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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2004/08/31
by Dean Budnick

Coventry, Aftermath

Perhaps I should start things out with a few images of Coventry.

When I finally arrived Friday afternoon. Things looked like this

In the concert area, Back Forty

Thankfully soon enough they also looked like this

Soundcheck

Then alas, they looked like this

Officer Melendy, outside the Bunny, preparing to issue a statment that cars on I-91 will not be allowed onto the site

My images end here, as by Sunday I was lost in the masses, with the able assistance of Jonathan Schwartz and Josh Baron, taking in the final sets of Phish. Those sights and sound remain imprinted though, I promise.

However, while in my car en route to my home, one book closing if not quite closed, I learned that my sister Stacy had passed away. I posted a bit about her on the site and I want to thank everyone who has sent me words of support. I often find myself stuttering when I attempt to respond verbally to people’s condolences so typing has been good for me. I am also appreciative of those who passed along their own memories of Stacy.

My friend David "Manny" Saslavsky reminded me of one that is now enduring. The three of us sat together during the first Grateful Dead show at the Knick back in 1990- we had scored our best mail order seats up to that point, section 2 row H on the floor (I just checked the stub). It was quite a night, which never seemed to end, in part, because after the band closed out the show with "We Bid You Goodnight" Stacy proceeded to serenade us with the song all the way back to her dorm room where we were staying and then well into the dawn after we turned out the lights. It made me laugh then, just as it does now when I close my eyes and listen to her…

Anyhow for those who didn’t see it, here is what I wrote on the site about my sister. Everyone tale care of each other and I’ll see you next month…

While driving home from Coventry last Monday afternoon, I learned that my sister Stacy had passed away.

Stacy was a vivid, unique spirit and a gifted, fearless athlete but she also fostered a deep love for music. Although she was five years younger than me, her passions certainly informed my own. I can recall helping to find her tickets for Phish’s New Year’s Eve performances from 91-93 (in 92 we attended the 12/28 Palace Theater show together- I still have the t-shirt she bought me as a Chanukah gift that night- in fact I pulled it out and wore it to Great Woods last week) . We saw numerous shows together over the years, and while she was at Union College, we made it a point to ensure that my drive up to Schenectady to help bring her belongings home for the summer would coincide with the local stop on Dead tour ("local" defined broadly of course to include Buffalo which was 300 miles away, a greater distance than the ride back to Rhode Island). Stacy also joined our crew and offered her hospitality for many of the spring Albany shows. A few years later when she lived in Telluride we made the drive together across Colorado to see Phish at Red Rocks (while waiting for the action to start on day one, she introduced me to a musician she knew from town and slopes named Michael Kang, and later to the music of String Cheese Incident). It was this journey and the conversations that transpired during it which led me to write the Phishing Manual. Another book followed a few years later, which in turn yielded Jambands.com. What you may not know is that before this site evolved as it did, she actually served as the creator and original webmaster of the alpha version which launched in mid-1998 and focused on that book and the bands described in its pages.

For those of you who never met Stacy, think of that person in your circle of friends who is a bit bolder and more colorful than everyone else. That individual who is a legend in your group, who can elicit a whole evening of stories, each topping the next. That was my sister. She was cool. Beyond that she was a loyal, supportive daughter, sister, aunt and friend.

Stacy never wrote for Jambands.com but in many respects I feel that there would not be a site but for her. And it certainly would not be as robust as it. There’s a beauty to that. We are all entwined.

You may honor her memory with a contribution in Stacy’s name to Rocky Mountain Chapter Sierra Club, Inner City Outings Youth Programs, 1536 Wynkoop St., Suite 4-C, Denver, CO 80202.

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