VoyForums
GIVE FREE FOOD
www.TheHungerSite.com
-> Click Here <-
Fund Free Mammograms with a Click
www.TheBreastCancerSite.com
-> Click Here <-
Non-profit ad served by VoyForums...

VoyUser Login optional ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time ]
Subject: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
Neil Rossi
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Date Posted: 16:20:56 12/29/01 Sat

Thanks to Bob and Laurie McCarthy for letting me know about this message board, and to David and Jan Vincent for setting it up.

I've known Dick for well over thirty years. I think I was a junior at Boston University when I met Dick, a freshman, around '68. Both of us were music-crazed and very much out of the popular mainstream as the music we played was bluegrass and old-time country. Even then, he had the talent of being able to listen critically, to pick out the important elements of a tune or a technique, and then to apply it.

Dick joined my old-time band, The Spark Gap Wonder Boys, when our guitar player got drafted, and for a couple of years played with us all over New England and as far south as North Carolina. He had a great sense of humor and an inquisitive mind that was always open to new forms of music. As someone else pointed out, he loved puns and plays on words.

I was always awed by his incredible musical technique. Whatever instrument he touched, he was able to learn. I remember that he decided to learn to play the fiddle. Within a matter of months he was playing that instrument with us on stage. He had the ability to focus and isolate those portions of his technique that were problematic, and correct them quickly.

When our former guitar player, George Nelson (also an awesome picker), returned from Viet Nam, both of them remained in the band. A highlight of our shows was when George and Dick would do one of their fiddle tune medleys. It would literally leave the aspiring guitar pickers in the audience gaping with disbelief!

I've heard this story from several people, and while I haven't verified it with the principals, I have no doubt that it is true: We did a lot of touring and playing colleges during those days, and both the mandolin virtuoso Paul Anastasio and fiddler/mandolinist/singer Tim O'Brien got their first exposures to the music from listening to Dick play during those times.

In 1972, I got invited to play with David Bromberg, and the SGWB broke up. I played mandolin, fiddle, guitar and a few miscellaneous instruments with Bromberg for about a year and a half, and then got a fellowship to grad school. I turned in my notice to Bromberg and he asked if I knew anyone who could replace me as "utility man" in the band. I thought about it and told him, "There is one guy that could do it, but I'm not sure you'll like him because he's a better guitar player than you." (I wasn't very tactful in those days!) But apparently they hit it off, so Dick joined Bromberg and recorded and played with him right up through this past summer.

After Dick moved west, he seldom came back east so I didn't get to play music with him for a long time. I saw his name pop up in various places, recording with this person or that. I heard via the grapevine (and I should have asked him about this when I saw him) that Emmylou Harris had asked him to join her band, but he had turned her down because he didn't want to tour anymore.

A couple of years ago he came back east for some reason -- I think one of his parents had passed away -- and while he was here made contact with some of his old friends. We ran into each other at a party and it was like old times. It was as if twenty years hadn't passed at all. He said he'd really enjoyed being back, and sure enough he made an effort to return and visit once or twice a year. It was such a pleasure to be able to sit down and pick a few with him again.

He always got such a child's joy out of listening to or playing music that he liked. My friend Allen Feldman commented that Dick was without ego when it came to music, that he just loved the sounds that were produced whether he produced them or someone else in the jam did, and that's why people loved playing with him. He would listen to someone's playing, be they beginner or virtuoso, and always find something new to enjoy and learn from in it. He always looked completely happy when he was playing.

The last time I saw him, we spent a long time talking about the future of recorded music and how the Internet was changing the recording industry, about the industry's chagrin at having the standard distribution channels bypassed, and similar topics. And all the time he was talking I got the feeling that he felt that his life was part of a fascinating journey, and that he was so lucky to be taking part in this trip.

You know, we could use a few more people with that attitude. I'll miss him a lot.

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
Tom Akstens
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:25:22 12/30/01 Sun

I enjoyed reading Neil's thoughts about Dick and all of the other posted comments from his many friends. I'll just add that Dick always seemed to be a completely genuine person--never any pretense. I hadn't been in touch with him for many years, but we recently had a couple of long phone conversations, for which I'm very grateful. In one of them me mentioned that he'd been working for years on a solo project. I certainly hope that someone out there can help to bring that project to fruition. It would be a tribute to Dick and a gift to us all. Tom Akstens

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: Re: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
David Bromberg
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 18:04:43 01/01/02 Tue

I would just like to echo Neil in thanking the people who set up this website. I owe Neil a lot of thanks, not just for telling me about this website, but for introducing me to Dick Fegy. The story Neil told about him recommending Dick to replace him is true, of course. I'll never forget that he told me that I wouldn't like Dick because he played guitar better than I did. He was right only about how well he played guitar. I don't think that anyone who ever played with Dick could help but to respect and like him. The band that we played in was a close knit group. We had to be because we were together 24-7 for quite a few years. Dick was certainly the musical glue that kept the sound together, but he was a lot more than that to the rest of us. He was a deep musician, and I don't think that anyone ever saw all of his resources in that respect. He was also very funny. I guess we were a band of clowns, and Dick was not the loudest, but he had something to say it was always relevant or very funny. All those years on the road together, it sometimes felt like us (the band) vs. the world. I got to share the stage with just Dick almost every night, and that had its own special feeling. I'm trying to say that we went through a lot together, we went all over the world a few times. I've spoken to every one who was in the band or crew, and like them, I can't quite get my mind around this event. Talking with other people who knew and loved Dick is a painful comfort. Reading the words of people whom I don't know, but knew Dick is much the same. It's something that gives me comfort at the same time that it pokes at the place that hurts by reminding me that Dick is supposed to be gone. He was an important person in my life, and I love him.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
Jon Work
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 06:40:40 01/10/02 Thu

Dear David, As a longtime fan of you, your bandmates and "friends", I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr.Fegy and would like to express my sincere condolences to you on the loss of your friend. I only saw him from the audience perspective,and it was obvious what a talented person he was, but it was also obvious how he enjoyed life through his music, and how well liked a person he was by his friends around him. From all of the messages posted, he was well loved and It looks like his legacy will move on. Again my sincere condolences.

Sincerely,

Jon Work

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
Jerry Krakowski
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:36:39 01/11/02 Fri

Dave,

Some of your words at the Memorial helped to "flesh out" who Dick Fegy was. It would be great if you could put together some annecdotes of your experiences ... such as his playing guitar better than you. You must have hundreds of stories.

Jerry Krakowski

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: Goodbye Old Pal (he would have liked that!)


Author:
Dan Pion
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:12:01 01/21/02 Mon

I met Dick, John and you during the 70's as a college student and radio host in Oneonta, N.Y. My friends and I used to travel the upstate N.Y. circuit to watch the band and enjoyed your music for years. The world will miss the man but his music lives on......

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


VoyUser Login ] Not required to post.
Post a public reply to this message | Go post a new public message
Note: This forum is moderated -- new posts are not visible until approved.
* HTML allowed in marked fields.
* Message subject (required):

* Name (required):

  Expression (Optional mood/title along with your name) Examples: (happy, sad, The Joyful, etc.) help)

  E-mail address (optional):

Type your message here:


Note: This forum is moderated -- new posts are not visible until approved.

Notice: Copies of your message may remain on this and other systems on internet. Please be respectful.

[ Contact Forum Admin ]


Forum timezone: GMT-8
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2017 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.