Last words on the life and death of Northern Virginia Teddy Boy rocker Gene Lee Wilcox who died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound one sweaty night in June, 1998.
Be careful. Watch out. I take names, ranks, and serial numbers. That's right, I spent some time tonight searching for a copy of the eulogy, or more specifically, the letter I wrote to a friend then living in San Francisco of the untimely passing of my dear friend, Gene Lee Wilcox.
I myself was laid up, recovering from anal surgery to remove a fistula, missed his funeral, and only managed a few weeks later with walking cane to visit the grave of my outrageous but most intellectually connected friend and brother in Washington DC. There were folks I spent more time killing time, wasting weekends, boring each other with nothing in particular, but with Gene there was a mutual respect and fist-solid connection.
Gene frankly was in a league of his own as the ONLY spirit in Washington, DC who freely showed me the molecule of respect I felt I had earned in this tight-assed town, knew both the brutal extent of my trespasses and the splintered breathe of my genius, despite the wealth of ruthless gatekeepers barring the door to my passage. That has changed a bit, but Gene was a trailblazer. Even after I imposed my own exile from the city's music scene sometime in the early 90s, Gene insisted upon his duty with those occasional unannounced visits which almost always turned into a three day drunk rockathon, and more heart to heart than either of us could weather a fourth day. In a word, there was no trace of COMPETITION between us, just unquestionable friendship, mutual reassurance.
Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of his passing. I haven't found the letter yet, but I am still mining old files hoping to find it. Meanwhile, I have posted several other compositions written to the same person, a vigorous sass of a woman named Landry, a year or two earlier, none of which have anything to do with Gene, but everything to do with why I think Gene respected me, much to the amazement of everyone else circulating on the sad periphery of this insane local culture, myself included.
Not for the easily charmed...