I’m really not sure I can take any more deaths this year.

There’s a bass note, typical but almost self assured in its beat and the promise to come .

tha-thump thummmm dada thump-dum….tha-thump thummmmm dada THUMP-dum….

The bass continues on as if it’s announced the most important part, and it has. I can see the gold reflection shine as the player steps forward with that horn.

Suddenly it’s early 1994.

My middle brother (I’m the oldest) Joscoto kept harping on this band. This amazing band he liked. Some kind of ensemble band like the guys I was currently into like Widespread Panic or Blues Traveler. "no man" he said, "you gotta get this disc called "Remember Two Things"

The horn, a sax, kicks in. It’s deep throated and bright and clear. Up tempo to the bass, and it’s the shine moment before the violin kicks in. The player is leaning forward, a spotlight on him. His shirt reflects the light, his ear piece visible, cheeks are puffed out with the line notes.

Every up and down in my life has been marked by Pearl Jam, or the Dave Matthews Band. Even my closest friends, the ones I trust the most to make fun of me, are all over My DMB fandom. Their music has been so much a part of my life. Not just Dave’s noodling on the guitar or vocals but every member of the band. I went so quickly into Under the Table and Dreaming to Crash to seeing the band no less than 15 teams over the next 15 years.

The player is Leroi Moore. Leroi is out, in infinite repose. The light’s on him and the band is lining up behind him. He’s laying down that sax line like a prophet leading the worshipers to the land where everything is all right, it’ll be ok.

There’s a point, so the saying goes, where life stops giving you stuff and starts taking it away.

The light on Leroi fades away slowly as the band picks up the main number. It’s "Crush" and Leroi has more to do in the song, but for now he guided the intro in under the fading light of the Columbia River Gorge sunset.

Sometimes there’s words in life. Most times, there’s not.

Life’s been taking a lot of inspirations away from all of us this year.

I can hear the breeze that I can never hear when I’m there. The stars are climbing bright as the light fades across the horizon. Heaven’s amphitheater hushes for a moment.

There’s a clock ticking pause, as Leroi purses his lips and puffs his cheeks for the sax part.

The part doesn’t come this time. There’s silence when the horn blows.

Leroi man, I will miss you deeply.

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