Eric Stuer

There are no words to express the loss of our dear friend, Eric Stuer and his kind and loving wife, Debra. Both were killed in a roll over accident in the summer 2008. Eric has been the developer behind Rhythmweb.com. Before OMRadio and many other drumming web sites, Rhythmweb.com was the place to figure out who was doing interesting stuff in drumming. Eric was never doing it for money or to build a superbrand site.

I remember meeting Eric at the Dallas PASIC (Percussive Arts Society Convention) back around 2000. He was as humble as they get. PASIC is filled with people who there for all sorts of reasons and Eric was there because he loved drumming.

We’d wait 6 years to run into each other again in Austin, PASIC 2006. This time I remember well because Debbie photographed Abbos Kosimov group and we talked more seriously about unified plans between Rhythmweb and OMRadio.com. From then on, Eric was often coming to Houston to play with Abu Bakr Kouyate, a local master drummer. They were performing for young listeners at schools and libraries.

In the weeks and days before Eric was killed, we talked about getting together and finally set a time to meet. The next message I got about Eric was from a friend thousands of miles away, Peyman Nasehpour. It was devastating. I really have little to say on it other than to testify to the kindness, consideration, and care that Eric showed me as a friend and to many of our closest friends. He listened and was not there to suck up your time.

Eric and Debbie have 3 children who are now without both parents and could use the loving support of our extended family as they move into their adult years. Contact us and we’ll forward your contact info to them.

To My Dear Brother Eric Stuer
Thank you for being the drumming webguru, a great brother, wonderful friend, and kind soul.

June 8, 2008
Texas couple dies in one-vehicle crash
A Texas couple died Friday evening in a one-vehicle accident on Interstate 49 in Natchitoches Parish, according to State Police.

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The dead were identified as Deborah A. Longoria-Stuer, 53, and Eric K. Stuer, 55, both of Richardson, Texas.

Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash involving one vehicle at 6:55 p.m. Friday on I-49, milepost 158, in Natchitoches Parish.

State Police identified the fatalities

According to State Police, the accident happened at 6:55 p.m. as Deborah Longoria-Stuer was driving a 1994 Ford Explorer northbound on I-49. She lost control of the Explorer when a tire apparently blew out.

The Explorer ran off the left side of the road and overturned several times. Longoria-Stuer was partially ejected and Stuer was ejected.

Both Longoria-Stuer and Stuer were pronounced dead.

A passenger in the Explorer, 26-year-old Jules Stuer of Richardson, Texas, also was ejected, but received only minor injuries. Jules Stuer was transported to a hospital.

A note from OM: Without Rhythmweb.com, OMRadio might never have existed. Because of his tireless efforts, Eric Stuer made a huge difference in the modern hand drumming world. We have lost a great soul who asked for very little, gave all he had, and was kind beyond words. I knew Eric as a brother and friend and many times called him up to share the latest events. I was supposed to enjoy his company in the coming weeks as he had begun coming to Houston to play with Abu Bakir Kouyate. He was so jazzed to have some great gigs down here. My heart is heavy with this sad loss and I hope you will honor Eric and Deborah in your own way. Here is the magnificent site he ran: Rhythmweb.com

RixMyth: Remembering a gentle giant

I recieved the call from a mutual friend, “I’ve got some bad news. Rick is dead.”

There are few bits of news that are harder to handle than the loss of a friend or family member. But this news was about the death of my 39yr old bandmate. And there are few people in my life who were as thoughtful and considerate as Rick Smith, aka RixMyth, aka Oleg Archy…a gentle giant.

I met Rick when I was working at KPFT. He was a co-host and in many ways the musical brain behind the “Messerschmidtt World Domination Hour” with my mutual friend, Staci Davis, aka Ann Archy. These two had a show that tops all late night shows. Their themes were thoughtful and funny with music to match. Be it food, sex, suicide, you name it, these two would pick a theme and all the songs would relate to the them for 3 hours every Tuesday night.

He was so quiet as a person that it was easy to miss him if you weren’t paying attention. Then he and I struck up a conversation about music. When I told him I played guitar he was quick to tell me about what he had been doing and to invite me to play. This sort of engagement was typical for Rick who was very open to people’s ideas and provided the room for them to grow.

I got to know Rick as we tried to find out about each other’s music, and in time would exchange music and movies and the latest politics. He paid great attention to the latest politics and events with a keen eye for the meta-issues related to the stories. His library was filled with the best albums and the best books.

When I got the news of his death, we thought he had died due to a dislocated shoulder that wasn’t treated. We thought it had not been treated and he might have had blood poisoning or a combination of medication to treat his pain. It would be 7 months later that I found out my dear friend died of cancer. He was dying in front of us and we never knew.

Routinely he was getting tired and complained mildly of being under the weather, could we talk another time. None of his friends were aware because he wasn’t aware. He died of the leading cause of death, cancer. And to this day I cannot easily let it go that we might have Rick here had he been able to get basic health care screening.

Now part of me knows he wouldn’t want us to linger on him that way because he’s up jamming with Jimi Hendrix and the Ramones. But I miss him often as do many others from all walks of life who were touched by this truly kind soul.

I remember well that my mutual friends with Rick were often at each other’s throats or distant and he never let this be his concern. Two people could really loathe each other and Rick could maintain friendship with both without need to validate either’s anger.

In life we need to take a moment to clear up our relationships and reaffirm our love for family. I would give anything to talk to Rick again and say, “I love you”. And so I will simply do it by trying to live that lesson with my other loved ones, and hope you will do.

Further, we should get serious about curing cancer and make sure that people don’t die because they simply can’t afford health care.

To Rick and his Family, you were the best friend a brother could ever have and I will never forget you and what you did for my life and happiness. Thank you for your example. You were a far better man than I, and I will try to get my life in line with your kindness. Thank you bro and we’ll play again someday.

Scott Reiss: The Silent Screaming

The loss of Scott Reiss sends me to reflection of so many great artists that have been lost to mental afflictions from depression and alcholism to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Artists emote for a living, and its in our giving off energy to transform and maintain society that we are like human batteries. After a while, the battery explodes, wears down, and burns out.

I remember as a new student of music hearing about the death of Jaco Pastorius and his many occasions that were telling others of a pain deep in the psyche of this amazing musician. The name of artists who met this end, suicide or forced burnout is probably not much more significant than not as artistic human beings who live the similar burnout lifestyles.

The end for artists like Danny Gatton, Kurt Cobain, Wendy O. Williams, Michael Hutchence, Hunter S. Thompson, Phil Ochs, and now Scott Reiss bring me to ask, what is it that disappears in a human being to bring them to the end of hope or desire to live in this world?

I think the time to learn about mental illness has passed us and we are no behind the times. In reading about AA one time I found information about Alanon, and the ways in which loved ones play a part in the ongoing suffering of a person with an illness like alcoholism or drug addiction. Now it seems as important for people who live with someone who is affected by mental illness to find out how they can be more aware of how this illness plays out in their lives.

In the coming years I hope to help establish more support for understanding how artists suffer with and cope with mental illness in our community and how loved ones can become aware of this suffering long before an end is met with suicide.

To my dear brother Scott Reiss, I wish I could have heard your call. Perhaps I need not question the outcome and simply smile at your memory and ease of suffering, but to the loss in Tina’s heart and others who are left with a question was not what you wanted and there must be another way. I for one, forgive you, love you and am still your brother.

Scott Reiss shot himself December 15, 2006 in his backyard at the grave of his cat. The pain in his head was too much. This pain is our pain now and we can surely do more to understand it.
02/14/2006