By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
"I made music," he concluded, "the way I wanted to."
A little over a month ago, we reached out to Colin at his last known e-mail address regarding the release of his three-disc career retrospective, which we wanted to review. We didn't hear back.
But earlier this week, Michael Roberts, my colleague who edited Backbeat for a decade, received an e-mail from a friend and collaborator of Colin's, alerting us to a post on the prolific musician's MySpace page. "Dear Friends of Mike Colin," begins the letter posted there by one Andres Hernandez. "As Mr. Colin's attorney, I am obligated to inform you that Mike Colin was pronounced dead April 30th, 2007, in Tijuana, Mexico."
The note goes on to say that Mike died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and that, per his request, news of his passing was kept under wraps for a time to allow his family to grieve in private. Hernandez's post also says that Colin had requested that no memorial be held and that more than a thousand recordings created between 1987 and 2007 be destroyed, cremated alongside him.
I've tried to track down more information, but no one returned the message I left at the number I had for him, and a former bandmate said that he didn't know anything more, either, but suspects it isn't true. So I'm hoping that Big Mike is on a beach somewhere in Baja and that this is a really big hoax in really bad taste. If not, coming on the heels of Brian Circle's recent passing (Beatdown, May 3), the news marks another sad day for music in Denver.
Upbeats and beatdowns: A shout-out to the lovely bartender at the Larimer Lounge who mistook me for Mike Herrera this past weekend. By happenstance, the ex-Blackout Pact and current Sleeper Horse frontman and I were both on hand to catch superb sets from Mustangs and Madras, Signal to Noise and Timothy Thomas Cleary. As I closed out my tab toward the end of the night, the barkeep handed me what she thought was my credit card. "Thanks, Mike," she said. "Uh, wrong Herrera," I responded with a laugh. I guess it had to happen sooner or later, now that Mike's back in town.