November 24th, 2008
John and his good friend Andrea Zollo
John Spalding, a talented local musician and a wonderful human being, passed on to a new life this past Sunday evening after a four year battle with colon and lung cancer. He was 33 years old. A good friend of countless folks, including myself, John was a magnetic person with a gift for making those around him feel welcome (particularly when demonstrating his masterful culinary skills). His uplifting and graceful spirit came through with any casual conversation, and his effortless way of befriending others was infectious and inspiring.
Until his illness slowed him down, John was active in the local music scene, playing guitar in art-punk bands Ninety Pound Wuss and Raft of Dead Monkeys during the mid-to-late 90s. He spent his final weeks finishing off (and promoting via KEXP’s Audioasis) a record under the name LoveLand that he had poured his heart and soul into over the past several years. Entitled The Beautiful Truth, John’s music is an unabashedly honest, poignant, and heartfelt proclamation of a man ready to move on to another phase of existence.
A few months ago, the proprietors of the War Room on Capitol Hill threw John a party/concert (with performances by the Cave Singers and Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death) to celebrate his last days. I was absolutely floored by the amount of people who showed up to give their friend a hello, a handshake, or a hug. There was no bound to his friendship.
Currently, the primary way to listen to his music is at his myspace, and fans of soulful power-pop, jangly guitar rock, catchy piano balladry and John would certainly do themselves a favor and head over to take a listen. Assisted by a tremendous amount of support from several local musicians that were his friends first, including members of Minus the Bear, the Blood Brothers, Pretty Girls Make Graves, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch, and Helms Alee, The Beautiful Truth will no doubt be an everlasting testament to John’s incredible talent and his unique take on powerful, soaring melodies infused with his own positive perspective. Its eclectic composition rings true with the most endearing of John’s qualities.
John, whose wife Jody will be saddled with medical bills for the foreseeable future, asked his brother Steve to set up a memorial donation fund through Bank of America. Simply visit any branch and ask about the “John D. Spalding Medical Fund” to donate. I’ll be sure to post more information about how to purchase his music, which will also benefit his family, as it becomes available.
Goodbye John, we will miss you!
More information about John from the local beat:
Also, after today, listen to KEXP’s John Richards pay tribute with several songs on The Morning Show, November 24th, 6-10am.