Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Remember" Mark Brewer of 25Gauge

Some things you never expect to find yourself writing about. Today I'm doing one of them. My good friend and Christian Brother Mark Brewer passed away this month, while at his townhouse home in the country in Dayton, OR. During his last days on earth, he was working on his 1st album under the auspices of his musical identity, 25Gague. Unfortunately, he never finished this ambitious project, a Rock Musical based on the turmoils of his recent divorce. To hear the in-progress recordings of this album & hear his music streaming live, go to http://members.soundclick.com/25gauge.

Mark wrote on his SoundClick member profile: "Born with a heart condition Docs said I wouldn't make 4 months. Almost 40 years later still kicking it. Thank you Lord Jesus for watching over me and protecting me." Indeed, all of us who were his friends knew Mark struggled with his heart problems until the end. But somehow in between all of the repeated trips to the emergency room with chest pains, he managed to turn out the basic tracks for a solid, adventuresome Avant-guard Rock Album. To my ears, it recalls bands like old PiL or MX-80 Sound. But Mark considered his influences included Rock/Industrial music such as NIN & Ministry. And at least one person has noticed a resemblance to Pink Floyd.

Mark had a bizarre sense of humor that wouldn't quit, as everyone knew. I met him as a prospective student for George fox University in early '92. As an RA (Resident Assistant) for his dormitory, he hosted lots of interested 17-year old kids during that time, and so when he came to greet me on campus, he was not expecting a thirty-something guy with a guitar. As a result, upon our meeting he walked up to me and asked "So... you must be Kevin's Dad?"

From then on, Mark always had fun with that when we were talking with other people. "Hey I have a song about Kevin's Dad called 'Your a lot cooler than your son.' Kevin I remember that day I met your Dad, and he came to visit Fox for you. He was awesome!!! We went swimming, and he played his guitar. Good times!" - is what he wrote in a mutual email to myself and a couple of other fellow home recorders.

He named his "band" (mostly a one-man project) 26Gauge as he put it: " from the size of needle I used when I injected prescription pain killers into my thigh." Of his influences, he wrote "I'm inspired by Bloodgood, Judas Priest, Saviour Machine, but I can really relate to Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, he lived in Mercer, Pa about 45 miles where I lived. He grew up with Fire and Brimestone from his Granma. As I did from my Preacher Dad. His lyrics are very deep and painful."

Mark I also wrote a song together called "Remember" for 25Gauge album project. You can hear the song on the SoundClick player at the top left of this blog. I also tried to do an alternate version to fit more with disturbing, honest style. You can hear the in-progress version below, which was recorded by myself but remixed and EFX added by Mark himself: