The following is long overdue.
I’ve been wondering if I should throw in a few words about the recent passing of Cy Rawls over on my blog. As most of you know, I'm not that good when it comes to eloquent memorializing. But, like most people in the Triangle, I too had a relationship with the man. However, it wasn’t as close of a bond as one would expect. A couple of years ago, he and I were on the same trivia-night team. It was me, him, Sam, Dimitri and Kathy. Every Tuesday night, we’d convene at the Alibi Bar below the Martin Street Music Hall for its then-trivia night. (I would usually be coming from an awful movie screening, so I was looking to shoot off some steam.)
While I was there, I would often order these bottles of Thai Red Bull, which is Red Bull without the carbonation (just straight sugar!), one after the other from the bartender. (On many an occasion, the bartender would be that Angelina Jolie-looking keyboardist from The Rosebuds.) As you would expect, the endless bottles of Red Bull would make me jazzed for competition. While Cy and the crew kept their composure, I would get way too into it. This came into light when we lost a round one night because the guest quizmaster docked us a point after we (or, should I say, I) referred to the star of “That’s So Raven” as Raven-Symone and not just Raven. I lost it and vowed never to return.
That pitiful story aside, it was fun hanging out with Cy and company on Tuesday nights. Rawls was a quiet, laid-back creature. He occasionally e-mailed me about movies. As one would expect just by talking to him, he was an idiot savant when it came to music. We often discussed music during our trivia-filled evenings. I even helped him pick out music when he was DJing over at the radio station at Duke one Sunday morning.
While we weren’t close friends, it was truly a pleasure to make his acquaintance. Like everyone who came in contact with him, I ended up not only liking the man, but admiring him. People who didn’t even know Cy loved and respected him. (When I broke the news of his death to a bartender/musician colleague of mine who never met Cy, even he got emotional.)
To the local music community, Cy Rawls was a dedicated fan. I only hope that he knew how much everybody —including myself— were fans of him.