10.27.10

Remembering The Human Tornado That Was Billy Ruane

Posted in Billy Ruane, Rock Und Roll at 10:27 am by

(photo borrowed from Katy Lyle.  Billy, taking a break at Chet’s Last Call.)

I first encountered Billy Ruane at a Stains show at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church when I was 17 years old ;  Billy was 8 years older.  We weren’t formally introduced — he was wearing a suit that seemed to be falling off his person, piece by piece, while delivering flying karate kicks to the back of the heads of other dancers.  Billy was politely asked to chlll out by the event organizers, then asked again in a less polite manner.  I saw him again a few weeks later at a Gang Of Four show in NYC  — I had nowhere to crash that night and Billy assured me his father was a member of the Harvard Club and we’d find some shelter in that opulent setting.   No dice.  Apparently, there was a picture of Billy next to the front desk with instructions saying something to the effect of “do not let this man in”.

A somewhat inauspicious start to our friendship, but one that said a lot about Billy’s ability to make a strong impression.  Perhaps the musical superfan of all time. the man who got thrown out of more shows than anyone else (including, perhaps, a few he promoted). Boston musicians (and more than a few from other places) had no better friend. “legendary patron” doesn’t even begin to cover it — from Hidenburg style DIY HC gigs (Billy was perhaps the only person in history who thought it was a good idea to offer the Clitboys a triple digit guarantee) to laying the groundwork for Central Square’s commercial revival, no American rock history book would be complete with a chapter or 3 dedicated to Billy’s exploits.

In a rock world filled with avarice, Billy’s ridiculous generosity, his boundless enthusiasm for shit-you-needed-to-hear would’ve been inspiring enough if he was just a nutty character that turned up at every gig. But he was much more than that — even in a world that was awfully quick to slam doors in his face (I once witnessed Billy getting fired from a kitchen job because his boss lost all patience with Ruane lobbying to have The Neats play the restaurant’s employee booze cruise — Billy had been working there for all of two days), Billy was awesome at making stuff happen, usually with little to show for it besides a hug. . It would be nearly enough to say there’s a long list of bands, known and otherwise, that received their first Boston show because Billy gave them a chance.   But he was no mere club booker —Billy’s approach to putting a show together (something he got a lot better at in the years following that Clitboys incident) wasn’t entirely divorced from how he’d make a mixtape. There was no bigger believer in the power of art to transform and inspire, and no one in my lifetime gave as much of himself to make a rather chaotic scene feel like family.

Billy died yesterday.  The Boston Phoenix provides some of the details , suffice to say there’s people all over the world — and not just old fuckers like me — who are mourning the loss of a buddy, a drinking partner, a role model (seriously), a fountain of ideas (a handful of ‘em genuinely realistic!) and a guy who even at his most exasperating, was always the funniest person in the room.   It would be a huge understatement to say I am very, very lucky to have known Billy Ruane.   But even those who didn’t know him benefit from a cultural environment he helped create.

37 Responses to “Remembering The Human Tornado That Was Billy Ruane”

  1. steve albini says:

    First tour for both Flour and Jesus Lizard developed the undertitle “When the Promoter Takes a Bath” because every single promoter concluded the evening by handing us slightly less money than expected and apologizing that it didn’t work out like he had hoped. Every promoter except Billy Ruane. He concluded the sold-out night by giving the bands considerably more than expected, tipping the bar staff and finishing with a karate kick, a pirouette and, “It’s a great town, what can I say?”

    Some people hear music, some listen to it, some work on it and a rare few like Billy Ruane experience it as the ecstatic expression of life itself. I can’t really add to Gerard’s portrait except to concur that Billy Ruane was the single greatest music catalyst I’ve ever encountered. He transcended the definitions of “fan” and “promoter” to become a kind of living embodiment of the transforming experience of music, and he made a deep impression on everybody who ever met him.

    Salut! One of a kind, Billy Ruane!

  2. Rev. Hank says:

    It was at that Clitboys /Whipping Boys show that I first met Billy. The amazing this wasn’t just that he guaranteed them three figures, but that the door money was stolen after Billy walked away from it. He then kept getting up on stage to ask for the money back, and then asking for folks to pay again, eventually he passed the hat around. I don’t know if the hat even made it back to him.

    Godspeed Mr. Ruane!

  3. GC says:

    you have the story right, Hank. However, and i say this with all due respect to those on the bill and everyone who went — even if the door $$$ hadn’t been swiped, Billy wasn’t coming very close to making the guarantees.

  4. Joe Turner says:

    Back in ’98 or ’99, he booked Abunai! for a non-headlining gig at the Middle East Upstairs and gave us **$250** because he liked us — says it all. Like a sucker punch to the guts, this loss.

  5. Lilli Dennison says:

    Thanks Gerard!

    You nailed it!

  6. Adam Zand says:

    Embarrassed to follow “steve albini” in a blog comment, but here goes …

    Billy was not only the funniest guy in the room, he was the nicest. I seem to recall dancing (maybe a brief waltz) with Billy upstairs at Middle East (or downstairs the Rat) for a Smoke Shop/Bulkhead double bill in the early 1990s …. I also remember him making me a mix tape inspired by my love of Elvis Costello and then the very next night offering same personalized service (with benefits?) to my ex-wife! Hilarious.

    Hard to believe that Billy Ruane is dead – I am officially old. I know he took his mix tapes to the ever after :) . Rest in peace Billy and ROCK F***ING ON

  7. Sean O'Brien says:

    Well said Gerard.

    Yesterday was such an awful day for so many. For me, it marked the departure of two wonderful souls who taught me so much about passion, beauty, and being alive. I am grateful that these lessons could be taught in such different ways, by such different people, but the effect remains string and true.

    I’ll miss you Billy

  8. Carrie Bradley says:

    I thought immediately, this is NOT possible. Because when I saw him last year, for the first time in, I don’t know, 15 years?, his hair was gray, but otherwise he was EXACTLY the same as on all the nights spent within the reverberating skirts of his vortex, since that first night he gave us, Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, in 1988, our first club gig ever, straight from our first open mike: Floppy suit, big hair, titanic ear-splitting admiration from the front row, constant crablike movements along the periphery of the room while he made sure he heard and saw every note of music and every bit of spectacle from every angle. Afterwards, he talked about all the projects he had going on and all his new musical loves.

    It is a special kind of sad. he was a very unusual kind of hero. A medium, an instrument himself, in every sense. Tirelessly excited for all of us. I really hope he rests in peace; I’m not sure he rested once on this plane!

  9. john petkovic says:

    thanks, gerard — you pinpoint what billy was all about. i was really confused when i first met him — and about the next six meetings, actually. he had so much enthusiasm and this make-any-outlandish-thing-happen attitude that he not only stuck out, but seemed from some other time. (and maybe place.) man, what a cool guy — the kind of person you read about in novels, but rarely see and meet in real life.

  10. donal logue says:

    Billy Ruane was the most unique person person I have ever met. His karate kicks are infamous (but my favorite remains his tourettes-like hand-clap-zoom-one-palm-into-space move) – I met Billy through Jesse Peretz and Clay Tarver and others from the Taang! world and had some good, but obtuse drunken hangs with him at the old Casablanca- The Middle East really started as my generation was leaving Boston in the late 80′s, but I have since marveled at how successful it has been and even went by over this last weekend. He was the drunkest human being to ever command a moped around Boston- but man he was special, different and made a huge impact on that incredibly special Boston scene and musical movement-

    I was even honored to act in a flik with him and Evan Dando- “The Road to Ruane”
    RIP Bosotn Billy

  11. Katy Lyle says:

    Regarding the Harvard Club: A completely different experience…
    Era: Early 80s
    I remember after a revelatory film festival experience, in which Billy turned me on to Wim Wenders (Kings of the Road my favorite) that yes indeed we stayed at the Harvard Club.
    I got my invitation after gamely agreeing to help Billy move some items we chanced on in the street – an old fashioned machine-age overstuffed & wheeled office chair, for one – to his Harvard Club room. I had no compunction about it – helping Billy achieve one of his passionate ends was always a pleasure. He did have some doubts about whether we would be entertained in the dining room, but we were. I recall sushi. On returning to the small Crimson chamber, carpeted, curtained & all very red, Billy gallantly volunteered to sleep on the floor and let me have the single bed. Such a gent.

  12. RiffRaff says:

    Based on all the descriptions I’ve read of this guy he seemed like an obnoxious asshole. And where the fuck were all you “friends” of his when he needed help? Sounds like he’d been on a downward spiral for quite some time. I guess if he wasn’t buying you shit or handing out money you really didn’t want much of anything to do with him. Bunch of fakes.

  13. GC says:

    i think you’ve dented crucial portions of your skull on the gargantuan chip on your shoulder, R.R. Of the mountain of recollections of Billy that are all over the ‘net this morning, if the only thing you can take away from it is that he must’ve been an obnoxious asshole, you’re picking out bits rather selectively. On a similar tip, there’s plenty of examples of friends, old and not so old that tried very hard to help Billy out. Most of those folks don’t wanna toot their own horns nor should they need to. It’s incredibly simplistic and cruel to presume that Billy’s mental & physical woes could’ve been sorted out by less phoniness. Obviously there are plaudits aplenty in the wake of his untimely passage, but if I merely asked for stories about Billy because it was, for instance, his 53rd birthday, I’ll bet the outpouring of affection and respect would be very similar. Billy didn’t die friendless or unloved.

    It’s very hard for me to understand what would possess someone to question the sincerity of those who’ve lent their thoughts to this and other forums. But that’s the great thing about the internet ; gutless creeps can type the first stupid thought that pops into their heads.

  14. chris geary says:

    Everybody looked out for Billy. We all tried to help in various ways. In spite of some of the stories, he had periods when he was out of cash. He relied on the kindness of friends, and Billy had lots of friends.

    He was the furthest thing from an asshole you could get. Anyone who knew him will say the same thing.

    The sad part, is we all knew this day was coming. It still sucks.

  15. Tanya says:

    I should probably ignore Riff Raff’s post, but it bothers me enough to reply.

    Just because some people found Billy exasperating at times doesn’t mean they did not truly love him. Sometimes it’s the “difficult” people we end up loving the most.

    I hope you’re able to feel as loved by people as Billy Ruane so clearly was.

    I didn’t know about his financial generosity; in my few business dealings with him, he was simply terribly kind in the way he treated me, spoke to me, made me feel that what I was trying to do was worthwhile, not some silly college kid’s goofy, pretentious idea. And I appreciated his honesty when he gave criticism, which was always expressed in a respectful – never hurtful – way.

    I left Boston years ago, and lost touch with Billy. Yet when I ran into him at a gig a couple of years ago, he remembered me, which really touched me.

    And don’t forget, through his love of music, he ended up changing the lives of people who never met him, who simply benefited from the fruits of his labor. Boston would likely have been a very different place musically in the late ’80s and ’90s if it hadn’t been for him.

    Billy Ruane was not just a notable character; he made a big difference to a lot of people. How many of us can say that?

  16. biskit says:

    Billy and I went to Trey Helliwell’s funeral together. The reason (or I should say one of the fifteen reasons) we were late was that he had to listen to a cut on a cassette of James Brown in Japan before we could leave. Anyone that was ever in his place would of course marvel that he could find this cassette since culture (books, LP’s, tapes…) was piled everywhere, pretty much six feet high everywhere, along with dust, crumpled up money, flyers… No socks though. We frantically went out to the car, me frantic not to be late, him just frantic by nature. Then he disappeared, he was buying socks apparently, since he returned with some, as though that would make his general appearance more presentable to the family of the deceased.

    My being late to return to work later that day didn’t stop him from getting me to stop so he could buy me and him a few dozen videotapes at a place going out of business and a bag full of just the right, just almost right and the wrong types of Vivarin or some craziness that I may have wrong since it didn’t ever make any sense.

    Other favorite memory is him listening intently to Tanya Donnelly at an Amnesty International benefit at a church. All of a sudden he was in full hooting karate kicking “dancing” Billy Ruane mode for what obviously was his favorite song. Observers faces were priceless.

    So many people will miss him. No more of his hugs, his increasingly scratchy cheek, or inevitable kisses.

  17. Roger Miller says:

    To watch Billy conduct Glenn Branca’s Symphony No. 6 at Sanders Theater in Harvard Square, while Branca also was conducting it on stage, was a truly transcendental vision. Billy stood on a railing, conducting his heart out (doing a tremendous job, i might add), and Branca would “feel” something going on behind his back. Branca turned (while the Symphony blazed on) and Billy would duck behind the railing (luckily for me, only a few feet from my chair). Branca would then return to conducting, and shortly afterwards, so would Billy. The music was always made greater through Billy’s interaction.

  18. Kristin Anderson says:

    Over 20 years ago, Billy told me that there is always at least one great song on every record and sometimes it’s on the b side. I was plenty gullible when he told me this and I remember thinking, “is that true?!” ha ha! But he really believed it.
    It’s weird – was he missing a filter or a sense of criticism that everyone else is born with? Whatever it was, it was beautiful cuz it provided him with so much joy. 

  19. Chandler Travis says:

    Odd you mention Trey, Biskit, as that’s who Billy most reminded me of, an ultimate music maniac, albeit even more unhinged than Helliwell.

    Reading all these comments, it’s obvious that despite his being somewhat mercurial (I suppose nowadays we’d say bi-polar, providing another sad example of the language heading downhill), he had a real sweetness and essential generosity that touched so many… look at all these folks with all these fabulous memories of the old boy, many of them people usually too reticent to turn up in a situation like this- he obviously did something right…

  20. RiffRaff says:

    Yous guys aren’t making him sound like any less of an asshole. [[ rolleyes: ]]

  21. GC says:

    I shouldn’t sweat the midnight half-witticisms of someone who lacks the courage to sign his or her name, but it remains halfway fascinating that a man cited for his “sweetness and essential generosity” to quote one observer, still sounds like an asshole to you.

    Apologies if you feel Billy Ruane’s friends have failed to make a legit case for him. In the unlikely event anyone mourns your death besides your creditors, I sincerely hope someone else get the story right.

  22. Judith says:

    RR: sounds like someone let you down. bitterness is tempting and rarely targets its source. Billy was loved, admired, and well cared for. That he died is not evidence of anything. If you didn’t know him, then you cannot know his value or the extent of the loss his passing is. He was certainly not an asshole. But we might wonder about who you are.

  23. Joanie says:

    Man Riff Raff, what’s your problem? As some said, Billy could be exasperating but never an asshole. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body but also had no checks so he did get to be a little too much on occasion. Just like Manny, it was Billy being Billy but unlike Manny, he wasn’t a douchebag. Kind of crazy and out of control yes, but generous and exuberant and as you can see, helped lots of bands out and started one of the most important clubs in Boston (Cambridge). Not that anything will convince you. I’ll be very sad if his service happens when I’m on vacation.

  24. Susan Barnaby says:

    I *heard* about Billy Ruane years before I ever saw or met him. In the early 80s, my brother was in a band that was the house band at the Inn Square Men’s Bar, and he told me one day about “this guy, Billy Ruane” who had [fill in the blank - I've forgotten the story, but it likely involved inappropriate and percussive physical contact with the artists].

    I made up whatever I made up about Billy and what he must be like, and it was totally off-base. So imagine how affecting it was for me, a few years later, to be introduced to Billy by Ed Russell when Ed was doing sound Upstairs, in the very early days of the Middle East’s life as a rock club. Here, before me, the Legendary Ruane showed up in real time and space!

    Words fail me now – “undeniably likable and gently frenetic” skips along the surface of his presence. Perhaps “present” would sum it up, albeit cryptically, because the one thing you can say about Billy is that when he was there, he was There. I remember thinking “this has got to be the sweetest and most scattered guy I’ve ever met.”

    If Billy was at a show (“if” – ha!), there was a sense of completeness. His physicality was like a message of love from Beyond the Veil – incomprehensible, yet clear as a bell. Like Van Gogh. It was great.

    Was Billy Ruane an asshole? No. An asshole is someone who thinks he’s clever because he can see what’s wrong with everyone and everything. Billy saw what was great, fun, important and worthy of sharing. He created a community of sharing, because believe me when I tell you his largesse was contagious. He gave money, sure, but more than that he gave encouragement when meekness might have put an end to it all. He inspired an entire city of musicians and fans to see what we all had to offer, and set a stage for those offerings to be made. What Billy created, we all wanted to be part of it, to contribute to it, enlarge it, make a difference.

    Billy’s dance was an invitation to be part of the world, to come out of hiding and to be obvious in our love for the full-on. He made a difference. Mary Ricciardi put it best: “Rest in peace, Billy Ruane. Which probably means “dance until your jacket falls off.” We love you.”

  25. beck dudley says:

    gerard, steve, roger, thanks for the stories. i have never been able to describe him to anyone who hadn’t met him; if the name didn’t ring a bell all hope was lost. what he did for music, in a city where the trains stopped at midnight, was heroic.

  26. Mark Erdody says:

    Billy’s contribution to the world of art speaks loudly for itself. To really know Billy was to love and hate him in the same breath. He could challenge you to bring out your best. He had a way of accentuating his point with a literary passage, a synopsis of a film, or a line from a song. He spoke to you in his mixed tapes, reaching into his coat to pull one out for you that somehow had a song on it that captured the very essence of what we were talking about. Everyone saw the exuberant Billy out in public, the dancing at the shows, paying for cabs, the sweaty wet kisses, his graciousness to the musicians, and that’s what most people will rightly remember. But getting close to Billy meant the phone calls. There was always a battle that needed to be tended to, the Zatir Brothers, his Doctors, his Father, The Trustees, ad infinitum. He could get so mad at you when you were listening to him. A classic Billy maneuver would be to call me and say I’m going to hang up and call you back I want to leave you a message. Sure enough the phone would ring and the message would be left, usually several messages in succession. Somewhere in the course of a conversation his accent would transcend from a quiet and sleepy tone to a full on Shakespearean Roar. I never could put my finger on where the accent came from. It was some aristocratic scholarly dialect that let me know I was about to have it. Billy had a strong sense of when he had pushed you to the brink. The calls would become less frequent and he would move someone else up in his call rotation or a while. Billy knew he was a handful and he created a very large circle of confidents to help carry his load. It was an honor to have been in his call rotation for so many years.

    A few years ago Billy was hell bent on buying an amazing property near the coast of Gloucester. Billy had a vision of making it an artist retreat of sorts. He commenced a full on assault of his Trust and assembled a core of sound minds to try and make this happen. Billy and I had a big blow out during this time and I thought for sure that we were permanently done with each other. Then about six months later we ran into each other and I was greeted with the biggest sloppiest kiss of my life. He jumped into my arms and washed away any tension that had existed.

    This is meant not only as a toast to the beautiful otherworldly spirit of Billy Ruane but to all the people that loved him, supported him, tried to help him and spent countless hours on the phone with him. We have lost our patron saint of the arts, our goodwill ambassador of the scene and most sadly our good friend. Sun Ra claims that he was teleported to Saturn and it is likely that Billy joined him on a trip or two through the galaxy. Rest in Peace my friend.

  27. Ron Werdebaugh says:

    I would have to agree on the generosity and enthusiasm for the tunes. We got our first shows in Boston with Billy at the Middle East. He saw our band perform as Mr. Butch’s house band for the Mr. Butch Show (see the Mr. Butch Theme…. “…I see Francis and Billy Ruane…..” on Butch’s myspace) and tried to book us to open for GG Allin (who was barred from entering the state!!). Any time I approached Billy with an idea (only a few times) he would get excited, say something about Ohio and we’d be in (*This got us on the Death of Samantha bill maybe ’90 or ’91 which was really cool for this nw ohioan). thanx Billy

  28. Ron Werdebaugh says:

    i mean Cambridge…

  29. formerwannabe says:

    I just heard Billy passed. Thanks to all for the stories and reflections which helped me remember him today. A few of my own memory snaps:

    * Billy running into me outside the Middle East one night in 1993, hair a mess, wild eyes, full of enthusiasm. “Hello! How would you like to be the Middle East Booking agent?” First time I talk to him in 1.5 years, and I have to add that I had never booked anything in my life. God bless my friend Wendy who was with him at the time, during her brief employ as his personal assistant. She looked at him with a worried look. “Um, hey Billy maybe we shouldnt go throwing job offers around to anyone we run into.”

    * Getting on a Greyhound at the old Park Square bus terminal– and hearing Billy’s voice scream my name. He was on his way to NYC, and the person in the seat next to his seemed almost relieved when I asked if we could swap. I dont think he stopped talking long enough to breathe the whole ride. He had an open book in his lap. “What’s that?” I asked. “A law journal,” he answered. “I’m reading it as an exercise.”

    * The first time I saw the inside of his apartment. I was driving around with Martin Doyle and we had to stop there for some reason or another. Total chaos. To this day I don’t know if I’ve seen anything quite like that.

    * Running into a much older Billy at Trey Helliwell’s funeral. Like the previous post said, grayer hair but still looked exactly the same. Talking a mile a minute, seemed more unhinged than ever. Maybe it was my somber mood that day about Trey, but I remember thinking that he was not doing so well.

    And YES I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comment that Billy and Trey came from the same mold, although Trey’s manic lust for life was a bit more regulated. I like to think that it was a ghostly Trey who swung by in the red Galaxie, with a trunk full of mix tapes and absinthe, to fetch St. Billy’s spirit.

  30. Jeff Weigand says:

    This news makes me feel very sad. Billy started to coming to D.F. and the Din shows and I got to know him back then. We became good friends due to our love of books and our mutual problems with women. At the time, Billy was in love with, how shall I say it, a professional girl…a call girl…and of course that led to him being tortured in ways that would make even Ibsen feel sorry for him. The guy had about the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known…and knowing the nature of some of the demons he fought with, was a goddamn tough S.O.B in so many ways. Anyone hearing the story of his Mother’s suicide and the details inside of that terrible story would concur with that I think and see the huge bravery in his battle with mental illness…he was given a very hard lot, to put it mildly. Billy was not only kind, genuinely funny but he was also stunningly intelligent. Billy felt the things he loved more than anyone I have ever met. Billy was not just a character, but he had character, a rare thing nowdays. And to use a very overused cliche but very real and true in Billy’s case: the world is more than a little worse off today now that he has gone…

    One story I will always remember: Billy had this nightwatchman gig at M.I.T. Yo Yo Ma, before he got famous, would use an empty auditorium there at night…practicing Bach’s Cello pieces until the early morning hours….Billy would sit out in the hallway every night, just listening and thinking…

  31. danbunny says:

    in around the late 1996era bunnys..it was down to me and a guitarist..everyone else had been ground to a nub..i called middle east and tried to book a few shows since i was going to be in th area..i had in tow,mother and newborn and my sister had just passed away..so my state was low to say th least..we got to boston and called billy to confirm showtime..he said that it was better if we moved th show since middleeast was doing some sort of other more important gig…he booked us downstairs at jacques drag cafe in full mode..every 2 mins a college kid w a harvard sweatshirt would come downstairs for his bj in th bathroom and a drink..i slammed th hood of th car trunk on th back of my neck right before i had to play and was about to bail entirely…there was 4 or so people who came to see us so i felt i should attempt something..after about 30 mins and what seemed like 600 bj’s..my vision was fukked from th concussion so i stopped playing…th bartender had no idea about paying anyone so i called billy…he said he had left sum money under a rock in th parking lot and i was to go look for it..sure enuff two dirty 20$ bills warm and snug waiting for th desperate…me miss that guy

  32. Paul Caporino says:

    I’m quite saddened to hear of Billy Ruane’s passing. The man was non-stop spirit and all I can remember of him are good things. His week beat your year. Love and music to you always, Billy.

  33. ppuhakchang says:

    Billy shared his love of music with everyone, with no concern about looking cool or holding sway above anybody. As said repeatedly here, he was one of a kind.

  34. Bill Keough says:

    his presence always lightened every gig i’d ever been at either as a promoter or a patron…one of kind…scissor kicks to his memory…

  35. tim hinely says:

    from all that i’d heard/read about billy ruane over the years (from the mentions in the first issues of CONFLICT i read on forward) he was always someone who sounded larger than life as well as someone i genuinely wanted to meet and talk music with. just seeing the above list of musicians who had spent time around him an all the amazing stories they share is nothing if not heartwarming (and i do not use that word very often). r.i.p.

  36. Doug Gillard says:

    I was in the band Death of Samantha and Billy greeted us as soon as we arrived at the club, probably ’88 or so? Talked with us for about a half hour. Saying things and laughing incessantly, discussing Ohio music. Our drummer Steve-O has this discussion on videotape somewhere. We’d see him on other visits too – at Bunratty’s, pouring a pitcher of beer over his head while jumping up and down in his suit as we played; he gave me a mix tape once with Sandy Posey’s “Born a Woman” & other great obscure songs we hadn’t heard before. Later, he’d visit GbV wherever we were staying or playing in town. I now wish I’d been able to see him more often. Peace to Billy and those close to him.

  37. andrew burns says:

    billy at the middle east karate kicking and in a suit and tie and looking disheveled…me with some “out-of-towners” asking: “who the hell is that guy”?
    it was billy, just billy. he will be greatly missed. by all of us down here. RIP

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