Sunday, June 19, 2022

Some Have Gone...and Some Remain

Remembering David (Steptoe T. Magnificent) Wilcox: 
May 28, 1950-June 8, 2022 

(Friday, June 17, 2022) Great memorial celebration - standing room only! - today for the late great David (Steptoe T. Magnificent) Wilcox. Steptoe was a popular and beloved guy who fronted many, many bands (The Great Pooba Subway, Pang Pang, Rock Hard Peter, The Alcoholics, The Non-Alcoholics, Problem Pets, Chelsea Graveyard & The Screams At Midnight), so it's not surprising that a who's who of local musicians & artists packed Evans Funeral Home to pay their respects to him and his family - and not once but twice (2-4 and 6-8 pm). Many great anecdotes were shared by friends and family, but none better than this John Lennon lyric on the back of the memorial cards adorned with Steptoe's art.

In his life, he was loved by all

Lotta love in that room today, love that will get passed on and on. It was basically the Marble Bar Reunion that Leslee Anderson had long planned for at the Ottobar (until Covid and its variant strains repeatedly delayed it), just without the bands and the music.

David W. Wilcox: Steptoe T. Magnificent

Oh well, here's a partial roll call of the many (good) old familiar faces on hand, along with the Wilcox Family: Bruce Lilly (he lives!), Bill Bowen and Donna Stinnett Bowen ("Donna Diode" was wearing her "Bravo Baltimore Weirdos" button!), Ed Linton and Robin Linton, Beth Sherring (Henry Lingenfelder and Robbie Lingenfelder were out of town, but were there in spirit), Harry "Chick" Veditz (in his Chelsea Graveyard tee, natch), Marble Bar matriarch LesLee Anderson, Richard Taylor, Robyn Webb, Charles Gatewood (aka "Mr. Urbanity," still urbane & still on the wax and not the wane!), Mark O'Connor, Rod Misey, Carol Underwood, George Wilcox (sharing great anecdotes about Steptoe's teen years!), Bob North, Tommy Reed, Bob Tiefenwerth, Paul and Diane Reiger (thanks for the flash drives of Pooba mp3s, Paul!), Marty Benson and his fellow Loch Raven High alumni Diane Hosmer, scrappy Keith Worz (battered but not shattered after a rough night at the Dead Kennedys show at the Baltimore "Poundstage"), Rosalie Wampler, former Katatonix drummers Big Andy Small and Ken Hebden, Joe "Baltimore Sounds" Vacarro, John Spokus, Patti Codd, Pierre Volkman, Kathleen Glancy Milstein and Chelsea Graveyard bandmate Mike (Squeegee) Milstein, Cindy Borchardt, Mary Butler, Mary Crivello Milburn ("Myrt"!), Michele Hovatter (Mrs. Bill Dawson), Steve "Beef Jerky" Daudican, Geoff "Holy Frijoles" Danek, Ronnie Barker, Kyle Andrea Powers, Chuck Gross, Adolf Kowalski, Patti Jensen Vucci, and even more at the late show...the list goes on, and included many young faces of artists and musicians Steptoe inspired and mentored (you know who you are!), including a "Stoc Marcut" (or a mini-Jeff Lynne, if you prefer) lookalike whose name I didn't catch, but who gave a touching, tearful tribute to David at the end, much like Steptoe's old Pooba pal Wayne. The Wilcox family - Alice, Julia and Alex - gave boffo tributes to the legend known as Steptoe T. Magnificent to the world at large but who was just "Dave," doting dad and couch potato roustabout, at home.

There would have been even more friends there if not for work and the pesky pandemic & other related medical maladies - case in point: longtime friend Scott Pendleton was supposed to speak at the memorial but had to cancel because of Covid (which he may have caught at the June 12 Camden Yards Super-Spreader Event, aka, The Paul McCartney "Got Back Tour"). Likewise, Chelsea Graveyard super-fans The Maxwells (Mike and Gayle, who were also at the Macca concert) had to play it safe, otherwise they'd have been sure to post.

Self-portrait memorial card art by David Wilcox

Memorial Cards art by David Wilcox.

Many people "lost their marbles" at the Marble Bar and in turn the Marble Bar has lost many of its people. A number of friends were absent today because they had already said their goodbyes over the years to the house that Roger and LesLee built: Vaughn Keith (Judie’s Fixation) died in 1990; “Stoc Markut" (Scott Marcus, Fear of God) died in 1995; Mark Linthicum (aka “Harpo” and “Mark Harp” of  Null Set/Cabal, Beatoes, Casio Cowboys) died in 2004; City Paper writer and Marble Bar chronicler Pam Purdy died in 2007; Kraig Krixer (The Accused, Trixy & the Testones, various GOHOG Revue bands) died in 2011; Tom “Pope” Croke (Infant Lunch) died in 2012; Chris Dennstaedt (Poverty & Spit, Beatoes, Casio Cowboys) died in 2020.

But many remain with memories intact of why those now gone mattered. In the end, the fans were legion and they turned out in numbers to pay props to a man whose art and charisma touched so many. In his life, Steptoe was loved by all. That's a life well lived by any standard!

P.S.: Steptoe always called me by my Marble Bar nom-de-stage, "Tommy Gunn." I liked that his worldview was always framed through the lens of rock 'n' roll! And his depiction of me for a Katatonix flyer remains my favorite artistic rendering (it made me look good - proving that art, like fiction, is the lie that tells a better truth!).

Related Links:
Pooba Page (From Paul Rieger's United States of Existence. web site) - contains Pooba songs and Rod Misey's WCVT Pooba radio interview
Pooba On WCVT (Baltimore Or Less)
Marble Bar, a Haven for Punk (Baltimore Magazine, May 2022) - David Wilcox quoted throughout


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is his best friend Joanne. I’m not on Facebook, but I heard you posted a video of his memorial on Facebook. I don’t want any video of me on Facebook. You hear me

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also I just spoke with Alice his wife. Take that shit down from Facebook it’s private

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no right to post a private memorial, and video it

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put this down. Do you have links to peoples Facebook’s.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We’re considering a lawyer put it down

9:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Take down the memorial from Facebook. You had no rights to film a private ceremony. We’re getting a lawyer

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Took it down. Meant no offense. Apologies.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Warner, Almost Hip Guy said...

Took down. Meant no offense. Apologies.

9:17 AM  
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