Ballad for a Pretty Rough Year

Dear Chris,

There aren’t words to say at a time like this but John touched so many lives that we each feel compelled to say the perfect thing.  The thing that makes us all feel better about having known him and how our lives are so much better because we knew him.

And that is true, John’s talent in music and art resonated deeply in those that took it in.  One of my personal highlights of social media is when Instagram would tell me that jlitzy had posted something new.  Like many many others, I adored his sketches, his drawings, and his paintings.  His eye was keen and brought out just the right details while leaving the viewer plenty of room to fill in the rest.  His art conveyed thought and emotion, the goal of all art no matter the medium.

I met John for the first time on the patio at Charlie’s American Cafe, he was playing in Sicman, I was there to take photographs.  The details escape me, but somehow or other, after only a few moments, we were talking about Frank Zappa (a passion that we shared) and how he was going to be playing some Zappa tunes down at the Oceanfront and maybe I’d enjoy coming by to check it out.  But something else sticks from that conversation:  This was truly a nice human being.  He made time for people, for their conversation, for their passions.  He listened as well as he spoke.  After he went inside to tend to his business of setting up a bass rig, the conversation lingered in my head.  What was the date of that Zappa gig again?  I hauled out my phone and made sure to put it into my calendar.  And I was better for it.

And that is the point:  We are better for it. For meeting John.  For allowing him to share his art with us.  For giving us time to take it in, to contemplate.  To enjoy.

We start this journey with a finite amount of sand in the hourglass, and through some cruel policy, we are never privy to the amount of sand that hourglass contains.  Here’s your sand, now go do something memorable.  John taught us a lesson:  Don’t worry about the sand that is already at the bottom, there is nothing to be gained by staring at it and willing it back to the top of the hourglass.  Instead, take the lessons that happened while the sand was going to the bottom and use it for the grains at the top of the hourglass to make them more worthwhile and lasting.

Again, Chris, there are no words.  We all have this nebulous cloud of thought and feeling in our hearts and in our heads, but our lips struggle and ultimately fail to form our thoughts into the right words.

But know this:  We love you and we love John’s family.  Thank you so much for sharing him with us all.  During this difficult time, we are here for you ready and willing to do whatever is needed.  

But forgive us if we don’t quite have our A game, because our hearts are heavy and we grieve with you.

With deepest condolences,

James Robinson and the Entire 757 Music Family

John Litz unexpectedly passed away December 22, 2018.  He leaves behind a wife, a son, three grandbabies, a collection of unfinished paintings, and a bunch of kick ass grooves no one will ever hear.  He was 48 years old.

John Litz of Sicman

1 thought on “Ballad for a Pretty Rough Year”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. My big brother was my hero and I am truly crushed. That’s all I really know to say right now. I like to think it will get easier with time, but that is a reality I’m unable to comprehend right now. I appreciate the love and sentiments expressed from everyone

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