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Wednesday, May 11, 2016


photo by Ryan Holloway

This week DC ROCKS feels a little blue. The city is water logged from absorbing a record breaking streak of showers, and people say it's been raining since Prince died. But also, over the weekend, we lost a rock star closer to our own sodden back yards.  John Stabb was the consistent life force behind the hardcore band Government Issue. He was big fish thrashing about in DC's little punk pond and a hard act to follow.

Although his music was loud and wild, my best memory of John is a quiet one. A few years ago, I went to see one of his later bands at a local rock hole I can't quite recall. What I do remember is Mister Stabb, tall and thin as always, alone on stage. There was a thin chain hanging just above his head which he first regarded thoughtfully and then, ever so slowly and deliberately, he reached up and gave it a gentle pull. When the light bulb turned on over his head, you would have thought it was the first time this had happened to anyone. After appreciating the magic of light, he just as simply and wittingly turned it off. And then on again. And off again. On.....and off. Masterfully John turned a mundane act into a tiny moment of theater and joy which still makes me smile.

So long then to another sweet soul. Your light will be missed.

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