Goin’ Back

Jamie Bruce Cohen 1953-2008. Devastated. How can he be gone?

In September 1969 Jamie and I closed our latch the first day of 10th grade. Both of us were newcomers to prep school. Sometime later I entered his musical sanctuary–hard to describe–and got a glimpse of what I was in for.

He pulled out Moby Grape’s first record out of his enormous record collection and showed me the naughty cover. Played it. It would take many many words to describe how our musical and personal connection developed over four decades.

Jamie was the most relentlessly creative person I’ve ever met among the many many creative persons I’ve encountered. He was an all-rounder: musician, spoken word actor, writer, artist. But this list doesn’t capture fully the fact that he was always scribbling and musing and cooking and making experience his canvas too. He loved life and his people and, shit, well his biggest of hearts…

The Byrds. Our musical lodestar. On the day Byrdmaniax came out we set up his dad’s big ass speakers in middle of the den floor, smoked a bowl, and then laid down with our ears between the speakers. Jamie turned to me and said,

“This is what you call a first time listening experience!”

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