After my alarming solo crawl, and then the magical Easter family crawl, I wondered what might be next. The crawl has become about everything. ….fear, courage, family, freedom, future, resurrection, regression, progression, past, present, city, dreams, community, insanity. The list goes on and on. But this week I was looking forward to something upbeat and simple. Then I received some awful news.
My friend and former band mate Julia “Burn” Brightly was very sick in a London hospital. Cancer. Sudden and moving fast. I went as soon as I could and I spent two days visiting with her. She was dying and I said goodbye. I knew I would never see her again. The day after I left she was gone.
Julia was once Stephen. We were in a trio with his wife called Raw Believer. That trio broke apart. I called Stephen, a year or so later, and asked him to be in a duo with me called, Crash&Burn. I asked which one he wanted to be and he said Burn. That left me one option. After our first or second rehearsal Stephen revealed to me that he was on his way to becoming a woman. It was a decision that had been coming for a lifetime. It was a scary and liberating and confusing time. I started calling him Burn. I was Crash. It all made sense. We talked about calling him Burnadette, but that didn’t stick. I sometimes accidentally referred to her as him, onstage, and that upset her. Old habits are hard to break. We put on one hell of a show.
Burn became Burn Brightly, and ultimately our duo broke up. Burn Brightly became Julia Brightly. And Last week Julia Brightly died. And Burn died. And Stephen died.
We played dozens of shows and made many songs together. Her journey was not always easy. She was a sonic wizard, and a brilliant musician. She was brave and she loved to laugh. And she was my friend. She loved Crawling Home. I wrote a song called Crawl Away With Me and Larry shot some video on this latest crawl from 110th St to 125th and we put the two together.
This crawl is for Stephen. And Burn. And Julia most of all.