Those who have some personal connection with me know the week from hell i’ve had. One week ago my best friend of 28 years, 28 gawdam years, Shaun Rolly died under utterly horrific circumstances. This is not the time nor place to go into it, but the past week has been a living nightmare of grief, rage and absolute loss of any kind of faith in the human species. I have flown to Pittsburgh for the funeral and had my spirits lifted by the comfort, connection and interaction with other friends of his i’ve met and known throughout the years.
Shaun and i have worked together on a number of projects throughout the years, including A Pirate’s Tale. But the big one, the one a certain number of people remember the best, is The Fallen and Shadows & Flames. I’ve since redone The Fallen and released it. Shadows & Flames i never redid, but back in the day when i first made it (age 21) it was Shaun’s favorite album (and he claimed even now it still was. Go figure) and we went on to put up this big dance oriented theater show of Shadows & Flames (and The Fallen). It was a whole, big period of my life and it was a highlight of our long, wonderful relationship both professional and personal.
It is an early work and i never saw fit to remake or release it. I would have let it lie forever.
However, the thing is this: On the afternoon before he died, literally just hours before the shitshow went down, he IMed me with the following:
“I have been listening to Shadows & Flames non-stop since yesterday. Still just as powerful and meaningful as it was 10 + years ago. Telling ya, man. You should release it on Mocha Lab. Really, you should put it out there, man.”
So… it’s his last request. I have to do it. I do not feel comfortable making money from it, you know, being a fucking last request and all and not something i’d normally release, so it’s free. It’s an early work, that fact shows (seriously), think of it as a peak into the development of an artist kind of thing. If you don’t like it, and i understand, you don’t need to bitch about it, just delete it and be on your way, it’s fucking free. (Still working through the whole grief and rage thing.)
If anyone for some reason or another pays for it, which happens, i will donate every cent to the fund for his children
(The Rolly Children
c/I Perman Funeral Home
923 Saxonburg Blvd.
Thanks to Dan Striker for lending me his copy of the CD (i didn’t even have a copy). I have to try now and remember the song titles. I remember they all start with the letter A… Also, the original album artwork is long since lost to the sands of time.