Tribute to fallen local musician and friend
Billy Shakespeare once said, “All the world is a stage and we all must play a part.” However, I don’t think even Shakespeare himself could conceive of a guy like Jeremy Frederick. Sure, musicians in particular are a charismatic bunch, full of liveliness, artistic leanings and character, but Jeremy was a larger-than-life sort of guy – the kind of fellow that once you met him you never forgot, brimming with joviality and a fierce enthusiasm for local music.
Frederick’s art was his music, being a long-time member of the Dayton music scene dating back to the late 1980s with a resume almost as large as his effervescent personality, having played in a plethora of bands such as Sunken Giraffe, Cigarhead, Lazy, Let’s Crash, The Dirty Walk and Human Reunion. In August of last year, Frederick unexpectedly passed away in his sleep at the unripe age of 39, and the Dayton music scene has not been quite the same without him. This Saturday, Dec. 7, a choice selection of Dayton-based musicians will assemble at Blind Bob’s to perform in tribute to their fallen musician peer and, more importantly, a dear friend that meant so much to his people and community.
One of the organizers of Saturday’s tribute to Jeremy Frederick is friend and former bandmate Tim Krug. To Krug, Frederick was more than just a talented musician who called Dayton, Ohio home. “He was kind of like a brother, in that he could really drive you nuts, but you could never stay mad at him.”
Fellow Dayton musician and drummer for Motel Beds Ian Kaplan echoed similar sentiments about Frederick: “He could make me laugh until I couldn’t breathe, and could piss me off so badly that I wanted to punch him in the face.”
Last fall, Blind Bob’s played host to an evening of Frederick’s music and his memory but this year Krug, Kaplan, former Brainiac drummer Tyler Trent and several other Dayton music notables wanted to do something a little different.
“Tyler, Ian, [Motel Beds guitarist] Darryl Robbins and I all had this idea, kind of separately, that we wanted to keep his memory and his music alive however we could,” Krug explained. “We knew a lot of people were going to be in town for the funeral, and Jackie (his mother) reached out to me and Tyler about trying to have a more public gathering the night before so that people could catch up, tell stories and get a bunch of hugs with each other. Last year was more like a wake in a lot ways, but we hope this will be more like a birthday party. He would have been 41 on Dec. 9.”
In addition to the celebration of what would have been Frederick’s birthday, Saturday will be a very special occasion, musically. Experimental free jazz-rock ensemble Aperiodic, featuring former bandmates of Frederick’s, will be making a rare hometown appearance and popular Dayton punkers Astro Fang will be performing in a one-night-only reunion, as well. Saturday will also see the debut of Swim Diver, a Dayton supergroup of sorts featuring former members of Brainiac, Captain of Industry, Human Reunion and Me and Mountains, that also features members who shared the stage with Frederick at various points in his musical career.
“Swim Diver have been working behind the scenes for a few years now,” Krug said. “When we started organizing this event, Tyler suggested it would be a great fit for our first show.”
While Saturday’s show will be a celebration of Frederick’s life, the proceeds from the door will be going towards the life and welfare of Frederick’s 11-year-old daughter, Izzy.
“Tim, Tyler and I had talked about making an effort to raise money to help Jeremy’s daughter with her college education,” Kaplan explained. “That is really the impetus behind this show. But, in so doing, we can’t help but celebrate the memory and musical legacy of a friend who we all miss a great deal. I still can’t believe he’s gone.”
That seems to be the recurring theme of all these happenings – Jeremy Frederick is still very much loved and sorely missed by the people whose lives he touched during his all-too-short stay on this planet. All the good times and music that Frederick shared with Dayton will be in full effect this coming Saturday and everyone who knew Frederick or ever wanted to know what his life and art were all about are invited to the shindig this weekend.
“This town is too quiet without him, and we aim to make some noise in his name,” Krug said. “As for his musical legacy, just look at all the musicians coming together for this. Hopefully we can bring at least some small percentage of his frenetic energy back to the stage.”
North of Nowhere South: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Jeremy Frederick takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 at Blind Bob’s, 430 East Fifth St. Aperiodic, Astro Fang, Oh Condor, Swim Diver and Crusher are on the bill. Admission is $5 at the door for patrons 21 and up. For more information please visit blindbobs.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.