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Class of 1982
By Joe Milliken
Published in The Message For The Week (8/13/08)
Published In The Eagle Times (8/14/08)
Mr. Doug Bashaw, 44, was many things to many people; a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a bass player and drummer, a singer and sound engineer extrodinaire.
Most of all though, Doug was simply a special person in the true sense of the words.
Doug grew up in Charlestown, NH and graduated from Fall Mountain Regional High School in 1982. He loved motorcycles and making people laugh, and had a very strong love, passion and dedication to both family and music.
But one aspect in particular that always stood out in my mind was his love for children. Whenever I would visit Doug and his wife Kelly, he would always make it a point to ask how my son was doing.
And once he learned that my wife and I have a baby girl on the way, forget about it... he was ecstatic for us.
“Wait until you have that little girl,” he would say to me. “It’s way different than having a boy, and your going to love it, dude!” I just know you are right on the money, Doug.
My strongest connection with Doug though was our mutual love and respect for all things music. However I am just a listener, Doug was a player. And a damn great one too!
“Doug was a great guy and a very talented musician,” local rocker Roy Brown said of his friend. “Doug always played bass in his bands, but was also a very talented drummer.
“In school, he performed in the drum core with Jim Peterson (another local musician and friend). In his younger days, he also played in his dad’s country bands.
“Doug had a wonderful sense of humor and will be deeply missed. The last time I cried was with Doug, because we were laughing so hard.”
If you have been a local club enthusiast in New Hampshire or Vermont over the last 25 years, chances are you saw and heard Doug wielding his magic onstage.
A few of his many rockin’ bands over the years included Mistress, Block Party, ONYX, Signature, Shine and his current outfit, Sun King.
“As a musician and entertainer, Doug was simply amazing,” Christopher Bergmann of the local band Spectris stated. “He had an excellent voice and top–notch bass technique, and you always knew that whatever band he was in, it was a really good band.
“As a sound man, Doug was very gifted. He not only had a fantastic ear, but had the supernatural ability to quickly anticipate the bands’ needs he was engineering. Our band never sounded better than when Doug ran our sound.”
This writer’s earliest musical memory of Doug was back in the early 80’s when his band performed “Stepping Stone” on community access TV. I can remember thinking how cool it was that someone I knew was rockin’ on TV! Yes, Doug was the first rock star I ever knew personally.
And if he wasn’t playing the gig onstage, then he was behind the scenes, rolling up his sleeves as sound engineer and roadie.
“What a great friend, musician and sound man he was,” stated Dave of Christopher’s Bar & Grill in Ludlow. “Our local music scene has suffered a huge blow.” Doug worked very hard to promote the local music scene and its’ musicians, always encouraging young players to get out there and perform.
Whatever it was that the band needed, Doug would do it. No questions asked.
“He was one of the best sound engineers in New England, and would give you the shirt off his back, stated Josh Parker of the local band Stonewall.
Doug had most recently been working with Stonewall and Shamus Martin at Exsubel Records and recording studio in Saxton’s River, helping to engineer their forthcoming CD release What If?
“I don't know what my band will do without him. He was the fourth member of Stonewall.”
Doug was also very generous with his time, often donating his many talents and sound equipment for charitable events throughout the region.
In researching this tribute I have also come to realize just how truly humble Doug was, learning that he also knew and rubbed elbows with famous musicians such as Stet Howland, drummer for the metal bands WASP, Lita Ford and others.
Upon mentioning this to Doug’s best friend, Arthur Bates also of Charlestown, it was a fact not even known to him.
Yes, Doug was a very special person and a very talented musician, and he will be truly missed by all whose lives he touched.
However this story does not end here because true friends are never forgotten, and the memories and escapades that Doug created will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him. Heaven now has one heck of a musician and sound engineer to join the band. Rock on, my friend.
Contact Joe Milliken at email@example.com or www.jemwriting.com
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