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Horrible news for our community: RIP BradM

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Aw shit.   Very sorry to hear this.

I haven't seen Brad in a couple years.  He helped me out adding a bunch of old BNB shows I'd digitized to the archive a few years back... which was very nice of him to do.  I always glad to see him at a show, and I saw him at many.  RIP.

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One of the hardest dances I ever saw Brad pull off was during a Burt Neilson show at Mavericks.

You cats dropped into a loooooooooong jam, can't recall which song but the tapes would tell the tale, that went way out there. He and I were beside one another at his rig and the bar had become mayhem. It's one of my top 5 Mavericks moments. People were hopping like apes. At one point during this jam I turned to Brad and said "This is what happens when Pink Floyd meets Phish" and and he stopped dead in his tracks while contemplatively grabbing his beard. I felt kinda bad for ruining the moment for a moment...............

He sincerely thought about what I had just said, hugged me and then replied in my ear

"That's exactly what this is."

Edited by Booche

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My ticket story from today.  To be honest, I can't actually remember if bradm was at the show or not, I'm just assuming he was.  And I think there's a good chance I was right.

In the early evening of December 7th, 2013 I sat on my couch debating whether or not to go see Kevin Breit at Gigspace.  One of my favourite musicians had made the drive from Toronto-ish to Ottawa to play a one-off (more accurately, they were playing two shows back-to-back on the same evening) with Carleton University drum instructor (and improvising maniac) Jesse Stewart and Ottawa-based music producer and bass player Phil Bova, and it was all I could do to get my lazy butt off the couch and drive to the small venue/music school for the second show of the night.

And when I arrived of course I found my good friend Bradm in the front row.  I can’t say for sure, but I’d guess he had been there since long before the first show started, setting up his microphones to record the concert(s).  Y’see, Bradm’s thing was to take his high-quality microphones and recording system to shows big and small and record them from start-to-finish, meticulously taking notes of song titles in between rockin’ out on the spot to the show in question.

I say he recorded shows “big and small” but his big focus was on the smaller shows, and over the years Bradm accumulated an incredible sonic library chronicling Ottawa’s independent music scene.  Three or four nights a week, regardless of the weather, Bradm would tuck in his concert t-shirt, lace up his Converse sneakers and don his blue winter jacket (again, regardless of the weather), grab his trusty backpack loaded up with recording gear, flashlights, batteries, pens and notebook, and usually a handful of burned CDs to hand out to friends (like yours truly), and take the bus to some local venue (never, ever have I seen him shell out for a taxi) like Maverick’s, Irene’s. Cafe Dekcuf, The Rainbow, or in this case Gigspace to record a show, and he always (always) showed up early.

I mean, the guy was an inspiration.  Here I had been parked on my couch merely a short, comfy drive from the show and I barely made it out.  Bradm would have been waiting at his bus stop way out in the west end since the tail end of rush hour, the winter sun already long since set, and he would have had a long, lonely bus ride home at the end of the night too and there was no question that he would be there.  He was always there.  The guy did this all the time.

And he was a really great friend too.  There’s no question that Bradm was a quirky soul, but there was something about him that I liked through and through, and he seemed to like me too.  We saw countless shows together, he recorded pretty much every live show I’ve played with since we met, he was the first to arrive at every party I’ve hosted since I’ve known him, we travelled to shows together an awful lot and even went to Europe together, just the two of us.  Heck, Bradm was the guy who introduced me to m’lady.  

So there he was, in the front row recording the Kevin Breit show.  When we chatted at the end of the night he no doubt went on excitedly about the show we just saw.  No matter how many thousands (yes, thousands) of small, indie shows Bradm would see in his lifetime he never lost the youthful, exuberant excitement that left me so many years ago.  The guy just loved music, he loved musicians (and most people), and he loved, loved, loved to record shows.

And as we chatted that night none of us could know that had only a few more years left in him.  I had no idea that I would lose my good friend before either of us hit fifty.  It’s funny, I remember very clearly the moment I met Bradm.  He was sitting in a booth with some friends of mine at a Downtime show at a long-gone bar in Ottawa called The Bayou when I introduced myself, and we had been good friends ever since.

But the weird bit is, I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I saw him.  It’s not that it had been a long time or anything; quite the opposite.  I saw him all the time, virtually every time I went to a local show and a bunch more besides.  But I don’t recall the last time we saw each other, and I fear I never will.  And so, whenever I go out I still expect to see him there, I still expect to find Bradm stand up when I arrive to give me a hug and offer me a seat at his front table (which I often declined.  Due to the proximity of the microphones there was no talking aloud allowed when you sat with Bradm at a show).

But I won’t see him again, and that’s really a shame.

I looked at his page on archive.org and this show is not among the 850+ recordings that Bradm uploaded.  And the most likely reason it isn’t there is because Bradm would never upload a band’s music with the express consent of everyone involved - the dude had ethics - and if I know one thing about Kevin Breit, I know he wouldn’t necessarily be quick to respond to Bradm’s inevitable email requesting permission to upload one of his concerts.

To sample some of his work, I urge you to visit archive.org and search “bradm”.  

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wow!    My first visit to this page in years.  So sad to hear this news.  I only have great memories.  Big hugs and love to everyone who has been close with him over the years.  He was a true Mensch!

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