Brian Church

My old band, Tristan Da Cunha, played Jeff’s show a few times and he was always a gracious and generous host, even allowing us to drag visiting Swedish pop star Pelle Almgren and former Sparks bassist Martin Gordon on the air with us, to play a mini-set, within our band’s own mini-set. TdC also got to share a fantastic bill with Concord Ballet Orchestra Players at Great Scott in our final days.
After TdC called it quits in 2011, I started writing songs on my own and Jeff had me on to play them three times, even though I was nobody and usually didn’t even have anything to promote. We always had a good chat though and it gave me something to prepare for, putting those sets together.

Knowing Jeff’s encyclopedic rock history knowledge, I would always try to sprinkle obscure covers into my set in the hopes of “stumping” him or turning him on to something unfamiliar.  One time I did a cover by Melinda Marx (Groucho’s daughter);  it was a lovely little Bacharach-David ripoff called “It Happens In The Same Old Way” written by a songwriting team with names that sounded like they must be pseudonyms (Selig-Detraz).  While I was playing the next song, Jeff was quietly doing research online and he was able to find out that one of the songwriters (Robert Selig) had actually been a professor at New England Conservatory! It was a nice little moment of two music geeks solving a mystery on air.
I was sad the world lost Jeff last year. A few weeks after, I lost my sister Mary Frances, who was also a local music personality with the Deathkiss podcast/show on WEMF.  It was a terrible end to an awful year. I’m forever grateful that Jeff had me on as much as he did. It was a vital workshop for my early songwriting efforts but more than that, it was always a good hang: chatting about music, making jokes about forgotten bands, playing music in a relaxed low-pressure atmosphere.  I’ll never forget it or him.

appearances: Aug. 1, 2007 (with Tristan Da Cunha, feat. Pelle Almgren and Martin Gordon); and June 16, 2009 (with Tristan Da Cunha); Nov. 5, 2013; July 5, 2016; and Sept. 25, 2018 (solo)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *