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Date Posted: 00:52:39 01/17/02 Thu
I was greatly saddened to hear of Dick Fegy's passing. Like many of the others who have written their tributes to him --- friends Dave Pearlman, Jeffry Steele, Annie Harvey, Dave Frazer, Rick Shea, Richard Wedler and others --- I had the great fortune to play in several musical situations with Dick over the years. As one of several bassists who rotated in and out of the Dave Karp Band, I was in that group for some time with leader Dave Karp, keyboardist Dennis Jeffries, drummer Sonny Ray, myself on bass, and the real cornerstone of the bunch, Dick Fegy on guitar. As stellar as his musicianship was, I will equally remember his gentle ways and wry wit.
I remember him telling me early in our friendship how he had lost a job offer from somebody with a racial prejudice who thought his last name indicated that he was Asian -- Dick laughed about it, but you could see that he was hurt by that person's misdirection.
Now, we've lost Dick, Dave and Dennis from that ensemble in one year. As I try to make some sense of all this, I can only accept that death is as inevitable as life, and I'll be joining them sooner or later. Once, Hal Blaine said to me "we're all terminal" and he's right, of course, even if he meant it as a joke.
Dwight Yoakam keyboardist Skip Edwards, fiddler Brantley Kearns, and I got together the other night and shared our memories of Dick. It lifted our spirits in the midst of sadness to recount our stories. It felt like a celebration. Dick would have probably been embarrassed at all the praise, but God knows he was worth it. Dick was not just a fine bluegrass musician, he was a terrific musician in any genre he participated in.
My last music collaboration with Dick was at the Largo in Hollywood a few years ago in Annie Harvey's band, as I recall. Dick was cutting back on playing electric guitar because of the instrument's weight bothering him, and I think that he was strictly acoustic from that point, at least in live performance. I'll always have a picture in my mind of that wonderful bearded friendly face. He played with skill, taste and energy that night, but he gave me some clues at that time that his health was slowing him down and preventing the performance of some of his previous musical activities. I had been concerned about his physical state for a while, but never expected him to leave us so soon.
We seem to have lost quite a few heroes lately, and I've personally lost musical friends John Hartford, Dennis Jeffries, Dave Karp, George Harrison, and now Dick Fegy. He, like others, passed much too soon, and it's hard to make sense of it. But, like the Righteous Brothers' song says, if there's a rock and roll heaven, then you know they've got a hell of a band.
And I do believe...
Godspeed, Dick. You'll always be alive in the memories and hearts of those like myself who knew you and were lucky enough to play music with you. I'll see you --- and all those other friends --- later, I know.
Love -- forever -- Colin Cameron