Tuesday, January 12, 2016

RIP Filip Fuchs

This photo was taken by Murray Bowles at a show See You In Hell played in Oakland at a now defunct cafe. Definitely not one of our (UGZ) shows, which is what happens sometimes when you lose touch over the years.  The show before that was in SF at a cool, basement style venue around the block from the old CW, but it’s not where I would've imagined SYIH playing after waiting so many years to to tour and play the Bay Area. Filip and I talked about a bunch of stuff (an attempt to quickly catch up) that night, but the one thing I definitely took away from our conversation was that his enthusiasm for that tour was waning, to say the least. As a booker/promoter I wasn't too stoked on the Oakland gig (although the bands were solid), but at least it was packed for that venue. I didn't recognize as many people as I would've even 5 years earlier, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. At the end of See You In Hell's set, someone associated with the cafe got in Filip's face for who knows what reason.  I didn’t know or recognize the kid that did that, but already knowing how Filip felt about the tour prior to the Oakland show just added to the frustration I felt when I saw that.  To make matters worse I found out later that someone stole the band's tour money at that show.  Oakland, a city that Filip was genuinely excited about playing when we discussed it in the early two thousands at one of the Super Sabado Gigante shows had turned out to be nothing like the way I’d described it to him thirteen years earlier.  

Like I said, I lost touch with Filip and a bunch of my pre-social networking pen pals from back when Urban Guerrilla Zine was bigger, and a momentarily a record label, so it was cool to discover things I missed in the last 24 hours, like a video of See You In Hell playing a breakfast show in Austin at Chaos In Tejas, as well as videos of the band playing shows in BRNO, Czech Republic, including one where they dressed up like Discharge, charge hair and all.  I was writing and trading with Filip over a decade ago, but he was only in his mid-thirties when he lost his battle with cancer this past weekend.  I think his young age speaks to how active and committed he was to the spirit and ideal of hardcore D.I.Y. punk.  He accomplished a lot (more than I know actually) in his relatively short time here on this plane of existence, and his passing is our loss.  RIP Filip Fuchs.

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