In Memory of Evan Farrell

Evanfarrell_lEvan Farrell, former Rogue Wave bassist and long-time associate of Indiana musical collective Japonize Elephants, passed away last weekend from injuries sustained in an Oakland house fire. He was 33.

I’ve been putting off writing this entry for days; Evan wasn’t a close friend, but he was a powerful one, and since the moment on Saturday when I got a phone call from Rogue Wave guitarist Gram LeBron — who explained in choked, wavering sentences that he and Evan had been in a fire, and Evan probably wasn’t going to make it — I’ve found myself struggling to grasp this reality. Thankfully, Billboard‘s Jonathan Cohen and Bloomington Herald-Times writer Dan Coleman have written far more vivid, eloquent posts than I can pull together at this point. All I can add is that the best week of my life was spent touring with Rogue Wave in 2006, logging countless hours on the bench seat of a van with Evan’s legs stretched across my lap as he napped on a Spider-Man pillow. He was a wild-eyed wonder, equally adept at playing Elton John and Primus songs at sound check, fond of made-up languages and too-tight t-shirts. He’d jump in front of an 18-wheeler on the highway if you needed him to. And while this may seem inappropriate, I will never, ever, forget the way he smelled.

A memorial fund has been set up for Evan’s two sons; donations are being accepted via PayPal. Evan was also an organ donor, a cause very close to the hearts of Rogue Wave — whose drummer, Pat Spurgeon, underwent a kidney transplant a little under a year ago — and I’d like to ask everyone to fill out their donor cards in his honor. My heart goes out to his wife, his family, his bandmates, and his seemingly endless community of friends. I hope some will post their memories here. Plus, two classic Evan videos after the jump.

addCredit(“Evan Farrell: Courtesy of Base 10″)

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  • Broadway Baby

    Thank you Whitney for a lovely tribute. When you posted late last year about their benefit concert I eagerly looked them up and since became a fan. Being in a family directly effected by the choice of an organ donor, I can not stress enough the importance of Rogue Wave’s choice to educate the public about the organ donor program. It sounds that Evan Farrell’s life was and is a blessing to all who knew him. I send all his loved ones my prayers – peace be with you.

  • lupa

    What a sad story. I agree about organ donations. It is such a simple thing to do, but the impact it can have is tremendous. My thoughts are with Evan’s family and all who knew him.

  • lupa

    What a sad story. I agree about signing up to be an organ donor. It is such a simple thing to do, but the impact it can have is tremendous. My thoughts are with Evan’s family and all who knew him.

  • Snarf

    My condolences.

  • Anonymous

    how sad. i fell in love with the “in your eyes” song after hearing it on heroes.

  • Scott P

    Wow, I didn’t hear a thing about this until this post… My condolences to his family and the band, that is just horrible. Thanks Whitney for letting us know about this.

  • david

    it is difficult to describe evan in a way that can do him justice: he was as big-hearted, friendly, and funny of a person as i have ever met. i only knew him briefly, but it only took a few minutes of meeting him to realize that he was such an incredible person who exuded love through his pores and was absolutely full of life. i am so glad to have known him at all and my dearest condolences go out to his friends and family.

  • Martha

    Whitney, so sorry to hear this tragic news. For (very) small consolation, my husband and I are long-time organ donors and proud to be so.

  • jess

    thank you for posting this

  • Joe

    Evan was amazing. I haven’t seen him in a long time, and a few weeks ago, a friend told me that he got a new bass player named evan, and it turned out to be him.
    Rest in Peace, though you probably would rather jump around and be nuts. we’ll miss you.

  • Gil

    I first met Evan in high school, back in Jersey… 1990. We were in a band together… we were in musicals together. I went to Indiana University… and was thrilled when he also arrived there a few years later. Everyone knows what a joy Evan was to be around. I ran into him in the Downtown Berkeley BART station about a year ago. I was so happy to see him, and we gave each other a big hug. If I knew that was the last time I would ever see him, I would have held on to him A LOT longer.
    I am in shock… as we all are.
    My thoughts are with his family who I knew many years ago in New Jersey. I never had the opportunity to meet his wife and sons. My heart goes out to them.
    Evan was perhaps the kindest person I’ve ever met… an amazing heart, an amazing talent.
    Evan will be missed.
    Rest in peace, my old friend.
    ~Gil

  • Tosy and Cosh

    I too knew Evan in high school in Jersey trhough the theater program, albeit much more tangentially than Gil. I can second however, even on such limited exposure, that he was a warm, inviting young man possesed of remarkable generosity of spirit and real talent. Just a sad story.

  • R. Foster

    Evan will always be in our hearts. Shed no tears, Just remember to celebrate his life he would want it that way. Just remember that when a bell rings an angel gets his wings…

  • R. Foster

    Evan will always be in our hearts. Shed no tears, Just remember to celebrate his life he would want it that way. Just remember that when a bell rings an angel gets his wings…

  • Andy H

    My last evening with Evan was spent drinking sake at a Japonese karaoke bar with other beautiful friends, singing old Billy Joel songs. I don’t think there’s any better way to remember him. Thank you, Evan.

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