Someone I shook hands with once. Someone I spoke to with mostly small talk, sprinkled with a few meaningful words. Someone I met 16 years ago. Someone whose music I once had on repeat. Someone whose brother I know. That someone died last Tuesday, July 31st.
Even the death of an acquaintance can change our lives. Tony Sly, lead singer of No Use For A Name, was 41 years young. One day I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing plugs by his brother for upcoming solo gigs. Only weeks later, I’m seeing old band photos with lyrics he wrote only days before his passing.
Was his sixth sense in high gear when he wrote this?
Feels Like Home
It’s too late to talk to you
And it’s too soon to say good-bye
Listen where ever you may be
You still live inside my mind
Something tells me that you are free again
In a place that feels like home
It’s never easy to understand
Why memories hold our hand
But people let go
Our lives are all connected like train cars. New ones may latch on, but the old ones still exist, even if only in memory. My memory of Tony is going backstage at the first Warped Tour in 1995 with his brother Jon. No Doubt was an opening band.
I remember Tony singing the NUFAN version of Redemption Song. I remember the band jumping and twirling on stage. They were on fire, like they had ants in their pants. They were so happy and grateful to be there. You could just see it in Tony’s expression and energy, as he belted out the words. He was on top of the world.
The part of his death that touches me the most: he was a father. Somewhere out there, two kids will learn of their father through his lyrics, family’s memories and video captured of his performances. They will feel his thoughts through his lyrics, his living-out-loud diary. His music will carry on his legacy.
My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time. I hope his children listen to his lyrics someday and find some peace.
Build a wall for you
So no one can go through
We’ll sleep away the day
I’m gone when you awake
Maybe I’m no good at this
But here’s the one thing that I know
Think of this as a lullaby
To listen to when I go
I post this to remind everyone that no matter how short someone touches our lives, even if just a fleeting moment. No matter if it was one meaningful conversation or childhood memory. No matter what…it still means something. I remember some conversations I had on a park bench or at a concert, better than some of the staple milestones in my life. I believe Tony’s words and music will carry on to have meaning. RIP, Tony.