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Good bye my friend, a tribute to Dave Gregg

I first met Dave when I was playing in Slow and he in D.O.A. . He was dating our friend Justine and we all really hit it off. He was living at the legendary Vancouver Punk House Fort Gore at the corner of Gore and Prior. It was the early eighties, you could still rent rundown old houses in Vancouver for a few hundred bucks.
Dave had turned the front room of the house into a practice space and for a while he let Slow jam there. Later on he championed us and got us some of our first opening gigs for D.O.A.
After Slow split up I got a call the Groovaholics Dave’s Disco cover band needed a bass player. Now remember this was 1987 and Disco still sucked. But I jumped at the chance to play with Dave and Ian Tiles because these were guys I looked up to and considered friends. I was young and very angry at the time. I just wanted to play face melting rock. Playing in the Grooves helped me become a more nuanced and technical player. And regardless what I wanted to do I couldn’t deny the groove or the fact that girls liked to dance and loved the Groovaholics. In our heyday we packed the Commodore Ballroom. We had the crowd groovin’ to Dave’s unique interpretations of Ohio Players and Chic songs. We played also sorts of eclectic shows around the lower mainland. Sometimes I’d show up at practice and Dave would be naked. He liked to keep things fresh and interesting.
I eventually left the Grooves to pursue melting faces (though it never was the same after the Grooves, guys are more into having their faces melted than girls are!).
Sometime in the nineties Dave moved to New York to live with the love of his life, Cathy. The next time I saw Dave was at an Iggy Pop show at the Commodore. There was this tall gangly dame in a flowery dress behind the mercy table. Low and behold it was Dave selling Tshirts. I was happy to see him and he looked pretty good in a dress.
A few years ago Doug Smith flew Dave out from New York to do a Grooves reunion. It was great to get together with the boys and play other peoples hits. Of course Dave had gone down to Canal Street in Manhattan and bought us all matching leopard skin silk shirts and pink lame sparkly pants for the show. Always the consummate showman.
Our last encounter was at a greasy spoon in East Van. Dave and Cathy were in town, Dave’s Dad was having health problems and he was here to visit.
We shared bacon and eggs, had some laughs, recounted the Grooves show and talked about collaborating on a new project, or at least doing something together to further our mutual love of funk. That was about a year ago. We hugged and went our separate ways.
I’ll miss you friend. Your passing has hit me harder than most. It has made shit real. I realize we aren’t getting any younger. Living the life style of Vancouver Alternative musicians coming up in the eighties and nineties, we lost a lot of our ranks to addiction and risky living, now we’re entering our fifties and people are starting to pass from this world. Our wicks are starting to run out. I’m shocked and saddened.You were always full of love and life had a sparkle in your eye and an easy smile. You were also generous and giving, gentle and fun. See you on the other side my brother.

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