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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robert Rowe (RIP) and The Ricky Funkhouser Band

We were not the best band...more like a band of friend with a mutual desire for music that we did our best to play. Well, Robert died on May 15, 2010. Our hearts are saddened with tyhe loss of our friend. The band consisted of Robert Rowe (bass), Kurt Thornburg (drums), Ricky Funkhouser (guitar), Steve Swygert (vocals) many many am over run with all of them. I will do my best to capture many here...mostly light hearted, as with death's cruelty , I feel that we should have some good laughs and celebrate life. My first memory is we are jamming in the basement at Kurt's house (practice) (and thanks Kurt for being the responsible one with a home for us to practice in and keep our equipment safe)...well I am trying my best to sing and all of a sudden I start laughing uncontrollably. Robert looks at me like WTF is wrong with Steve...I was never one to drink a couple of beers...more like lets start with a 12 pack...well I was well on my way laughing in the middle of our practice set when Robert sees me and realizes I cannot stop laughing, I was laughing so hard that Robert started laughing. It was a totally contagious laughter. Robert proceeded to fall backwards, bass in hand, against the wall, now laughing too. He slumped slowly down the wall until his butt was on the floor...but being the consumate musician that he was, he played the bass all the way through the slump and even after his landing on the ground...and even after his laughter. Now Ricky and Kurt are looking at us wondering what is going on and they just bust out laughing too...It was time for a break and we all just laughed and laughed...great times when friends are together and all laughing...and you ask what were we laughing for...I do not remember what made me start it all, it's just the point that laughter is contagious. Tell a joke today with friends and watch it lighten the day and make everyone smile. Nothing ever wrong with that. That was my first memory when I heard of Robert's passing and I want that fresh in my mind. WE DID CELEBRATE LIFE AND MUSIC TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY. Robert was a friend like no other. We were always friends, be it playing at my house, a park, recording at his home at the lake, talking about instruments, etc and ad infinitum. I loved Robert for his unconformity, like myself and most of our friends, we are truly the rare breed today. We were drawn to peaceful lives with no violence and celebrated with music. We are all still friends, as those are bonds that cannot be broken. Today, with robert passing, I am closer to all of those friends, and they are closer to me. That is how this thing works. We stick like glue to support one another with love and friendship. You all know who you are and when you read this I expect you to post something up under comments. This is a tribute to our friend, so let's record all the fun stories and memories like IceMan, the 55 Chevy, 5 guys burgers back in the day, Robert loved us as his family because we gave him what family could not...unconditional love and acceptance. We all thrived together through out music. I want you to know that I love you all and I am here for anyone that reads this posting on Robert. Let us celebrate his life and our lives that we shared with him so that he does not die in vain, which he most definitely di not. If you have a pictur of Robert, or any or all of us, please email it to me so I may post it up. c/o Steve swygert...I will be making a memorial site for Robert so we can visit often. Love to all and God Speed, Steve

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