. It opened with a black screen. A recording of Christoph played. He first mentioned the date of the recording, which was a couple of months ago, and then talked about what he wanted at his funeral – music and champagne, a celebration of his life. The remainder of the film consisted of images of Christoph, most of the time with friends, most of the time smiling.
When the film ended, we each took candles and flowers and walked from the Masonic Hall at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where this celebration of Christoph’s life took place, to the cemetery’s South Palms building, where Christoph’s urn is. Brain cancer took him last month.
His absence is deeply felt.
Based on the Stephen King novella The Body, Stand By Me was a 1986 movie about a group of friends. The film took its name from Ben E. King’s 1961 smash hit.
Today is Ben E. King’s 76th birthday. Our playlist includes the best of his solo work and his work with the second incarnation of The Drifters.
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