|Derek Parrott 1947-2011
My friend Derek died tonight. He was a singer songwriter. He had been terminally ill with esophageal cancer. He had been getting weaker but was well enough for the Permanent Grin concert for him on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th.
I arrived late to the concert in the roasting room at Mukilteo Coffee. A pressure hose to the washing machine had burst and I had been frantically cleaning up the flood.
I arrived towards the end of the concert. Local musicians had been playing tributes to Derek. That is Derek in the comfy chair. The last act was Derek.
It was late for him and he was very tired and a little wobbly but he graced us with a couple of new songs. His performance was typically Derek, from the heart.
That is is daughter Katherine with him after the show.
We thought he had more time. Jim Page was over to visit Saturday and sang a couple of songs for him and Derek sang one too. Then Monday he took a turn for the worse and his body started shutting down. Zoe and I saw him yesterday and sat with him while he was asleep.
Derek was one of the first people I met when I moved to Whidbey Island in 1987. One of the things in my life that I'm most proud of is a webcast that I did from my living room called TestingTesting. We did it for over 5 years starting in 1998. It involved a special musical guest each show and there were other house band members but Derek was the heart of TestingTesting. His 5 CDs are available from his website but all the songs he did on TestingTesting are on tapes and CDs in my storage locker. I plan on rescuing those performances and posting them online. It was an honor and a pleasure to know and work with him.
I believe as Derek believed: All you need is love.