Darrell Vickers – Thank Frank

Over the decades, I have been admired and even lampooned for my over-the-top love of music. My irreversible spinal scoliosis can be directly linked to the carting of countless, uber-weighty, vinyl-filled boxes from hither to yon.

But, I’m merely a collector of music – albeit an insane one. Frank Gutch Jr. was a true lover of music. It energized every pore of his being. You could see it in his voluminous and enlightening columns and you could see it sparkling in his eyes as he excitedly expounded on a new discovery or the memory of an old musical favorite.

After conversing via the Internet for several years, I was lucky enough to get to meet Frank and his sister last year in Santa Monica. He was in town for – what else? – a music festival. Steve B. and I arranged a lunchtime tune-talk-filled tête-à-tête at my local pub.

Besides his signature mustache, what struck you most about him was that infectious laugh that threw his head back and rocked his torso. His contagious ebullience and enthusiasm for life made it easy to see why people loved him so much. It was like he spent every waking moment wanting to swallow up all of creation in a big, loving bear hug.

He was the jolliest of souls, who got to spend his whole life not only discovering amazing music, but turning anyone who would listen on to incredible artists and bands that, if not for this indefatigable foot soldier for the cause, would’ve forever escaped their purview.

Although Frank is sadly – very sadly – no longer with us, he lives on in the hearts and ears of the thousands and thousand of people whose lives have been eternally enriched by his writings, personal recommendations – and for the very, very fortunate among us – his friendship.

Since I received the devastating news about his sudden passing from his beloved sister Colleen, the vast outpouring of grief expressed by everyone he has touched in some way, has been nothing short of incredible. We should all aspire to be as loved and admired as this jocund gent from Oregon. Alas, most of us would fall woefully short of his pureness of heart and generosity of spirit.

If the Righteous Brothers were right and there is a “Rock and Roll Heaven,” they not only have a hell of a band – they now have Frank parked in the front row, pen in hand and scribbling down his notes on the performance.

Sleep well sir. The world is a poorer and less joyously musical place, now that you have left us.

Below is my pick as a favorite Frank blog. I’ll admit that Mr. Gutch mirrors a lot of my own views of Classic Rock Radio – but beyond the pleasingly self serving aspect of it – it veritably glows like a Three-Mile-Island fuel rod. His love of music and the massive body of knowledge that he possessed pours out onto the page like it was the anti-freeze from an AMC Gremlin radiator. Going from Brian Auger to If to The Youngbloods to Brinsley Schwartz to Brewer and Shipley to Captain Beyond – and that barely scratches the surface of this amazing undiscovered-Classic-Rock tutorial. And when he’s done…he’s not done. “Wait! Don’t go! I have this great band and this great singer to tell you about. And have you heard of….?”

Frank Gutch Jr.

God, I miss him. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few more of the included videos to watch.

Frank Gutch Jr. – Classic Rock Not as Classic as You Might Think


Darrell Vickers appears here whenever he damn well feels like it

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com 

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