• Joe Pugsley

Death is not a failure (although you might be)

I'd known Ronnie for over 20 years. We first met at the IDRC in Passaic after both grabbing another DUI back in the late 90s. We bonded over music, our personal existential crises, and our favorite whiskeys. Little did I know we'd stay friends for years up until his passing early last year. He would come to all the shows, we'd hang, drink and be merry. We used to speak about death often. I can tell you Ronnie wasn't afraid to die. He always said that he never got the whole reaction to death most of us have in our culture/society. He would go on rants that as an old philosophy major I'd really enjoy. I thought finally - someone I can rattle on about philosophical nonsense and the person won't run for the door. He was perplexed that people would think about death as some sort of failure. As if we all wouldn't reach the same fate eventually - or soon. He understood the grieving, but not the taboo. I tend to agree. I knew when he passed there was no need to pity him or engage in too much suffering - he wouldn't want that. He once, no actually many times told me - when I go, if I go first: "Think about the good times and live your life." So I did my best to oblige as I feel the same. So when he told us in a final email not to let BMN die if he were to go, even though it was really difficult, and I'm way fucking busy as it is with music projects, work, family, etc. - I just can't let him down. Nor can the rest of the BMN team. So - we're back, after a long and sustained hiatus of self-pity, alcoholism and other things - and I am going to dive into a lot of what Ronnie was doing – blogging, reviews, interviews, maybe some playlists, and maybe just some philosophical rants at times since I don't have Ronnie to listen anymore. Like I said, I'm pretty busy, but I invite your submissions and I'm happy to do my little part to help promote. Otherwise I’ll just write about whatever suits me at the time. My wife says I need to keep writing since I haven’t been doing so since college. She says my cognitive skills have declined since those 15 page papers I used to have to write. Maybe it’s the booze. Who knows?

Cheers until next time,

Joe Pugsley