Life Celebration of Three Musicians and Reuniting a Music Community.
West County music community came out to celebrate the lives of three band members of two bands who passed during covid time. Will Campbell, Steve Buck and Scott Taylor.
This event brought together the warm familiar memories of our pre pandemic, music community in Sonoma County. I imagine this kind of event was probably replicated similarly in many communities across the planet.
The two bands that played in the beer garden at the HopMonk, in Sebastopol that day were, David Alders' (mostly) Brit Rock band, Patchwork Orange, and Robert Butlers' Beatles band, Pepperland. They planned this gathering for a memorial/celebration of life, to pay tribute to their friends who played in these bands and will be forever missed. Will Campbell played guitar in both bands, Steve Buck played keys for Pepperland and Scott Taylor played drums for Pepperland.
When I walked into the beer garden, I looked around and saw so many people that I realized I haven't seen in two / three years, many, since pre pandemic. We've all been tucked away for a while. Time passed, I think we even kinda got used to isolating. I didnt realize the warmth I'd feel for this community and these bands until this day began to unfold. I know from talking to some of my friends that this feeling was felt throughout. These two bands brought a joyous familiarity we have all lived without during covid, and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful and touching events I've been to. Remembering how warm this community is to be a part of, and how it was so deeply missed by all who attended was heartwarming indeed. A few days later I was still receiving texts about the goosebumps we all felt from that day. And emotions being churned up from being all together again.
Pepperland, the Beatles band and Patchwork Orange the (mostly) Brit Rock band played. Patchwork played tunes from Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd etc., and even some Tom Petty, as Davy, lead vocals, is a big Petty fan. Davy Alder fronts both bands. Jane Fossgreen is also in both Pepperland and Patchwork Orange. And Robert Butler was featured in Patchwork today too. They are both a 'friends band'. A 'friends band' is a group of people who really love each other. A family. They rehearse together, and hang out together. And even though I'm not a musician and I'm technically not IN the bands, I've been hanging WITH these two bands for years. They made me feel very welcome as I came to Northern California after living for many years in the UK. I met Davy first, (also from the UK), and then Robert (from NY/DC area), then Jane and Robin, and suddenly I felt like I had a family, 'my tribe'. Almost immediately we became fast friends. In the beginning, Patchwork Orange was called, Snow Globe Patrol. Thankfully after much deliberation and discussions, they changed the band name to Patchwork Orange, which represented a mix of West County (Patchwork) and Clockwork Orange (the British influence) with Davy.
Apart from seeing everyone, remembering our missing band mates, Will, Steve and Scott, getting loads of hugs and catching up, this day was also very personal for me as it brought me back to the very start of my photography career. My passion - and really, its the reason I am a music photographer today....When Davy and Robert and I started hanging out, all those years ago, We were going to many gigs together, both theirs and other bands, One day, at Davys house, he gave me his Nikon D60 camera to shoot with, and suggested I use it at their shows. I'd never used a DSLR camera before, but he showed me the basics, (like 'for dummies')...where to point it and what button to push to take the picture! Ha ha! AND I DID! I did it all the time!
I used that camera at their shows, at our homes, at our parties and so many gatherings.... I used that camera A LOT! In fact I was rarely seen without it. When he originally suggested I use it, I didn't know anything about taking photos. To say I enjoyed this new hobby that David introduced me to, would be a vast understatement! Jane, David, Robert, Robin, Will, Kent, Steve, Scott, Rich, Vince, Michael and several variations of players throughout the years, were the subjects in many (or most) of my early photos. They gave me all the 'practice' I needed! That camera soon came to feel like a part of my body. It went with me everywhere. I had it on me, in the wee hours of many jams during memorable all nighters at Roberts studio, around the fire pit, at venues, at Davys house, and jams at my house as well. And at practically every gig they played in between. We were together a lot! Like a family. Then one day Davy came to me and uttered the words, "I'm going to England for a visit to see me Dad, and I need "to borrow" me camera for the trip". The feeling of loss when I handed it to him was overwhelming. Whilst he was in England, I felt the absence of that "missing camera" so I went out and I bought my first DSLR! It's now four or five cameras later and I will be forever grateful to David for inadvertently introducing me to music photography. A passion I cannot imagine living without now! Appropriately its Thanksgiving time and I cannot find the words meaningful enough for that period in my life when I not only met these fab friends, but that time when Davy shared his Nikon with me and I got the bug for taking photos. Its pretty cool how life works sometimes! I am so grateful for his introduction to photography.
Speaking of how life works....A little tidbit about the front man from Sunderland. (Who wasn't always a front man as he started as a drummer!) This music loving community may recall a little radio show that Davy was the host of a few years ago on KRSH 95.9. It was one of his dreams of having his own radio show. And at the time, I was working at the KRSH and was 'a tad encouraging' to my then GM to put him on the air. Hence KRSH UK was born! The music nerd from England and all his musical knowledge and ramblings on the mic, in his Sunderland accent was a massive hit! KRSH UK was the highest rated show on a Wednesday nights on the Sonoma County airwaves! Hence the massive record collection pictured below at his home in Florida. And I think the musical knowledge in his head is even bigger! Sonoma County got a lovely, fun, and interesting musical gift on Wednesday nights from 7-9, with Davys' KRSH UK! I still miss listening to it. He now lives in St Petersburg with his lovely wife, Kate. They come to visit as often as possible. As Davy is still very much a part of the Sebastopol music scene in his heart.
Patchwork Orange hadnt played for about 7 or 8 years so seeing them play again was my favourite part of the day. Fantastic memories of an amazing time in my journey of life. And paying our respects to Will, Steve and Scott was a beautiful and important part of that day for us all. And with Pepperland playing the Beatles tunes, its always a nice way to round out a fun day of music, and friendships. They are always a joy to hear.
Until this gathering on Nov 6th, I had forgotten the warmth of this music loving community. Pepperland and Patchwork Orange brought together people. Not only to enjoy music but to mourn and honour our three friends. I know Will, Steve and Scott would've been jamming at The HopMonk and enjoying this day also. Hoping they were all smiling down on us and having a jam of their own, wherever they are. ❤️