This has been such a season of loss, for myself and so many of my friends. Helping each other through is key. But one of the people who helped me through these past years is gone now.
I met Justin Howard Schnurr in Houston in 2005, when he helped organize and promote a house party for Bloodkin to play. Those were some crazy days...but Justin and I hit it off right away, and maintained a long distance friendship the next several years. When I was in Houston again about 3 years ago, Justin and I were hanging out, and I mentioned that Dave Schools and I wanted to make a record. Justin said, "if you're looking for financing, you don't have to look any further."
That record turned out to be THE BEAUTIFUL VICIOUS CYCLE OF LIFE. That title and the content of the songs take on a more sober and grim resonance now, with Justin's passing...but I'm proud of the record, and it never would have come to pass without the friendship and guidance of Justin and his partners at HAVIN' A BALL PRODUCTIONS. Words fail me...no one could do me a bigger favor than to help me make a record...the bond runs deep.
The thing is, in retrospect, Justin was one of the best friends my songs ever had. He was one of my Champions. He paid attention, he studied the lyrics, he "got it." He encouraged me like few others ever have. His enthusiasm was exciting and it will be irreplaceable.
But his love of music wasn't, of course, limited to me. All his hard work with Scott Holmes and his other partners, the concerts and festivals and records they made happen, are a genuine legacy and won't soon be forgotten.
Justin made the world a better place for me, and by extension my children. That's as heavy as it gets. Now that he's gone, I feel poorer. "The beautiful vicious cycle of life", indeed.
Justin...bro...I hope you found it. Whatever you were looking for. I'll miss you, as will independent American music as a whole. But I'll keep playing the songs, and I'll try not to let you down. Peace.