Radio Free Charleston 48 is the first of our tribute shows to the late Randy Lee Walden, the lead singer and bass player for Quick And Dirty, who appeared on RFC 44 back in June. Randy was found dead in Quick And Dirty’s rehearsal space before a scheduled show by the band on June 30. It was an apparent cardiac arrest. Randy was only 30.
For this tribute show, we focus on Randy’s most recent band, Quick And Dirty. We were lucky enough to have recorded them last May, the first night that they played a proper show. At that point they’d only been together for three weeks, and they already had enough original material for a killer set, opening for Dog Soldier. We plan to do a more elaborate tribute to Randy in a couple of months, but in the spirit of “Quick And Dirty” I wanted to get this online as soon as possible.
The night we recorded them, Q&D was a three-piece, with James V. Brown on guitar and vocals, and Jaymes Neely on drums. A week later, John E. Sizemore joined, also on guitar. The song “Super Ninja” was written about Sizemore, who also built the band’s pedal systems. John peddles his pedals under the “Dirty Pedals” name. I never got to see the band as a four-piece, but we include a performance here that James Brown captured as a YouTube clip. “Wrong Again” is the last song that Randy wrote, and it’s inspired by his young son, Jack.
Melanie and I came away from the show that night last May impressed as hell. I can’t remember a Charleston band making a stronger debut. That was the first night I met Randy in person, though we had been trading emails through MySpace for weeks. He struck me as an immensely talented, humble, charismatic man. His stage presence was terriffic, and his banter with the crowd, some of which you can hear on this show, was hysterical.
Like I say in the show, I feel cheated that I did not get to know him for a longer time. And I’m angry that I won’t get to see him perform again. When I left the show that we taped, I was thrilled at the prospect that I was going to get to see this awesome band perform again.
But it didn’t happen. Fate robbed us of any more time with Randy, and all we have left are his music and our memories. This is not the last tribute to Randy that you will see on RFC. In fact, I’m soliciting your help here. If you knew Randy and would like to participate in the next tribute show, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get together and make the next show better than this one.
I’m not knocking this show, but Randy’s legacy deserves more, and I’d like for his friends, band-mates, and family to have a chance to say more about the man and his music. The plan is to possibly combine the two tribute shows, with additional footage, into a DVD release that would commemorate Randy Lee Walden. We’re still working on details for that project, and I’ll keep you posted.
I will also keep you posted on any additional tribute jam sessions that might pop up. There was a great show on July 18, but I hear that there may be another in August. I’ll also keep you posted on whatever Randy’s band-mates, James, John, and Jaymes are doing in the future. I do know that James and John’s side project, Elemental Devices, will be featured on the next RFC “show without words,” tentatively scheduled for episode 51.
Please feel free to leave any memories you have of Randy in the comments here, and contact me if you’d like to contribute to the next tribute to Randy Lee Walden on Radio Free Charleston.