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I heard yesterday from Scott that a good man by the name of Benji Brazell died Tuesday night. If you didn’t know this man I’ll try to sum up a bit of Benji for you on the short.

Benji epitomized the Aloha spirit. He was a kind patient man with a heart of gold and his general love for all people was overflowing like the volcanoes of Hawai’i. His actions and words seemed more than hokey to all of us scenesters, hipsters, music snobs, indie kids, geeks, punks, Goths, rappers, emo kids, hippies, and all other characatchers of rock club dwellers. He greeted every one of us with a presentation of the classic outstretched thumb and little finger wave made famous by ninja turtles and stereotypical 80’s surfers. He always said “no worries” capped with a smile while pretentious asses like Blake Sennett or Will Hogue were yelling at him about fixing the feedback or getting some level up in the monitor.

He was a “sound guy” at the notorious New Brookland Tavern in Columbia, SC. He new that room’s natural frequencies, and would make it sing along with every solo and drop of the kick pedal. In between sets he’d tell you how great you were and would likely make a scene faux pas by playing your CD as filler between sets. He loved music. He loved to talk about surfing in Hawai’i or anywhere that could break. He’d make bands nervous by being an hour late to sound check to only proclaim that he had to go “smoke a beer” and then he’d laugh.

I wish I had known more about him. I wish I had been able to have him run the board for one more show. I wish I had been able to surf with him. I wish I could kick the hell out of everyone that faulted him for the club’s ground loop hum. I wish there was more time on this earth for Benji. Losing anyone is unexpected, but the loss of this man is one of those wake-up calls that makes you realize how important people really are no matter how small they may have seemed one night at a club a few years back.

Mahalo and Aloha Benji.