This past Wednesday, David Castleman passed away after a long bout with melanoma. With this week’s Bopst Show, I pay tribute to the man that always made my life better not only with music, but with every fiber of his being.
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Title: The Castleman Show: “So Good (Episode 238)”
Rating: R (Adult Situations & Language)
Intent: Pork Chop Sandwiches
Construction Date: Friday June 7th, 2013
Equipment: Mac G5, Free Audio Editor & Recorder Software from Audacity, Frontier US-122 USB Audio/MIDI Interface, Shure SM57 Microphone
Posted: Monday June 10th, 2013
Artists and Groups in order of appearance: Non, White Stripes, Scissor Sisters, Fat Truckers, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Marie Bryant, The Heroine Sheiks, Electric Six, Johnny Dowd, The Bug VS The Rootsman (featuring He-Man), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Original Hamster, The Dirtbombs, Kid Congo & Khan, Nazis From Mars, Trash Money, The Drug Punks, McLusky, Kid America, Kid 606, Lord Kitchener
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times Dave would say this to me as he cued up some new music for me to hear. And those were his exact words when he handed me this CD. He was particularly excited about the Scissor Sisters’ version of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” which at that point had not hit the masses yet. I don’t know how he did, but Dave always could find nuggets of goodness way before anyone else.
As he cued the tune up on the above pictured CD that is this week’s show, he turned to me with a fiendish grin and said, “You are gonna love this.”
And as always, he was right. I totally loved it.
This past Wednesday, David Castleman passed away after a long bout with melanoma. He was my friend, confidant, and comrade and my world would not have been as funny, interesting, or gloriously profane without him in it. It really is hard for those of us that loved him to think of this world without him in it. I knew his situation was bleak when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer about a year and a half ago, but as fucked up as this sounds, I thought he was being over dramatic. He had beaten cancer twice before so why would this time be any different?
Sadly, that was not the case. In the words of one of our favorite authors Charles Bukowski, “The gods play no favorites.”
To give you an idea of the type of relationship we had, a coupla of months ago he came to town with his family, and we were hanging out at a friends house with a bunch of people for a pot luck. As always, Dave, despite being in debilitating physical pain, was holding court while filling up a friend’s hard drive with music (this was something he always did; he was always turning people onto books, movies, and music). As the evening progressed, Dave got up from his comfy spot on the one-man sofa and an acquaintance of ours took over his spot in his absence. When he came back into the room and found his spot taken, he asked her to move. Not knowing the direness of his physical situation, the woman reluctantly relinquished the sofa with a touch of subtle but obvious annoyance. “What’s wrong with you, David?” she said as she got up.
Without hesitating, he answered bluntly, “I have terminal cancer.”
When he said it, the whole room stopped. Up until that point, the mood had been light and airy as those of us close to him tried to keep reality at bay, but now, the ugly reality of his situation was exposed. As the room resonated with a deafening silence, from the other room, I did what I always did when David spoke with his distinctive candor.
I burst out laughing. And I’m not talking about a mere chuckle or two; I was convulsing in laughter, which delighted him greatly. The outburst broke the silence and eventually the party (as well as the mortified woman) carried on while the two of us giggled like children. “You have terminal cancer” I said still giggling. “I know; that means I can sit anywhere I want” was his response.
Later that evening after the party ended, the two of us were sitting alone, and I asked him if he was going back to his old job once he got better. “I’m not going to get better, Chris. I’m going to die.” I tried to brush it off, but the way he said it, I knew he was serious.
Still, I tired to make light of his situation.”Come on, dude, you ain’t going to die. You’ll beat this shit like you beat it all the other times. Besides, cancer seems to like you. You two make such a beautiful pair.”
That made him laugh.
“No, I’m going to die. This shit is going to kill me this time.”
We sat for a while, and I told him that I loved him. As I got up to leave, we embraced, and he told me he loved me too.
As I was driving home that night, I thought about how we first met. Mutual friends had introduced us back in the mid-80’s because both of us were dealing with extreme physical pain and I guess they figured we’d get along because of it. At that point, he had testicular cancer and I was suffering from cluster headaches. We became fast friends and we dubbed ourselves the pain brothers.
We passed the time making light of each other’s physical aliments. “Ah, little pussy is having another headache? Maybe if you weren’t such a bad person, you wouldn’t be feeling this way” he’d say as I rolled around the floor writhing in agony sometimes puking on myself, “but you are a bad person so you are only getting what you deserve.”
“Fuck you, Hitler” was my go to response when I could actually formulate words.
We went on like this for years.
Eventually, my cluster headaches stopped, but Dave’s physical aliments continued and got worse. The only reason I wish my headaches didn’t stop is because of David. I felt I had left him in the lurch all alone without his pain brother to commiserate with. To his credit, he never held my newly pain free life against me (“But you are still a dick” he’d say), but I always felt bad whenever he was in pain and I wasn’t. It just didn’t seem right.
Beyond that, dudeman always (and I do mean always) turned me onto music. And the best thing about his musical choices: he never stopped being interested in the here and now. Sure, he loved the stuff of old that we both cherished, but what really got his motor running was finding out about and turning his friends onto new stuff. I could always count on him to turn me on to something that I had never heard before. Over the two plus decades we knew each other, I can’t even begin to tell you how much music he opened my ears to (he found the “Here’s The Man With Music” intro song on the Bopst Show header), and his appetite for culture and devious wit will forever influence how I listen to things.
When I was doing radio full time, I tried many times to get him to have his own radio show, but for whatever reason, I could never get him to it so for this week’s Bopst Show, I pay tribute to the man that always made my life better not only with music, but with every fiber of his being.
So ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to present to you this week, The Castleman Show.
I love you David. I’ll see you on the other side.
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Here are some shows I’m hustling at Balliceaux this week…
NEXT NEW SHOW: 06/17/13 New show times. The Bopst Show airs Sundays, 11PM and Tuesdays, 6PM (EST-USA) on KAOS Radio Austin.
Willie Lanier Electric Football figure by Reginald Rutledge from the collection of Lynn “Weirdwolf” Schmidt. Design by BOPST.
Until Next Time: