Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A story about Greg Beck

I shared this story about Greg last night with friends at the Record Bar. I thought I'd share it with the rest of you.

A couple years ago in a college audio production class we were given the assignment to do a mock radio interview with "someone who had a story to tell". The first person I thought of was Greg.

I called him and asked if it would be cool to do it and he said yeah. We set up a day to meet at the Hurricane to do it. The day came and I rolled up there with a mic and a mini disc recorder. After we had a drink (PBR for me, Beam and Coke for him), we got to work. I'd ask Greg questions and let him roll with it, telling stories about things that had went down at the Lone Star and Blayney's. He told of how he became a bouncer, run-ins that he had, and the story about getting stabbed in the face so hardcore that it made his eye come clean out of his socket (doctors were able to save the eye, in case you didn't know). We got done recording, had another drink and I headed out to do some editing to the piece.

I turned it into my professor of the class and he was floored by stories that Greg had told. "Damn," he said, "we need to make a documentary about this guy!" I told Greg that the next time I saw him and he just smiled real big. Needless to say, the interview project got all points possible and a professor that couldn't stop talking about my buddy "Death".

The professor told me to enter the interview in a state wide competition for college students with audio projects. The award ceremony came along and lo and behold my interview with Greg won first place and I got a plaque and 50 bucks for my trouble. After the ceremony I called Greg to tell him we won.

"Cool," he said "Where's my cut?"

In the semesters that passed, the professor would play my interview with Greg for other classes. I'd have friends of mine stop me in the hallway after hearing it in class and ask me about Greg. He had become something of a legend in the Communications department.

The professor has moved on to another teaching position in California where I know that he is playing that interview for his students there.

This story is cool to me for a couple of reasons. First that college kids in Missouri and in California are going to listen to him and be immortalized without ever knowing him or having read his "Death's Door" blog. I did have Greg plug the blog on the interview. I hope those kids go to it and read more. They need to.

Second, that I have a copy of the interview here at home. I don't have the balls to listen to it right now. I know that if I did that I would lose it all over again. But to have this memento of him means more to me than anyone will ever know.

All because he agreed to help me out with a simple school project.

God bless Greg Beck.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering Greg Beck

I just got home from an impromptu meet-up at the Record Bar of some of the friends of Greg Beck. Many tears were shed at the sudden loss of someone close to us, and many laughs were shared as we thought back to all the good times that we shared with him.

It's so hard to believe that he is no longer with us. To me, Greg was like a second father. Sometimes I used to introduce him to people as that. Always there with the right things to say, direction when I needed it in life. When it came down to it, he was the only person that I knew on the face of the Earth that could keep me in line. Greg told me to do it, I did it without question. Greg was always on the level when I wasn't, therefore I trusted him more than I trusted members of my family.

I looked at the comments that were left on his blog and over at Tony's Kansas City. The amount of lives that he touched here in Kansas City? Just a mere fraction. The stuff that he wrote on his blog touched many people all over the country, if not the world. Reading all the kind things that people have said about him, most of whom had never met him in person makes me feel proud to have been his friend.

Greg was like Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Superman put into one mountain of a man. I'll miss his friendship, guidance, his blogging, and every single little fucking thing about him that made him to me a living legend.

I'm wanna close this with his "About Me" section from his My Space page. If I can do only a few things that he has done with his life like he mentioned, then I will consider it a life well spent.

I was a bar/club bouncer for 20 yrs and I also ran a liquor store and a rock music store back in the day. I’ve had a vast array of experiences from the pleasure of eating breakfast with Muddy Waters to being rousted by Henny Youngman’s bodyguards.

I’ve been stabbed & shot at, and for shit & grins I’m an ordained minister cause my friends asked me to be. For the last 17 year’s I’ve been gainfully employed by the MAN. My friends tell me that I’m a very blunt and honest person. If I had to describe my biggest weakness, it would be that I tend to be too honest for my own good??

My closest friend is a bonified hot chick 17 years my junior, and I love her to bits. I love rock, Jim Beam, breasts, cats, metal, blues, my website, Death’s Door, the view from the Spanish announcer’s table bars, my computer, my mother and sister, loud music, crunchy guitars, and a drummer with a groove.

I miss big hair, spandex, strippers, crackin off a needle early in the morning and driving downhill with no brakes. I smoke too much, drink too much, fall in love too much. Never been married. I’m smarter then I look and my cat’s been gone for 8 years and I still miss his stupid ass. And I thank God every day that I’m not dead yet.

Rest in peace, Greg. You have more than earned it.