Two weeks ago, my friend, and really everyones friend Gary Stewart took his life.
When I met Gary and his pack of geeky friends. I was in line overnight buying tickets to see Sparks at the Santa Monica Civic.
Everyone in line chatted, sharing music stories.
I was in the embryonic stages of my first band The Quick. At some point I said one day you will like my band. Oddly I was right. Gary and his posse started coming to Quick shows and that was how my friendship started. I can say in someways Gary A&R’d my band his whole life. Even though what we were was a blip it did come back to that many times.
Decades later he said I can name every Quick gig in order with who played with you. DAMN! He did!
Helped my wife and I move into our first place and remind me years later where we ate and the Caesar Salad I had. That was a Gary thing.
He was goofy, charming, smart, knowledgeable and above all lovable and very likable. He entered a room and everyone lit up.
We were always friends discussing Music, Film, TV, etc…
A Couple of years ago while working at Apple a twenty something years old woman came up to Gary and said ”Have you heard The Quick?”
BAM his final mission I am going to get The Quick album reissued for the first time! True to his word he went all out and made this little band and our original connection happen, as he was known to do. Getting the band to play would not happen but we had two sold out events at Beyond Baroque with Mark Hamill and Earle Mankey and the band.
Almost a year later he had a dinner with my long time pal Jeff Gold beaming about that night, that was Jeff’s last sighting of Gary.
My last chat with Gary was typical. My band The Three O’Clock played a Wild Honey charity event. Gary as he would always came backstage, just to say hi and spend a few informal moments talking. Gary was a real life George Bailey. The world is going to have to figure out how to live without George Bailey around … I can not imagine it …
He shined very bright, and was just a wonderful man and it crushes me that he chose to bow out.
Bye my friend.
Danny Benair 4/29/19
Photo: This photo shows those magical long gone days.. A photo I took from the stage..and there is Gary.