Peter Pays Tribute to Frank – “The Soul of Encouragement”

I never met Frank Gutch Jr. in person. I never communicated with him over the telephone or via Skype. Yet I still felt a great sense of loss when I learned of his passing.

His columns were always well written and informative, and he had a “nose for noise” which I frankly envied and admired. Note that his musical taste was not limited to one genre or era, either. “Where does he find all these great bands I’ve never heard of?” I would repeatedly ask myself as I read his latest column. One never “struggled” through a Frank Gutch Jr. column, by the way. A very talented writer, he caught your attention with his style, and kept it with his content.

Although we never did meet, I have the feeling that we would have gotten along famously if we had, as we shared some core values. Reading the various tributes being paid to him, I’m finding this out now for certain, but I have always suspected that we did. Frank was a tireless promoter of indie music, and was always in touch with bands, discussing their work, reviewing their finished product and encouraging them to keep on writing and rehearsing and performing and releasing music.  Like me, he realized that the world needs creative people using their talents to make this a better place.

He also was very generous with his immense store of life knowledge, writing in a number of blogs and other media over his career, and yes, “Google” is your friend. A force to be reckoned with, for sure, and someone who obviously impacted on many different people’s lives.

I became Frank’s Facebook friend ™ when I began to read “Don’t Believe A Word I Say”. His writing impressed me, as did his quest for musical knowledge. His columns would be full of great music, with some personal adventures or misadventures thrown in as a reminder to us all that it’s OK if Life doesn’t always go smoothly. His self-deprecating humour only added to the charm of his prose.

He eschewed “mainstreet music”, did not beat the drum for Phil Collins or blow his horn for Maynard Ferguson or sing the praises of Bono, partly because there were plenty of people who were already doing so. Mostly though, I think, it was that Frank knew that there were lots of bands and performers out there who were just as worthy of our attention, but did not have the same opportunity to get their “15 minutes of fame”. Frank accepted this challenge eagerly, and poured his heart into it. As I wrote earlier, reading the tributes to him from other writers and bands makes me aware that he was a very special human being.

I never dreamt that I would be writing for “Don’t Believe A Word I Say”, I have always been somewhat in awe of the quality of the amazing group of writers contributing to this blog. When my first column was published, I got a message from Frank along these lines.” Great first column, but what is this GTA which you write of?” Thus did Frank gently remind me of the global reach of the blog and the need for clarity in my column. Typical of the man, making a point without pushing your face into the mud. This message sparked the revival of my use of “footnotes”, which I hadn’t used since the last millennium.

As I’ve said before, he would scorn the use of the word “mentor”. He did, however, encourage me in my blog writing endeavours, and, like the rest of the DBAWIS writers, he showed nothing but support for this tyro. Frank went farther, though, because he would often share my latest magnum opus a) to my timeline with some complimentary remarks demonstrating that he had read my whole column and felt it was worth promoting. That’s how Frank was. You’ve read of “The Soul Of Courage”? Frank Gutch Jr was “The Soul Of Encouragement.”

Frank Gutch Jr.

Rest In Peace, my friend. I really wish that I had met you.

See you soon.

  1. a) Latin for “Great Achievement”. Regular readers will know of my frequent need to “air out” my Latin.

=PJM=

2 Responses to “Peter Pays Tribute to Frank – “The Soul of Encouragement””

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Thanks.

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