Having been out of the loop for reasons mostly pertaining to visiting family and cramming food into any available space in my body, I was gutted to hear about the passing of Woods of Ypres’ mastermind, David Gold. As I’m sure the pertinent details surrounding the car accident that took his life one week ago today and the memorial/funeral held in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario yesterday are all over the internet, I figured I’d take some time to reminisce.
I’m not going to say that David and I were super-tight or anything – dude was so nomadic and marched to the beat of his own drum sequencer that it was difficult to keep track of him, what with his moving between various parts of Canada and Korea over the past few years – but there was this time… Many moons ago, a bunch of us piled into a piece of shit rental car to attend the Milwaukee Metalfest. There was mildly humorous and potentially dangerous tale involving me almost leaving David and his lily-white blondness sleeping on a picnic table in south side Chicago, but on the first night at our beer city hotel, a cop was doing random room checks and informed us that because we had six people in a room designed for four, we were violating some dumb fire code and therefore, either two of us, or all of us, would have to get out. I don’t know how David and I got singled out, but we did and we spent a bunch of time wandering around the area proximal to the hotel, bitching to one another about Milwaukee fire codes, cursing the local constabulary, trying to remember the exact lyrics to “Fuck tha Police” and biding our time. I seem to recall us climbing a series of fences, almost falling into a swimming pool and hiding behind some bushes where David played lookout while I made sure the coast was clear. Once the cop’s back was turned, literally, we scooted through the lobby area and snuck back into the hotel and our room. The next day, at the fest, for whatever reason, David mooned Billy Milano. Or was it Nuclear Assault? Maybe it was the both of them. Apparently, he had been planning on doing this for weeks, he later explained.
As serious as Dave’s exterior and the morose topics generally covered by Woods of Ypres’ lyrics – by the way, the band was on the eve of the release of their fifth album Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light via Earache, and it’s a good ‘un – I also knew him as a joker how knew how to fuck around with the best of us. One of the last times I actually saw and hung out with him was at the memorial show for tireless metal impresario, the late Adrian Bromley at which Woods was performing. Chris Bruni from Profound Lore Records and myself were standing around shooting the shit when this dude who looked EXACTLY like prison-era Varg Vikernes (right down to the military garb, stomping boots, suspenders, goatee and severely side-parted haircut) strode right up to Bruni and I. Now, it must be said that Chris and I will aren’t exactly the “whitest” people you’ll see at any metal show, so I’m thinking this loose cannon is going to go out of his way to let us know that. Au contraire. Here, in part, is the conversation:
David: Hey man!
Me: Umm, hey…
David: You don’t recognize me, do you?
Me: Not at all.
David: David Gold! What’s up?
Me: Holy shit, dude!
(hands are shook, conversation ensues)
David: I bet half the people in this room are looking at us wondering “what the fuck is going on over there?”
Rest in peace, dude. You were one of a kind.