Beatdown, Dave Herrera, May 2
I'm of the generation raised on FM radio. Every morning, I strap on my old Sony headset (no stinkin' digital for me) and head for the light rail. As I tuned in to Lewis and Floorwax last week, I got the word that my honorary uncle, Barry Fey, was dead.
There was talk of despondency, ill-heath and addiction. They said he'd grown tired of what his life had become. I can't begin to imagine his demons. But his legacy is one for which I'll remain forever grateful.
He took a cowtown and, with his chubby hands, firmly placed it in the middle of the rock-and-roll map. He gave me Summers of Stars, saved the Paramount and brought the legends of my youth to my virtual doorstep. Who else could get the likes of Led Zeppelin or the Stones to play the godawful Denver Coliseum? Paul McCartney's latest tour includes two gigs in Tulsa and bypasses Denver. Uncle Barry would never have allowed such blasphemy under his watch!
Sure, he wasn't always Love, Love, Love. They say he could be ruthless, ill-tempered, bombastic. But he was allowed. My cohorts and I let it slide; we knew in our rock-and-roll hearts that he genuinely shared our rapture and reverence. He loved the music, and that's all that matters. They say he made a fortune and lost it, maybe more than once. But he never lost the love Denver had for him.
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I can hear St. Peter now: "Ladies and gentlemen, Barry Fey!"
"Life Sentence," Joel Warner, April 25
Taken for a Ride