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Max Mitchell
5-20-1947  -  5-16-2012

Max and I were very good friends.
  Although Max and I had only known each other for just over 6 years,
I considered him my best friend.
Our's  was a unique friendship.   To quote Jonathon Swift,
  "We are so fond of each other because our ailments are the same."
Max had a different word for it. He called it "our sickness."
The "sickness" he refered to was a shared love for Rock and Roll.
More specifically, Rock History, including , Biographies, trivia and memorabilia.

I met Max when I was looking for a host band for my  Summer Party.
At the urging of a friend, Karen and I went to check out The Strokker Band at a local Tavern. Before entering the bar I could hear an amazing guitar player, Cory Wilds, playing Fire by Hendrix  As I was entering,  I heard Cory introducing a drum solo . I noticed Max, He was wearing an Experience Music Project hat.(I thought that was interesting, because Karen and I had previously worked for EMP  ) Max  laid down a real tight solo and continued to rock the night away. When the band got a break, We invited Max over to our table and got to chatting. We first talked about EMP and our connections to it. Max was part of the education committee and Karen worked in Visitor Services and Ticketing and I managed  Sound Lab.
We  got along great and of course invited The Strokker band to play our party.
The band was great. While at our party, I invited Max into our studio (also my man cave) so he could see some of my Rock memorabilia.
I was pleasantly surprised when he, not only seemed genuinely interested, He told me of his own collection that he would love to show me. I remember saying to Karen " This guy gets it!"
Max said we both have "The sickness!"

We of course hit it off great! and the "sickness" became the seed for a great relationship which grew to be a strong and fulfilling friendship.
We would exchange Music books and media  with each other and  could spend an hour on the phone talking about everything and anything music.  we would often talk to each other or leave messages in song lyrics.
We soon found out that we shared many other common beliefs, similar  interests and ideals, outside of Rock and Roll. I came to realize what a genuinely good guy he was. Max felt like a close brother to me.
As Im' sure we all know,Max was a very skilled  drummer.I don't know his complete music bio, but I do know that Max had played in some terrific  bands from the 1960s to the present time. Some of the bands included:
Deep Summer, Silver Heels , Black Jack, Bonanza, Rock and Roll Magic, Cymantha K, The Happy Daze Band, Panda, Johnny Hurricane Savage and the Marks, Sneakers , Strokker, The James Howlett Band, and the Cory Wilds Band. and Im sure many others!

Max was a hard working lifetime musician who has played some of the nicest venues and show rooms and also some of the seediest dives.

Max was a seasoned proffesional who also  truly understood the concept of less is more. If you have ever seen Max play at Salty's restaraunt you have seen him use his "cocktail"drum kit. The stage area is small and the venue requires a little more delicate touch, so Max would use a very limited set with a small suitcase for a Kick drum!
He could do more with that tiny kit than many drummers could do with a full set!  Cory would refer to him as "The man behind the suitcase!"

Although Max enjoyed being appreciated for his talents, He was a very Humble and private man.
It was easier for him to draw attention away from himself and instead show interest in others .
Max was a man of true character. He was very easy to make conversation with.
Max was generous and thoughtful. If you came to one of Max's shows, he would make an effort to show you special attention. He enjoyed giving gifts to his friends and would always consider the recipients passion or interest when chossing gifts for them.

I was fortunate enough to see Max in his profession as a teacher. The gifts he gave to his students were that of patience,compassion, empathy and leadership. He was truly concerned about every one of his students, not just in the classroom or vocationally but personally.      Martin Luther King once said
"Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.
Max exemplifed this in spades.

It's hard to define myself without Max.
He unwittingly was somewhat of a mentor to me and I feel my life has been enriched so much by knowing him.
Max was a gentle thoughtful man. and I will miss his kind heart and beautiful spirit.

Henry David Thoreau said
" Friends will not ony live in harmony, but in melody"
Max, Thank you for being my friend.

Play on my brother!