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Bye, Chi. Truly, RIP.

I have never been around the kind of faithful tenacity that I witnessed in Jeanne when I would visit Chi´╗┐ and sing for/with him. Of course I'm on tour, waking up and finding out he's finally, really gone. Fits, somehow. Along with the beyond-measure grief thinking of his family and loved ones, I'm feeling really deep gratitude for the people I met through this tragedy, for the song that was created from it, made with lifelong friends on a sweet and peaceful afternoon, after a dream. I still remember the feeling of recording this at Shaun's house. Never forget.

I dreamt that you were alive, really alive
I dreamt of your eyes, I dreamt of your eyes
They weren't just open, they were engaged

Then somebody said, or maybe I read
In the daytime we're dead, but at night we live

We were inside, sitting inside
Ready to play, there was the stage
And she wasn't brave, and you weren't away
Then somebody said, where was it I read
In the daytime we're dead, but at night we live

We're with our families, we're with our friends
We're singing and smiling, time is a secret
There is no car crash, there is no blood
I don't believe this, but maybe I should
In the daytime we're dead, but
At night we live

I'm realizing that while I had pretty well accepted that I'd never speak with Chi again, I did have this little glimmer that some impossibly long-shot miracle might happen, and it's time to mourn that. I'm also reminded (again and again) that whatever comes and goes, we actually do, so I want to keep remembering that and let the little things go with love. And yea, just about everything is pretty little in relation to this most (seemingly) permanent of transformations.

Okay. Have a beautiful day. Here's from the night before the last time I ever saw him.

And, through the strange magic of YouTube and our collected collective memories, here's from the year before, in the same gorgeous room. Hadn't remembered the interspersing that happened and all the goofiness. Sweet to hear again. Chi woulda dug it, I know it. We'll keep trying for us, up here with angels, free as birds, reigning in blood, indeed.





ps - Kerrang just asked me some stuff for a tribute they're doing. I have no idea what will get used, but it was nice to write about Chi some, so here:

Q: When did you and Chi first meet? What do you remember of him from that time – first impressions, etc?

- I met Chi in 1991. I was living on a friend's floor, starting Far. The Deftones were already doing great in Sacramento. We all became fast friends. Me and Chi were definitely the two philosophical, sensitive, crazy ones. I asked him to come read some poetry at one of my very first solo shows in Sacto. He came out and blew everyone's mind, while cracking them up and freaking them out. It was perfect.

Q: What do you remember of the day of his accident? 

- At the beginning, as horrible as the accident was, everyone was just so happy that he was still alive. As the days and months wore on, though, it became real to everyone just how fucked up he was.

Q: How often did you manage to visit him in hospital? Were you ever hopeful that he might make a recovery?

- I always held a place in my heart that he might make it back. I visited him in California when he was at a hospital there, then in Jersey a couple times when he got moved there to try some different treatments. I'd sing and hold his hand, just hang out and let him know I was there.

Q: Where were you when you heard of Chi's passing? Did the timing come as a shock? 

- I woke up in Italy, on tour. I had all these notifications that people had tagged me in various posts. I noticed some of them being from people that I knew were close to Chi. I knew immediately that it must be really good news, or really bad news.

Q: What are your favourite memories of Chi? Any particular stories that stand out in your mind?

- Chi had this girlfriend. They broke up, and for some reason, he told me I should take her out. I thought that was kinda weird, in that amazing Chi way, and she was really cool and cute, so I figured, 'why not'? Then, when I slept with her, I heard Chi was furious and was going to come and beat the crap out of me. Honestly, I was never afraid, cos I knew he was just being a freak and we'd laugh about it all. And we did.

Q: What do you think Chi's legacy will be, both as a musician and a person?

- Just a big-hearted, creative wildman. I'd love to see a lot of his work be collected in one place; poems, journal entries, songs. He was an incredibly smart, complex, thoughtful person. I'd love to see that preserved well.

Q: There's been a huge outpouring of love from musicians and fans around the world. What do you think it was about Chi that made him so popular with everyone who met him?

- He was one of those rare folks that is somehow immune to all the bullshit that fame can bring. He just stayed the same freak, the whole time. He was so comforting to be around, and at the same time so exciting.

Q: If you could say anything to Chi right now, what would you say?

- I'd say, "Let's go take a walk and talk about weird, beautiful shit. Then let's go do an open mic. You can read some, I'll sing some, we'll improvise some stuff together. Let's see what happens."

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