I started working on this post a few days ago, but recent events made what I had originally drafted moot. My original post had to do with my thoughts on how the inaugural Music Tastes Good music festival went off, but with the news that its founder, Josh Fischel, had passed away on the Thursday after the festival from liver disease, my thoughts began racing and my words started wandering.
I didn’t know Josh personally. In fact, the first time I saw him in the flesh was when he joined The Sound of Urchin for a couple of songs on the Friday of the festival. I only briefly spoke to him as he was walking through the festival grounds, just to offer him my congratulations on how smoothly his inaugural music event was rolling out. He smiled, clearly proud of what he was able to bring the city of Long Beach, and simply said, “Thanks. Just wait till next year”. He was wearing the same shades that he’s wearing in this pic I snapped of him during his time on stage singing with The Sound Of Urchin, but I could tell by the smile on his face that there was a twinkle in his eye.
From everything that I’ve read, and all that’s been reported, Josh was a patron saint of the arts in the city of Long Beach. From playing in Long Beach based bands, to producing Long Beach based events, to directing Sublime’s documentary “Stories, Tales, Lies & Exaggerations”, Music Tastes Good was the poetic culmination of his life and his passion in the city that he loved. The fact that he was able to see it through before his passing seems to validate the fact that it was simply meant to be.
His family and his peers have made public comments about having Music Tastes Good continue as a tribute to Josh’s legacy, reaffirming Josh’s life goal of having music bring the community together. Let’s all hope that it happens.
When Josh stepped up to the main stage to sing with The Sound Of Urchin, he performed a cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”. It feels fitting to quote some of the lyrics that he sang:
A modern day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today’s Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean prideThough his mind is not for rent
Don’t put him down as arrogant
His reserve a quiet defense
Riding out the day’s events
[…]The world is, the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his eyes are wideExit the warrior
Today’s Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
And the energy you trade
He gets right on to the friction of the daySongwriters: Alex Lifeson / Geddy Lee Weinrib / Neil Peart / Paul Philip WoodsTom Sawyer lyrics © Ole Media Management Lp
Rest In Music, Josh.
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