Most of the small group who see this post title will think of a certain lurid cult-classic musical from the 1970s but a small subset will be thinking of something else – my friend, Bradford Gross. Lurid wouldn’t really be a fair way to describe him but he was an exciting guy to be around. Past tense, sadly. I discovered this morning that his passed away this week after a massive heart attack just a few days ago.
What a painfully ironic way for him to go, widely regarded as the big-hearted guy to know. I first met him the best part of twenty years ago. Early in the so-called noughties, we played together in a smokin’ soul funk covers band called Lovesjones. It was a pretty big band with ten or more of us on stage at times but he drove it along with his impeccable drumming and his bubbling energy while I had the pleasure of grooving alongside his hi-hat and hearing my bass bounce out sounding twice as funky because it was just so easy to lock in with him.
It’s a fair while since I last saw him. The band, while great, came to an end after a fairly short run and we’ve moved in different geographical directions. From time to time though, we’d exchange pleasantries over the ether and I always hoped that there would be another chance to make music together or, failing that, at least a chance to hang out for a bit. I think he’s one of those people I would have found easy to fall back in step with and I think I’m far from alone in that.
What I treasure most of all though about having at least shared a bit of joy in this tear stained world with Brad, was not his musicianship but his ability to encourage others. I enjoyed that, others enjoyed that and I think it was a big part of his special sauce. I’ll miss you, bro’.