I just got the very unfortunate news of the passing of Mike Wicks. I had
the profound pleasure of playing and hanging with Mr. Wicks on just one
occasion. It was just the two of us playing duo at The Speakeasy in Albany,
it happened to be a happy accident as the gig was supposed to be with
another bass player who double booked himself and subbed it out to Mr.
Wicks. Said bass player assured me it would go great and that Mr. Wicks and
I would get along well. So I showed up with no expectations to play the gig
and by the time the first tune was over I knew that this night was not like
any ordinary night. This man told a story in his playing, a deep,
historical, and meaningful story. The melody was ever so prominent in his
bass lines, it was like no matter what we played the melody of the tune was
screaming out constantly. He knew these songs inside and out because he
lived them. In between sets he talked a lot about the melody and lyrics of
the tunes we were playing and how intensely important they were. He spoke
of his mother and her influence on his playing and he laughed and even
cried. I felt so humbled that he was seemingly having a nice time playing
with me and comfortable enough to tell me all of these great stories about
music and life from long ago. In the second set he was singing the lyrics
behind my melodies to most of the tunes that we were playing, it was all
smiles and laughs. By the end of the gig I felt so thankful to have met and
played with him. I remember driving home from that gig knowing that I had
just gotten a serious lesson in music and to my surprise in living and
life. It was a very special night for me, one that I truly will always
remember. R.I.P. Mike Wicks.

Justin HenricksComment