Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"The Office" (Workstation series) 49 (English Dave edition)

Dammit. We lost English Dave Tobin.

He was a good man--kind, positive, and generous--and he will be missed.

I remember the first time I met Dave. He had traveled from England in order to attend the first Buddy Holly Symposium (maybe 2001?), and he floated through that whole extended weekend: this tall, skinny guy with big black hornrims, who looked a lot like what we imagined Buddy might have looked like if the plane hadn't gone down and Buddy'd had a South England accent. Dave was ubiquitous, sitting in the front row, taking snapshots, and grabbing every CD and T-shirt he could find by his heroes. It was very heart-warming to see him talking to ex-Crickets and Buddy's relatives, cheering on the Flatlanders and Tommy X Hancock, obviously immersed in an experience, and a milieu, that he never thought he'd ever encounter(only Dave would move to Lubbock because it was such a "beautiful and romantic place"). He became a hero of the Symposium himself, that week, through his own infectious enthusiasm and big heart.

I remember at the close of the Songwriters' roundtable, moderated by Peter Guralnick, and featuring Butch, Joe, Jimmy Dale, Terry Allen, Jo Carol Pierce, Delbert McClinton, and Marshall Crenshaw. That was a legendary group--trading Buddy and Lubbock stories, passing a guitar back and forth to sing songs. Dave sat through the whole show engrossed, and at the end fell into his crowning moment: we had pointed the local TV people to this English guy who had come all this distance because of how much he loved Buddy. They sat him in the back rows of Hemmle Recital Hall, cranked up the big cameras, and the first question was "what does it feel like to be here in Lubbock, 45 years after you first heard Buddy?" And Dave was so moved by the question--maybe for the first time focusing on the magnitude of this incredible, transformative experience he'd had--that he started to cry.

I'll never forget that moment, because it was so true to Dave and to the best part of him--the pure unmitigated love and enthusiasm for life and for people.

He was a good man, and we loved him.


Now playing: Dick Gaughan - Song for Ireland

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