As Atlanta Grammy winners Zac Brown Band played a pair of sold-out shows at the iconic Red Rocks amphitheatre this week in Colorado, the boys were no doubt thinking about their late friend Atlanta drummer Lance Tilton. Thanks to the ZBB, the Atlanta musician, fondly remembered as a member of the Dave Matthews Cover Band and Ben Deignan‘s ensemble, is now quite literally part of the picturesque music venue’s landscape.
In Spring 2010, Tilton died after falling asleep behind the wheel driving home from a gig. But Tilton’s death at age 29 didn’t mean the end of the road for the life-long musician. In honor of their friend and without fanfare, Brown and his band took Tilton’s ashes on their summer tour last year, sprinkling his remains from Enterprise, Alabama in June to Indianapolis, Indiana in November. But it was always Tilton’s dream to gig at Red Rocks. So, last September, ZBB fiddler Jimmy DeMartini climbed a cliff overlooking the amphitheatre and scattered some of Tilton’s ashes below. That night, Brown and band paid tribute to Tilton live on stage debuting “Lance’s Song.” The YouTube video has now logged 5,390 views and the drummer’s friends and family have started The Lance Tilton Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to helping underprivileged student musicians ages 12 to 16.
“Lance was more than a friend, he was a brother,” ZBB bassist John Driskell Hopkins told us earlier this year at a Grammy party. “It was a terrible loss for the music community and for his friends and family.” “Jimmy had been quietly spreading his ashes all along the tour for a month before I found out about it,” added ZBB guitarist and keyboardist Coy Boyles. “When we made it to Red Rocks, we wanted to do something special because it was a place Lance always wanted to play. When Zac debuted the song he had written about Lance that night, I was glad all I had to do was play tambourine because I had my head down and was crying like a baby. Lance was such an inspiration to us. He loved music more than any person I had ever met. We wanted to pay tribute to him in a way that if Lance was there at that show with us, he would have nodded his head and said, ‘Hell yeah, man!'”
“You’re a blogger. Blogging is nothing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.” — “Contagion” scientist Dr. Ian Sussman (Elliot Gould) to self-appointed citizen journalist Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law), a blogger “with 12 million daily unique visitors” in the upcoming Warner Brothers CDC-centered all-star thriller “Contagion” opening in theaters Friday.
THE FACEBOOK FORECAST
Proving perhaps that you can take the meteorologist out of the severe weather center but you can’t take the severe weather center out of the meteorologist, ousted 11Alive weatherman Paul Ossmann took to Facebook Sunday afternoon to provide followers with weather updates as Tropical Depression Lee pelted the area with rain and tornadoes. Posted Ossmann: “My first weather update since being let go by Channel 11!!! Tropical Depression Lee is going to keep rain (heavy at times) in forecast through tomorrow. Flood watch is out for all of North Georgia. Be safe!” The 2,930 Ossmann fans of his FB page clearly loved the forecasts while saving a few barbs aimed at his replacement, former Little Rock meteorologist Mike Francis, who apparently was struggling on air to pronounce “Chattooga County” instead of the less accurate “Chattanooga County.”
A CRIMINAL CLOSURE
When word of the possible shuttering of Little Five Points mainstay Criminal Records hit the news cycle Tuesday, fans flocked to create a Save Criminal Records fan page on Facebook. Owner Eric Levin has announced a Nov. 1 closing of the 20-year-old comics, CD and vinyl emporium unless he can raise $150,000 to pay off mounting debt. So far, 5,771 fans of the indie shop have joined the page, offering words of support and vowing to shop there. But fan Shawn Wildermuth may have summed up CR’s dilemma succinctly when he posted this comment: “I love the store, I do. I just don’t want physical media. Can you sell MP3s or the like? I admit to buying my music now on Amazon and CD Baby. Would love to support the store but don’t know how now that I’ve moved to all electronic. Ideas?” Supporters have lofted the idea of a benefit concert and even creating a Kickstarter donation page in an effort to save the store. No word yet if those same supporters have also come up with a plan to save the U.S. Postal Service and Erica Kane’s TV career in the age of texts and Kim Kardashian. . .