Though the news has been circulating since Friday when the terrible accident took place, its taken me a couple of days to formulate thoughts and accept this one and I must admit that its pretty hard to do. It hits close to my creative heart but it is true – bassist David Z. (Zablidowsky) was killed in a horrific crash early Friday afternoon while the bands RV was roadside repairing a flat while on an Adrenaline Mob tour. The news and need to properly memorialize David finds me quoting the late great Chris Cornell from a Temple Of Dog track where he sang “I never wanted to write these words down for you…..” and as someone who has not only appreciated the talents of Dave Z since beginning his own media adventure I was proud to also consider him a friend.
Speaking personally, I’d have to say that the first time I actually met Dave and spoke to him for any length was when the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was doing one of their Beacon Theatre shows. At the time the orchestra while popular, had not yet blown up to the proportions that we have seen it attain over the recent years. The band ALWAYS did a meet and greet for any fans interested in saying hello and this was not a premium ticket holder only sort of thing. If you wanted to meet the TSO, you waited on the line to do so after the performance as they would generally come right out. You’d walk down the line and let them sign your tickets or tourbooks and it was awesome. When I got to David on the line, he was engaging and friendly. You could tell this was authentic and true. He handed me a ZO2 card and said it was his band with his brother and they would be playing Arlene’s Grocery. I don’t recall going to that particular show but I kept up with him on MySpace (which was a thing at the time) and promised to check them out and when I did I was an immediate fan.
Through numerous mutual friends I would learn that Dave was active on the NYC local music scene for a while with bands like October Thorns and Legend. I didn’t know about them beforehand unfortunately but there is stuff on YouTube for all to appreciate and remember better times going forward. ZO2 was his baby and he shared the stage with his brother Paulie as I’ve already noted. The band was a Rock solid effort with awesome tunes and they even had a ridiculously weird scripted comedy show called “Z-Rock” for a couple of seasons. Dave also was very involved in the 80’s Tribute Project “Rubix Kube”. Obviously David was most prominently known for his longtime tenure with the great Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I’ve been seeing the TSO since before becoming the scribe and always enjoyed Dave’s musicianship and stage presence. He worked well with everyone and was terrific at making the whole audience feel the positive energy during a show. I always liked that most about Dave. He was an authentic and sincere guy and when he talked to you there was interest in your world as well and he was quick with the handshake or bro hug to those who knew him the best and like I’ve said, he brought all of that good energy to the stage. I’m really going to miss that and think that this will probably be the toughest tour for the TSO ever since the orchestra only lost its founder Paul O’Neill a few months ago. Paul’s passing was reflected on HERE.
If you met David over the years at gigs you probably recall his skill at remembering you as well. He was great at that and it was another quality trait. I would only go to see the TSO stuff once a year based on the itinerary I keep but I know fans who saw them 10-15 times per tour each year and for those folks especially it is like losing a family member. Dave was one of those dudes that also supported the scene around him and if he wasn’t playing somewhere you would find him at gigs of other bands whether they were friends of his or not. David’s death is a true loss for the modern music scene that we have going on around us. A great dude with a lot of talent and an infectious personality and energy. His zeal for music and life was boundless and its a crime to find it ending like this. If you’ve never caught him during any of his performances you’ve really missed out and have been cheated of this pleasure. We all have. I’ll close this up by asking all to hit that YouTube and look up old videos and enjoy them and keep that love going forward. He’d likely want those he’s left to remember the better times. He was that sort of guy. We should also keep the other members of the Adrenaline Mob in our thoughts as this accident was terrible and there are many others injured and facing precarious recovery. We wish his family, friends and worldwide fans the deepest of condolences and prayers during this incredibly sad time. I was very glad and honored to have known you David and will miss the chances to see you do your thing. Thanks for the musical experiences that you gave us. Rest In Peace.
The photos used in this reflection to Dave’s memory were captured over the years at various ZO2 and TSO gigs. Almost all were done by me but I think Skeleton Pete shot one as well. I hope that they bring back some special memories.