Monday, December 24, 2012

FRANK CHRISTIAN - A man with no equal




A word from Lisi's heart...


'RIP: Frank Christian, of sudden pneumonia, brilliant international singer-songwriter based in NYC, writer and singer of "Where Were You Last Night?", member of original creative renaissance of Folk City and Cornelia Street troubadours and bohemians of the late 70's through 80's and continuing now, a true friend, the consummate gentleman, a reliable and sardonic cheerer-upper even when his own spirits flagged. He always had a good word, a bon mot, a spontaneous joke, a sly wink and considered thought for each person. He was suave, sweet, had impeccable grace and manners and felt things deeply. What a talent. Played on Nanci Griffith's Grammy-winnning CD, backed Odetta and made his own series of incredible jazz-tinged, virtuoso CDs. Insightful thinker, serious when appropriate, man of conscience, smart as a hoot owl in the highest rafters of this barn-with-its-roof-blown-off of ours, this soulful and eternal collection of cosmopolitan chuckle-makers, visionaries and poets. Oh, Frank. We love you. You are the best and we miss you.'

Odetta, Frank Christian, Folk City (Photo Teddy Lee)

15 comments:

  1. It's a sad day for everyone who was touched by Frank. As rich a talent and personality as he was, it is scandalous that he was not appropriately appreciated by society, and died lacking health care in a hobbled state of disrepair. There were not 2 dozen people in attendance at his final solo concert in the Village on Dec. 8. I consider myself lucky to have been there, and to have shaken his hand one last time.

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    1. This is not what I wrote. It has been completely rewritten. This is a serious breach of trust.

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  2. HEY! WHO ASKED YOU TO EDIT WHAT I WROTE!
    That's some serious bullshit here...

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    1. Bennett, Hi, what did you write? Maybe you want to fight back and let the world know? In other words, even though i don't know you, i knew Frank from the Speakeasy scene mostly, and to hear that someone tampered with your words is really awful! I have to say, that sucks! I think the computer is to blame for so much neglect in "real" time... especially the fact that Frank Christian had no health insurance and would probably still be alive if he did. That is tragic! What does one thing have to do with another? Plenty, when you think about it... He was much too young to die. People need to care more about each other than about these machines. . . he must have been so isolated too at the end for something like that to happen. It's all wrong!

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  3. sorry to hear about Frank. A nice guy, so talented, and yes, he deserved more recognition.

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  4. Just got to know him in the last five years as a fellow drinker at Tavern on Jane. At first, he was a total ass to me. Then later, we became sort of friends; I even started calling UNCLE FRANK to his chagrin and bemusement. He never once bragged about who he was or whom he'd played with, but when I finally heard him play, I was blown away. Last time I saw him was the day after Hurricane Sandy. We sat together and joked around for about 20 minutes about the absurdity of the neighborhood's being without electricity. He was a pithy and formidable curmudgeon, but one who respected those who put up with him for a while as I did. Of course, he was a great guitarist and songwriter too. Sorry, I didn't have a chance to become better friends with him.
    RIP, UNCLE FRANK!

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  5. Jessica MacDonald ScottJanuary 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Thank you, Folk City, for such a lovingly written and succinct tribute to Frank. He was a very special person, gifted, hilarious and a great friend. He will be sorely missed. The world has lost a unique and soulful character. RIP Frank. My heart is broken.

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  6. The tribute you have written for Frank here is lovely, thank you. He was a beautiful man, and I can't stand to think of a world without him.

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  7. Thank you all for posting....I'm sorry Mr.Harris. I cannot edit other people's comments. I don't know who did:(

    Frank was quite a gentleman. A great musician. Humble and a friend to many. I borrowed the words of an old friend of his from folk city since they described him so well. Ciao Frank

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  8. I just learned Frank had died last night when I attended a Lucy Kaplansky concert. I remember being first introduced to Frank and his music in 1982 or so when he was a regular performer at the Speakeasy. In the mid-1990s, I had the good fortune to take an intermediate group guitar playing class from Frank at The New School. While my guitar playing improved a bit, the major benefit of the class was the opportunity to hear Frank play every week (not showing off, but demonstrating). As the class went on each week, to the students' delight, the demonstrations got longer and longer. At the end of the semester, I concluded Frank had three great advantages over me (as far as guitar playing was concerned): he started very early in life with excellent teachers, he played for hours every day, and he was blessed with incredible talent. In addition, as a teacher, he was genuinely helpful, interested in students, and an incredibly nice guy.

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  9. I just learned of Frank's passing. I will always remember the many great times we had playing together at Speakeasy and the Bottom Line. One great musician, composer and one great friend.
    Lou Oddo

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  10. I was lucky enough to play with Frank on my few walk-ons with the Bennett Harris Band. He was intensly mellow and always gave me room to play my harp. Even just casually passing him on the street, he always had a moment for me, while rolling a cigarette, to talk about anything from life to thumper motorcycles. Left me feeling connected to a little more gentler world. Playing with Frank, Bennitt and Dan Hovey are treasured memories.

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  11. i like to think that i can learn something new about music every day. well...today i simultaneously discovered frank christian and learned of his untimely death. what a shame. rip

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  12. Frank Christian discography at www.wirz.de/music/chrisdsc.htm

    Additional info very much appreciated !!!

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  13. We just found out about Frank 10 minutes ago.....We went to see Norman Blake at Folk City but Frank opened for him and was playing bass and lead at the same time with songs about the city I lived in and words as sharp as Bobby Dylan with a dry wit between songs that was every bit as great as the music! Frank "held court" at many of the usual Village haunts and was as quick with a joke in bad times as he was in good times.The banter between Frank and Tom Intondi in the Eighties/Nineties was as close as we could ever get to sitting between Groucho Marx and Einstein and those were just words.He played jazz behind folk and Charlie Christian behind Van Ronk .I never pass Union Square without thinking of Drops From a Faucet and I never pass the Ear Inn without smiling.If big Dave was the Mayor of MacDougal street, Frank was it's Plato.
    The Flowers of the Forest they are all wheeled away...........Paul ,Brooklyn

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