Today was a horrible day. Horrible.
It was Wednesday morning over here in Melbourne, Australia. We're 16 hours ahead of East Coast Time, 17 ahead of Chicago, so it was Tuesday night in Chicago.
I got an email from an old friend in Chicago. It was Jerie, one of my three Chicago "daughters" (more on that below). The subject line was simply "evie" and Jerie asked that I call her. Said it was important.
I went into a bit of a panic. I thought maybe Evie had been in an accident. When I got Jerie on the phone, she told me that Evie had been hospitalized last Tuesday. She was given a CT scan for a persistent pain in her arm and shoulder and the resulting diagnosis was leukemia. The doctors put her on an aggressive chemo program, and today her brain had begun to hemorrhage. It looked as though she would not live much longer.
I immediately called our mutual friend Abby Franklin, who is also very close to Evie. After speaking with me, Abby called the hospital room, spoke with someone there, then emailed me that Evie couldn't open her eyes and can't talk, but could hear. She asked the person in the room to please tell Evie that both Abby and I love her and that we want to see her really soon.
About 30 minutes later, I got an urgent email from Abby to call her. She told me that she had booked a flight for Chicago, and then called for an update and was told that Evie had died 20 minutes earlier.
I am heartbroken at the loss of such a dear person as Evie Carrano. I cannot believe that she was in reasonable health last week and in little more than a week, she is gone.
I love you, Evie. Rest in peace, little one.
A Tale Of Three Daughters
I was working for the band Disturbed in 2001. They're from Chicago, so naturally I spent a bit of time there. Three cute young ladies were always hanging around, and I found out that they were friends of the band. Evie, Jerie, and Kim. Not groupies, friends. I enjoyed their company and we got along great.
Ozzfest that summer started out in Chicago (the band's hometown) and by then the three girls had taken to calling me Dad, or Dad Davis. I thought of them as my daughters, and they even told people that they were. They came out to a bunch of shows over the summer. It was kinda funny – next thing you know, half the people out on Ozzfest (including our bus drivers) thought that they were my kids. We didn't tell anyone any different because we all thought it was cute. I kinda enjoyed having them call me Dad.
The roadies from the other bands got word pretty quickly not to put the moves on these 3 girls or there would be hell to pay from me. I really loved that. I'd see some green-haired techie dude in catering and he'd be all "How are you today, sir?" Yeah, right, dude! None the wiser, you are.
So, eventually I left the Disturbed camp, but kept in touch with the girls. Within a year or two, it seemed that Evie was the only one I stayed in contact with. Jerie got married and Kim just kind of drifted away, always so busy with work and whatnot.
Evie was such an angel, always coming to see me if I came through Chicago. We would go to lunch or dinner, go clubbing, sometimes just hang out and do nothing. And I had more than a little crush on her.
She would also come to Milwaukee, a couple of hours away, even if only to hang out for a few hours and watch me work. And she always wanted to help. With anything. That's the way she was. Eager to learn.
She worked her way into the business by doing massage. She'd work shows all over the Chicago-Metro and Milwaukee area and it seemed to make her happy. What she really wanted to do, though, was go out on the road in some capacity. Her persistence finally paid off and she started to get entry-level gigs with a few metal bands, doing massage, merch, band assistant, or some combination thereof.
She was earning her chops, paying her dues, call it what you want. She was learning the road from the ground up and doing a great job all along the way. She was smart, and more importantly, she had passion. Passion to do her job, more than a lot of people have. She wanted to help the bands, wanted their tours to run smoothly, wanted them to be happy. And what she really wanted was to be a tour manager.
After a tour doing merch with the Deftones (a band I worked for a few years ago, too), she finally got her shot. Chino, the singer from the Deftones, has a side project called Team Sleep, and they asked her if she would be their tour manager. Of course, she said yes. She was ecstatic! She knew it would be hard work, but she would give it everything she had.
I was so proud of her. And happy that she was living HER dream.
She called me a few times during the tour, sometimes seeking advice on accounting, other times just needing some input on whether she had handled certain situations the right way, which of course, she had. She was Evie, she was the Tour Manager!
One of the last times I spoke to her was as her tour was wrapping up. I was in Chicago doing R. Kelly rehearsals, and she was finishing up in Sacramento, where Team Sleep is based. She was trying to get home in time to see me before my camp rolled down to Georgia that weekend to start our tour.
She flew into Chicago pretty late on the night before I had to leave, so we didn't connect. We talked by phone a few times over the next week or so, and said we'd see each other the next time around.
I guess it just wasn't to be.
Damn, I miss her so much…
I know I wrote about this a couple of months ago when David Enloe died, but please, please, please…always tell those people close to you how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Do it today and do it again tomorrow. You may never get the chance to see them again and it's important to let them know how you feel about them.