60 Second Story: Life is Strange (and Beautiful)

Battle of the Bands 1984

Battle of the Bands 1984

Recently, I officiated a memorial service for a friend of mine. Gary and I met for the first time 12 years ago (or did we? More on that later). We had much in common, including our love of music of all kinds. That evening, his son, Jeff, who was visiting from California for a few weeks, spent some time with us.

Catching up. Talking about his dad.

And while I knew Gary was in a band back in the day, I had never known the name of the band. Until Jeff mentioned it that evening.


“But they didn’t spell it like the word”, he told me. It was only letters making up the name, or something. He wasn’t sure. Instantly, some distant bell rang in my memory. It was faint, but I had HEARD of these guys. I may have EVEN done a show with them. I ran downstairs to find my band memorabilia, but no luck. I suspected that we were both involved in a Battle of the Bands at the Token Lounge in Westland way back in 1983 or 1984. But I couldn’t be sure. It was, after all, almost 30 years ago.

Tonight, while looking for something else, I came across this voting ticket for the Token Lounge Battle of the Bands finals, dated January 1, 1984. There, at the top of the list, was DVS. We HAD played a show together all those years ago. The four bands on the ticket were the best of the up and coming bands in Detroit at that time. Gary’s band went first. We went second. And, honestly, I don’t remember who won. I just know it wasn’t us.

So, it turns out, Gary and I met originally in 1984, not 2012. Given that I have very few friends that I met before then, he was probably one of my oldest friends. We just never realized it while he was alive.

Life is strange (and beautiful). Don’t you think? I sure do.