First of all, George was peculiar. Take everyone in the world you’ve ever met, and then just forget about them, because George was nothing like them. We were close largely because we were both record collectors -not CDs, but records, we were both record homos. We wanted to hear everything. We engaged in feverish conversation about obscure shit that no one else cares about. Together with my band the Incredible Casuals, we drove all over New England, playing one-nighters, some bitchin’, some lame, frequently in his van. He even got involved in some of the recording sessions. We smoked pot, and farted around.
I mentioned his van: I’ve never known a human who felt closer to his van. He had a long series of white vans (usually white -I think he had a blue one at one point, but usually white, or formerly white before being covered liberally in city soot.) George frequently slept in his vans, and usually had piles of albums in them, and possibly -I don’t think I’m making this up? -once, an actual turntable. And he liked making long drives spur of the moment, for instance even in recent years showing up suddenly at the Beachcomber from NYC, ready to roll.
When I hung out with George, he was just starting to fool with playing music a little bit, so I didn’t know him well as a player, most of that came later, but always marveled at his loopy, playful touch on the bass. He was the First Of the Extremely Loud Snorers (Fred Boak being The Second, years later), and either one of them were really impressive on a nightly basis -it was like sleeping with World War One.
He was also a conspiracy theorist, and would gleefully detail the exploits of the Masons, for instance, who he seemed the most suspicious of, at the slightest provocation, always forecasting the grimmest outcomes with a Cheshire cat grin. Perhaps it was the grin and the theories that led to his nickname, the Guru.
I’ll miss the Guru. He was one of those people you could not see at all for years, and then see him and fall right back into a natural rhythm like the last time you saw him was yesterday. There’s never enough of those people. I can’t imagine him not being in a van somewhere. I’ll bet he still is in a van, somewhere.
So long, bub.