When David Olney died earlier this year I was gutted. I'd lost a friend, someone I loved, and a beloved artist. I was, and remain, utterly heartbroken.

When Nick Rudd died last week I was also gutted. Again, I lost a friend, someone I loved, and a beloved artist. But it's different. Because he took his own life and died in such psychic pain. And that will haunt me in a way other losses never can.

The last two nights I haven't been able to sleep and every time I wake, tossing and turning, I have some wisp of Nick or his voice or a song in my head. Mind you, I didn't know him as intimately as many others did, so I can't imagine what they are going through.

My skills are not necessarily many, but one thing I do well however, is love really, really hard. And I loved him hard, as I did Olney, my husband, my family, and so many friends.

I haven't been able to listen to much of his music yet. I have played the video of one of the songs he did at our house last fall when he opened for the Peter Holsapple Combo. Thanks to my beloved V'ron for capturing it. Afterward, I told him how much I loved this one and he gave me that quick smile and said, "I knew you'd like that one."

After he was at our house for Thanksgiving last year, I wrote this:

I have the Amy Rigby book sitting on my mantel. I am reading it VERY slowly because I want it to last a long time. On Thanksgiving when Teri came in she glanced at it twice and laughed telling me she thought it was an old picture of me. I laughed too and told her I was flattered. Then I turned at looked at Nick sitting next to me and said, "but I had my moments, didn't I?" Nick has the best smile and chuckle, and he did just that before saying slowly, "You sure did, you sure did."

I remember another time, long, long ago, when I was back in my Aquanet eyeliner days (possibly this era, but actually a bit earlier I think) and Nick was looking at some old 60's record with a picture of a woman with big dark hair on the cover and he said, "Man, I think all women should wear their hair like this," and then he grinned, pointed at me, and continued, "or like yours." And that has stayed with me 35+ years. I remember Boo once said she used to think of me as 'that flighty girl from Record Service." And I miss that girl. With Nick gone it seems like a little more of that girl, with the big hair and the eyeliner, is gone. That's the thing when you lose someone. Your shared memories are just that much smaller. You still have them, but they are smaller.

At a going-away party before he left for LA in 2017. Look at my boys. Owen was only 15.


Here's Nick giving Owen one of his amps later that night.

I will love you forever, Nick Rudd.







2 thoughts on “Nick Rudd and Smaller Memories

  1. Thanks for giving voice to these feelings Cynthia! We really need to hear it, and they’re shared by more people than we sometimes realize. Nick’s death has stirred up a lot of emotions for so many people who knew him.
    BTW, I think the spirit of those days — copious Aquanet, eyeliner, Doc Martens and all — continues to live on inside each of us, if we let it. In my best moments, I’m still “juvenile adjacent” on some level. Let’s keep it that way as long as possible!