Dave Arnott R.I.P

[UPDATE: Added Paul Rose’s memorial song.]

Lost another friend and great keyboardist, Dave Arnott (Band Universal and & Triumphant, FOG ) died at 49yo.

One early 1980s night, I was leaving KGLT about 3am, and this wild, ethereal piano was echoing up the stone stairwell. Odd, since the building had been closed for hours. Tracked it down to the grand in the 1st floor lounge, being played by one very serious and very accomplished young man. I introduced myself, so did he: Dave Arnott.

He was (as I recall) on a break from helping sound-wire the Student Union Theatre. I sat and listened. He played another half-hour.

I’ve seen some of this land’s best musicians of many genres in excellent venues across USA. But that pre-dawn Dave solo performance, to an audience that had just increased from 0 to 1, was among the most memorable concerts I’ve ever attended.

Music (“Yellow Jacket” by FOG from Rain) and Footage by David Arnott. Edited by Tol. Additional Footage by Tol, Blue, and Mike.

David Arnott with daughter KatieRan into Dave a few months back. He was talking biking and music and photography, but mostly about his daughter. I didn’t know Katie, but can tell you this: as dedicated as Dave was to art and outdoors, he had become even more dedicated to being a Dad. He loved her so much, and had wrapped his life around her.

Miss ya. Thanks to Dave’s drummer Ken Glynn for letting me share some of their music, including the oh-so-popular…

“Sex on Rollerskates” FOG from Screamer (4:39 mp3):

“I’m a Square” FOG from Rain (3:39 mp3):

For Dave’s Memorial, Paul Rose sent a recording to the memorial with this song he sang for Dave (“Some Of Them Are Old” mixed with BUT’s “I Don’t Know” mixed with samples from the 1956 vinyl LP Stereo Spectacular! An Exciting Collection of Music in New Stereo and Thrilling On-the-Scene Sounds)…
“Remember Me” (4:34 mp3)

The above is Paul’s song-only; here’s his memorial words and song (7:02 mp3). And check the messages at CaringBridge: David Arnott (login required).

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Comments (8)

Thank you, Barrett. I know that piano well…and had hoped to take lessons from Dave someday…but our time together usually consisted of laughing about some absurd aspects of our lives. Here in Texas, it’s still hard to believe he’s gone, except that I don’t feel him anymore…but I do feel his inspiration and hopes for me. Pretty sure he’s hanging out with whatever angelic guides I might have…
Your work at KGLT has always amazed me and is an integral part of what makes that station special…it’s an institution, not just a forum for music…helping to shape and give creative people a place to find themselves and be part of an extraordinary community.
Best to you


Comment added by Jill on 01.18.11

Thanks for sharing this story. I grew up hearing that distinctive David piano sound –he’s my big brother. I have always admired how it was all about the music and the experience–an audience was optional.

Comment added by Sigrid Arnott on 01.18.11

Barrett – I didn’t know David, but loved some of his photographs a mutual friend (A Azure) posted on Facebook. Sad to hear of his passing, thanks for writing this – hope you’re well, long time – M

Comment added by Mike Hacker on 01.18.11

thnx man….

as always…good work!!

Comment added by joe skyward on 01.18.11

Thanks Barrett, I and down in Texas like Jill. I had a really hard night last night missing Dave, wanting desperately to hear that giggle/laugh of his. I have a large collection of B.U.T music so I can hear his voice, but it was really nice being able to see him, and the gym again in the video. I think I am just in the part after a friends passing when you scramble around trying to gather any little piece of him you can hold on to. Silly to do when it is all already in my head. Hope you are well Barrett, if ever in Austin look me up on Facebook.
-Jason Mcknight

Comment added by Jason Mcknight on 01.19.11

Thanks for the great story Barrett, playing beautiful music in an empty room is so Dave. He walks away now owning his musical integrity forever. Like Jason I have been scrambling and listening for the past 45 days or so. Someone has recordings of that giggle/laugh, it will surface. I have been missing it too. It was my privilege to create music and with Mr. Arnott, my life is much enriched by our friendship. Jill said it best, I strongly feel his inspiration and hopes for me. Here is more FOG for anyone who wants to listen.


Comment added by Ken Glynn on 01.26.11

Your CommentI was so sad to run across this. I did not know Dave was gone. I met Dave in college, we shared a house with 6 other crazy starving college students. I visited his ranch, and met his father and mother. I stayed for few days at the Gymnauseum, and rollerskated, while playing basketball. I heard the Band Universal and Triumphant, the BUT band, play in that echoing space. We hiked to a mountain lake in the Crazies. We visited Dan Bloedal, at his cabin in Square Butte. We snuck up on a heard of deer there. and came within 20 ft of them, before they noticed us.
I miss his sense of humor, and his crazed rantings, and ravings. I miss his intense music. Thanks Paul, for posting one of the most beautiful pieces I ever heard him make. I still have all the tapes.

Comment added by Marty Skocilich on 04.13.12

It is so hard to believe 5 years have passed since David did along with all that creative genre bending fusing energy I’ve come to know since we were thrown together as freshman college roommates making short films and snapping flash photos with colored gels over midnight ice capades at Knapp park in Moorhead long walks to Fargo over the mighty Red to buy used books eat Dutch Apple pie and smoke over beers at the pink pussy cat lounge cackling over the latest absurd yearning. At least, that’s what I’m remembering tonight. Missing David my best friend fogging his way across my minds eyes visionary field. I think you know what I’m trying to say. Hwae!

Comment added by Tim Thornes on 12.08.15

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