Monday, November 9, 2009

You never get to say goodbye

As many of you have probably heard, Jerry Fuchs passed away yesterday. It is not my intention to use this forum to discuss the tragedy specifically, but instead put some thoughts down about Jerry and his life and talent. I really encourage all of you to do the same, in whatever way you decide to do it. He made an impact on all of us, whether it was personal or through his music. I would not have considered our friendship to be close by any means, but based on how I feel I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for his family, friends and bandmates and the grief they are experiencing. For everyone out there going through this, you have my condolences and utmost sympathy.

To put it in simple terms, Jerry was the drummer that I always wanted to be. He had an amazing natural style that you can’t acquire, and he worked hard to take that talent to an extraordinarily high level. He was the master of his trade. Along with his unbelievable musical ability, he had such a vibrant personality and an energy that was an inspiration to us all. He was living his dream as a professional drummer, which could have been perceived by most as a truly difficult road to take, but he always put it in terms that made it sound like such an adventure. He was doing exactly what he wanted to do, and we were the ones lucky enough to be his audience. We should have had a lifetime of experiences, but instead all we have are a stack of records and some video clips. It’s nothing. We will never experience his love of life, his intensity, his humor again.

That’s all I think I can say for now.


  1. I remember hanging out with Jerry in high school, watching Speed Racer episodes at his house, heading out in his folks maroon Malibu to hit up Dragon Con, comic/record stores, etc. Even got to play a little with him too before he was corralled by the Martians (also good friends at the time). That is around the time he traded up his sparkly Pearl (?) kit for that flashy red Remo set…it was all about the double bass technique and that high pitched snare tone. Crazy talented even back then, he was so dedicated to the instrument. I’m sure he would barely remember me if we met today, but it will never stop sucking to see a brother (past, present or future) fall.

  2. "I would not have considered our friendship to be close by any means, but based on how I feel I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for his family, friends and bandmates and the grief they are experiencing."

    That puts it well, James. I only met Jerry a few times, and only had one or two actual conversations with him, but I was struck with how friendly he was. A lot of focus will be put on how talented he was (and he was incredibly talented), but the real tragedy isn't that his fans lost a good drummer, but that the world lost such a sweet, funny, down-to-earth guy. I've found myself thinking about him and this tragedy pretty much constantly since I heard about it yesterday, and I barely knew the guy at all. I can't imagine what those close to him must be going through.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of Jerry's many friends and family members.

  3. I just commented on this on the Martians' discography page, which lead me here...

    It's hard to know what to say. I didn't know Jerry personally, and my only memories of him are from watching him perform on stage and listening to his recordings...that's the extent of my impression of him, and how I will remember him.

    By the time he was playing with the Martians, I had graduated high school and no longer had much interaction with Keith and only saw Hugh at work, and came out to the gigs whenever I could. This didn't allow much time for getting to know Jerry, and all I can remember is that he seemed to have improved by light years every successive time I saw him play.

    As noted above, he had such a God-given gift for rhythm. Watching him grow as a player over a relatively short amount of time was more like witnessing him figuring out his own genius than it was observing his "improvement". Whatever it was that he had, it was there all along, and definitely wasn't something one can "learn". All I know is that in the handful of times I got to watch him play, he never ceased to send my jaw to the floor.

    This is a tragic loss of (by all accounts) a great person and a true, genuine talent. It is always difficult when such talent leaves this Earth prematurely.

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I can go listen to the songs and remember Jerry in the only way I knew him. I don't have to shoulder the grief of one who knew him as a good friend, a son, etc. I can only imagine what those of you who did have that connection with him are feeling, and I feel for you all.

    It is no less sad for me, though, because I'm one of the many fortunate ones to have witnessed his genius, and I understand the extent of the loss.

    Strength and peace to all.

  4. Jerry Fuchs was one of the most talented and laid back guys you could ever meet. That particular combo was rare in music and even rarer in drumming. When Kyle left my band, Fiddlehead, Jerry was the shoe-in. Unfortunately our guitarist did not feel the same way. Plus Jerry moved to Athens making the prospect even harder for me to sell. I so loved his spirit and talent that I drove to athens from atlanta as long as I could take it to play with him and Nuci. It was soon after that he moved to NY and I regret loosing touch with him. Whenever I did see him though he always acted as if zero time had passed. I personally am very sad to hear such a great drummer, nice all around dude, and loyal friend has passed. Mike Haggerty