Chad & I 2012

Chad is one of those types of people that if you didn’t know him and were in a room with him, there was a vibe that surrounded him that made you want to know him. I think it took me a good while to literally say more than “Hey Chad…” when I first met him those many moons ago. I don’t recall when we met or where I was, Chad has always been around the same places and we’ve had the same friends of friends for eons. 

Music has been a part of Chad’s life since he was knee high to a toilet bowl, I’m sure. Now, I didn’t know him as a child, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that just by watching him play the drums. Nor does it take another genius to arrive at the notion that because of music and because of his playing in a rager of a band called COURSE OF EMPIRE, that Chad chose to make a career out of mixing up the many sounds a band makes whilst playing. Chad has probably mixed sound for recording and live performances for a poop-pile of bands since becoming the Guru of Sound from the Deep Ellum underground. 


I’m not sure of any inside scoop about COURSE OF EMPIRE, or if Chad ever played with another band after their breakup in 1998. Chad was involved with an internet radio station here in Deep Ellum appropriately called Deep Ellum Radio that is still broadcasting music, as for his part in the organization, I’m not sure. Like I said, Chad’s presence was always here amongst everyone and everything that has happened down here in this little slice of heaven we call home. 

To me though, Chad always looked the most content when he’s jammed in the corner of the sound booth at The Curtain Club, ominously glowing from the lights of the board in front of him. When I finally got the nerve to chat with him all those years ago, it was like we’d known each other for years – and we kinda had by proxy. I have always enjoyed talking to him because he’s got a very dry sense of humor and honestly, he is pretty stoic about a lot of things. And that’s one of the things I love about him – that and his facial expressions. Chad’s outlook while at times can be cynical or look like that from a distance, in all actuality, he’s a very kind and caring person with a positive message to anyone that’s needed to bend an ear. 

R TO L: CHAD, SEVEN, ME – 2013

November 18th, Chad was at his house and suffered a fall which fractured his skull rendering him comatose. When I found out about the accident, my heart dropped and like everyone has, sent him positive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Since The Curtain Club closed earlier this year, Deep Ellum has missed seeing Chad on the regular. Speaking for myself, I have missed seeing Chad on the reg. Like any tragedy that affects friends that are close to us and knowing he’s in the hospital, makes us miss him even more. Thankfully, a Facebook Group was created so that we could all get updates on his prognosis and recovery. 

Recovery could be long and arduous for Chad or he could wake up and be fine. I choose to manifest his full recovery, eventually making his way back down to Deep Ellum. On the page, friends near and far have written to him some of the most encouraging and heartfelt words I’ve ever seen written about a person. 

I read this when it was first posted and was so moved by the way his words caused my emotions to pile up as a lump in my throat. I got from his message to Chad a similar vibe, feeling sad, yet hopeful that he’d be ok.

Moments like these, the traumatic or twisted narratives in life can change a person. While it seems like there will never be an ending to something rough I might be going through now, one day I will look back and remember. I’ve found it’s what I do in these moments that will help define how I think about them later; in the future. You may think or feel something entirely different, and that’s ok. Feelings are just feelings; they’re not for anyone to say that yours are right or wrong. 


Coming together for a cause is something this community is good at doing. I’ve always felt this since I started coming to Deep Ellum in the 90’s. I’ve felt at home in this area since I first came down from North Dallas and saw UGLY MUSTARD show at Trees in 1994. I’ve never felt uncomfortable or out of place in Deep Ellum and I’ve been to a lot of places all over the world. For me, Deep Ellum became more than a destination and consequently I have met some incredible people, like Chad, here. As I said, this place and the people in it, in all of its forms and fashions knows how to come together when someone or something makes an impact. 

I’m not going to ramble on and on about any one situation in particular because I haven’t been aware or know every instance where we’ve come together and to even name one would do the rest diservice. I have been inspired and I have admired how Chad’s friends have come together for him though and I love that even as he sleeps, he’s still creating the connections for us all to use, in essence to feel better, you know? 

There has been a fundraiser set up in Chad’s name that I’ve included the link below. I did this not to draw attention to contributing or donating – but in hopes that you read a little about Chad, watch or listen to his band COURSE OF EMPIRE, check the video out, and even if you’re a thousand miles from Dallas; and that as you read this, hopefully you’ve sent out some good vibes of healing, prayers, or healing mojo to him. And the fundraiser is part of, or a reason our community is so awesome and extends a hand when needed. And if this inspires you to give, please do because I know that Chad would hate it but he’d do the same thing for anyone he was friends with that was in the shoes he is in now. 

It’s important to try on the shoes of others every once in a while, it keeps me on the straight when I can step into or squeeze my foot into someone else’s situation. I think about how I would react, feel, say, or think because I’m not immune to messed up times in life; it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. And practicing empathy to become a natural occurrence, only helps in times like these where someone is hurting and the only way they can express how they feel as an outburst or a retreat. 

DRE & CHAD – 2015

Chad would laugh at me if I was saying that last paragraph above to him face to face. Not because he didn’t agree, but he would laugh that I was going on and on, possibly being dramatic or just long-winded about something that is natural for humans to do for those they care about. Or maybe he would just laugh at me, not give a reason, and still smiling, just pat me on the shoulder giving me a side hug and walk back to whatever he was doing before. 

As perplexing and as hard as life is from time to time,we get through better when we have our friends, family and loved ones around us and there are things that we have to go through alone. The paradox is that we don’t always know when and who will be there for these life-lessons, or why we have to figure it our ourselves. My hope is that Chad knows how much he’s loved and even though it seems like he’s alone, asleep somewhere or watching us all between two stars as his body heals – we know that he’s here with us. Please check out the links to the videos and if you’re so inclined, please give what you can to assist with Chad’s medical expenses. (click the picture for the Fundraiser to visit the page).

Til Next Time – MRML – Cherri

%d bloggers like this: