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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doug McNew, R.I.P.

It came as such a shock when I heard the news that a good friend and former bandmate of mine, Doug McNew, had been killed in a motorcycle accident on July 10th, 2008. His mother, Pat, happens to be my banker and she always kept me updated on what Doug, his wife Rachel and his son Gage were up to. So, when she told me the news that her son had been killed in a motorcycle crash, I couldn't believe it. It absolutely floored me. Doug was such a nice guy and was great to be around. His life ended way too soon.
In 1990, Doug and a couple friends of his who all lived in his hometown of Carmi, Illinois, formed a band called Apache Rattle. The other two members of this band were Brian Mallow, on drums and Jess Hurlbert, on bass guitar. They weren't together very long until I was asked to join with them at which time, the band got a new name. I remember we chose a name specifically because all four of us could choose part of the name. That name turned out to be Mr. Speakeazy. Doug was our lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, with Brian, Jess and myself on lead guitar. We had some good times and played lots of gigs all over Southern Illinois. The one thing I specifically remember about the band was that we all got along so well together. Doug especially had a nice personality, funny and outgoing, one that suited being the front man of a rock and roll band. Mr. Speakeazy lasted for a year or so and we all drifted our separate ways, as things like this are prone to happen. I didn't hear much out of Doug during the ensuing years, but always knew what he was up to thanks to his mother's updates. That's why it came as such a shock to me to find out that he had passed. Checking around the internet showed me that he had kept up his musical aspirations. And with a great voice like he had, which was suited perfectly for rock and roll, I'm glad that he did. I only hope that he was able to achieve a level of success where he could enjoy it with himself and his bandmates and his family.

So, in special tribute to a fallen friend, I'm posting a couple songs by Mr. Speakeazy, featuring Doug McNew on lead vocals. They were all recorded in 1991 during the height of the band's heyday. Here is She Talks To Angels, Louie, Louie and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Doug might be gone, but I know his family or friends will never forget him. Rock on, Doug.