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Devon Clifford of You Say Party! We Say Die! – RIP

You Say Party! We Say Die! press photo

You Say Party! We Say Die! Devon Clifford is the one in the centre.

RIP Devon Clifford of You Say Party! We Say Die!

– by eugene osudar

“…I don’t know if you heard, but Devon from You Say Party! collapsed onstage Friday night here in town. He passed away sometime early this morning.

Is there anything you’d like to say…”

beat beat drum
fiery soul
that red head
smile
fair skin
and
fairer eyes

those
twinkly eyes

of a joker,

they didn’t always work!
but he gave the band
(some) time
to loosen up
and play their songs
with conviction
and power
and love love love.

Passionate Love.

my love affair with a band
with the beats
begins and returns
ah !Yes!
The Drummer

always

rhythm section
Stephen and Devon
rhythm (e)motion
Becky
dance dance dance
Derek and Krista,
dance
move!

Devon Clifford
beat the drums
and smashed
the cymbals
with passion
and fire
with his hands
with his sticks
lightning
thundering
with elements
earth
Sun!
fire
water
sweat
salt
with his heart
expansive
and beautiful.

on stage.

this world is
all
stage.
all expansive
beautiful rage
on the stage.

dance dance dance.

youngsters
oldsters.

Moments to seize
every moment
needs to be squeezed.
Now.

the last time,
i danced to his thunderously
beautiful lightning beats
wasn’t in Winnipeg.

(my regret)

i saw Devon at the merch table
April 3rd
at The Horseshoe.

bands expect to see
familiar faces
familiar smiles
in certain cities.

my smile
was unexpected
in Toronto

but when his computer
registered and,
Hey!
the twinkle gleam in his eyes
and the ready/quick
flashing
smile
and the hand
outstretched

hands,
beautiful hands
beautiful souls
connecting,

hello
and the wondrous
promise
of the dance.

sealed.

between dancer
and drummer

the keeper
of the sacred beat

agreed.

we need each other.

drummer and dancer.

and when
the band
begins their sacred
assault on our
dancing souls
to lift us
and
make us

fly!

but wait!
before all that
i watched as they came together
in their huddle

their ritual

this team
of dance
creators

(!friends!)

together

roaring
ready

to give us
flight.

and so
this Leo
roared
as they passed

eyes of Love
Love Love
Stephen and then,
Devon

and Devon roared
with me
we roared back and forth

Lions.
Dancing big cats.

he smashed
the cymbals with his hands

putting his hands
on the metal
skin nerves
muscles
bones
tissue
and so
deeply
connected

to his heart

if he could
Devon would
play
the drums
with his hands and feet
stripped naked
and laughing

fire in his eyes

and we’re looking

he sees me dancing
he sees the youngsters
moving

he’s the keeper
of the sacred beat

drummer
Lion
twinkly
fiery
eyes

watching
and nodding

to the dancers,

and all is beautiful
when we’re dancing
to the big and the small
and the subtle
beats
but when the magic
(the beat magician)
Devon lets loose
and roars
and beats sticks
lighting
fast. ah,
the beauty
of the dance,

that’s
flight,

that’s The Beautiful.
now moment
of how and why.

we’re alive
and (a)love.

in this sacred
beautiful
moment.

when i watch a drummer
i see their sticks
and i concentrate

and those sticks moving
fast as lightning
slow;
right,
down

i see rainbows
beautiful rainbows

and I Love
the rainbow sticks
it’s a trick of stage lights
(i know)

and i dance
in the zone
in the heart
of the drummer’s
adrenaline rushing!
heart,beat.

that’s what happens.
honestly.

our hearts meet.
we beat
together.

and when
my eyes
meet Devon’s
my heart
finds
“a love dance”

unspoken
it is.
Yes.

and nodding
he leaves
this instant
this contact
our connected hearts
and he (re)turns
to looking around

these precious
glances.
contacts.

these moments.
are beautiful.

every beat
may be your last.
every lyric,
every dance.

Live.
Give.

every
everything.

and Dance,

for the beautiful(s)

for the drummer
for the bassist
the guitarist
the keyboardist
the singer
the dancer
on stage.

for Devon Clifford.
sacred keeper
of the lifting beat.

fly

(heart)
beat brother.

soar.

roar!

into the beautiful

(sacred)

rainbow
light.

You Say Party! We Say Die! at the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, April 2 2010. Brandur Olaffson photo

You Say Party! We Say Die! at the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, April 2 2010. Brandur Olaffson photo

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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3 responses to “Devon Clifford of You Say Party! We Say Die! – RIP

  1. 7 years ago  

    it was Friday, April 2nd, that i last danced and roared with Devon.

  2. 7 years ago  

    Hello Eugene, Ron and I and Estee and James would like to thank you for your beautiful and powerful words. Our Devon meant everything to us and your captured his love of life and drumming in your homage to our beautiful man. Would you please send us a copy to our email and we hope to meet you someday, as you will always carry some of Devon’s love with you.
    Love his Mom and Dad XXXX

  3. 7 years ago  

    Eugene,
    What beautiful words. thank you thank you for putting them out here for us all to take comfort in.
    Love Love love.

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