Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Leroi Moore 1961-2008
It's about 11:30pm(Tuesday)... And I just got back to my apartment and was greeted with the devastating news that Leroi Moore, Saxophonist from the Dave Matthews Band had tragically passed away. I know why you come to my site, and I know why you listen to EHM, its because of your love for music. And for the most part I know we love it all but we do all have our favorites. For me, DMB is music. I've admired everything about them as a whole from their musicianship to their ability to be a team both on stage and off. Out of all musicians I've probably followed DMB the closest.
At a time when Nirvana, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, and Rage Against the Machine ruled the music scene (and believe me, I love everyone of those bands and still do to this day) I felt like it was a great time for music, but also a very angry rebellious time...
Then all of a sudden came this acoustic guitar, singer song writer based band with a violin and a saxophone and a rhythm section fooling around with time signatures like I had never heard before. And even though at times they sported flannel, their message was totally different.
Just a few memories to sum up Leroi:
I remembered the first time I saw the band perform and the first time I saw Leroi, I thought to myself, "Why is this jerk wearing sun glasses inside? Is he trying to look like the sax player from The Simpsons?" Then the more I followed the band I had realized that he wore those glasses because of his terrible stage fright. I remember thinking to myself, how could someone so great and so talented have an insecurity like stage fright? I found it to be a very endearing quality. The lack of ego quality he had that reverberated throughout the rest of the band.
I read somewhere that after DMB had become popular and a critical success, Leroi went back to his Saxophone teacher for more lessons. That just blows me away...
Leroi had this great quality of almost demanding that you listen to his every move on stage. I remember one time, during a solo, he snuck in a line of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. It was probably a total of 4 and a half seconds, but it was so well placed in the song and almost not even noticeable that you had to really pay attention to realize what he had done. To me that speaks volumes about the type of person he was. He would do something not for the recognition, but just because it was right... and it would create beautiful music.
Most of the time the Leroi's position in the band was to break out a killer solo... to be the center of attention. And after he was done doing his job... killing a solo... he would sneak back in to the darkness of the stage, where it was hard to see him and just enjoy his fellow band mates.
Its hard to put words to it, but in an era where everyone has a website (throat clearing), blog, or myspace, or a youtube page... where we are all looking to reap some reality show glory... he was the exact opposite of that.
Leroi Moore was subtle... He was a genius... and most of all he didn't need to hear that from anyone to be the person that he was...
Its rare when you can realize or pinpoint when someone helped shape your life. Sadly it really only occurs once you've lost something or someone. But I'm sure much like yourself, music has shaped my life and the Dave Matthews Band has been the biggest influence of that shaping. I started this only wanting to say a few words, but I guess once I started I couldn't stop. So if this was too long for you, sorry. I also don't want to come off sounding all dramatic.
Don't get me wrong...
I never knew Leroi personally, but I speak from the heart of a fan that is simply thankful for what he contributed to my life and this world.