April 2, 2006

Buddy Blue 1957-2006


My friend Buddy Blue passed away this afternoon in his home in La Mesa. I was stunned when I heard the news. My heart goes out to his Mom and his wife Annie and daughter Lulu. I just recently had a nice lunch with Buddy and feel so lucky to have had him in my life. I'll never forget when he first came to a Rugburns show at The Blarney Stone Pub on 70th street. We were a duo and trying to make our mark. Buddy was a storied San Diego musician and also a writer for the then still functioning San Diego Tribune. He wrote a glowing piece on us and was instrumental in us getting our first record deal. He eventually ended up producing our first record "Morning Wood."

I freaked out when I first met him. I was a huge Beat Farmers fan and used to go see him play with them at numerous shows around San Diego. His voice could cut through the noise of dive bars and hit you right in your soul. When he left The Beat Farmers and started The Jacks I went out to Blue Meanie Records in El Cajon and bought his record on vinyl. I'll never forget walking in to his house for a rehearsal for the recording of Morning Wood. He broke out his slide guitar and played on the song Single Life. That's his slide playing that we ended up using for the recording.

I just recently got to sing harmony on a couple of tracks on the new Farmers cd. Buddy was his usual cantankerous self. He could be difficult at times and had legendary feuds with many a musical person over the years, but after the birth of his beautiful daughter Lulu he mellowed some. He turned to mush when he was around her and I saw a side of Buddy I had never seen before. He always was a sentimental lug who acted tougher than he was, but inside he was the sweetest guy with the biggest heart. He helped so many people in this musical community and I am just one. I will miss his weekly column in the Night and Day section of the San Diego Union. I used to always look forward to whatever he decided to rant about. I will miss his rosy cheeks and mischievous smile. He had such a wide range of musical knowledge and I used to love asking his opinion on different artists past and present. I especially loved to hear him talk politics. Talk about scathing humor! I know he is somewhere in musical heaven having a whiskey with Country Dick Montana and laughing hysterically over some foul joke about some sort of bodily function.

I love you Buddy. Rest in peace my friend.


Posted by steve at April 2, 2006 10:35 PM


Sorry about the bad news man, it's things like this that bring us back to earth.

Posted by: Deano at April 3, 2006 2:03 AM

I have known Buddy for approx. 25 years and always appreciated his musical tenderness. After 20 years of knowing him, he told me the story of the night we met which I didn't remember. He remembered what I said and to whom and how I made him feel. Thanks for remembering me my friend and I will remember you.
Rest in Peace,

Posted by: Lorna at April 3, 2006 8:53 AM

I'm really sorry to hear this, steve. hope you're doing okay today.

Posted by: sean at April 3, 2006 11:28 AM

Steve, I'm so sorry about your friend......we will play some Bear Farmers tonight in his honor. Keep him in your heart.


Posted by: rain at April 3, 2006 11:35 AM

Dear Steve,

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. What a nice tribute you wrote. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Lisa at April 3, 2006 12:30 PM

Heavy hearts build strength. You're in my thoughts.

Posted by: Dawn at April 3, 2006 1:00 PM

Sorry to hear the news.

The Beat Farmers kicked ass. I remember some transcendent shows here in Santa Barbara.

some gifts from his website

Posted by: RayMond is SB at April 3, 2006 1:39 PM

I'm having trouble imagining a world without Buddy. The phone would ring and I'd hear that voice at the other end: "Branfdog. It's Buddy. What's happening?". I loved those calls and always knew that something cool or fun or both would ensue. It was the same when I called him. We would ping-pong between laughing and railing against some latest injustice in the world. The current "W" era, of course, was ripe for rage. Of course, I knew not to try to engage him in conversation too early in the morning. I laughed hard when Stacey Taylor managed to get him on his 6 am - 9 am morning radio show a few months ago. Buddy was great but not exactly what you'd call chipper.

I think Buddy was my first real music biz client. He opened up tremendous doors for me and I'll always remember him for that. At the end of the day, he helped me more than I helped him.

I kept hearing Buddy had this reputation for being cranky or whatever; I never saw that. But maybe that's because we're both from New York and that's just the way it is back there. He was passionate, fiercely loyal and didn't suffer fools gladly. I loved that about him! If you want no ripples in this life, go see Michael Buble. But for passion and truth, Buddy was the man.

When he and Annie were married, I think Buddy started getting more comfortable revealing his true loving self to the outside world. And, of course, Lulu really allowed him to excel in that department. I am happy that she will have his music and be able to see him perform forever.

I will miss Buddy - one of a kind. But since he was so kind and allowed me to use one of his tunes at my website as the soundtrack, I'll be able to remember him every day. I hope his other friends and fans will too.

Posted by: Dave B. at April 3, 2006 2:34 PM

Someone You Knew

I just got the news that little ol' Brian [Buddy] died
And to tell you the truth, I wasn't too surprised
Living like he did can send you to an early bed
Still, you feel so alone when someone you knew is dead

Now I'd known Jim [Dan] since we were in our teens
Sometimes I listen to his voice
On old tapes from my phone machine
When I hear him laugh it echoes in my head
And I still can't believe my friend Jim is dead

Life moves on and people come and go
But deep inside it's a helpless feeling to know
You'll never share another laugh, have a drink
Or just say hello
To someone who is gone, someone you used to know

We ain't kids anymore, ain't it a cryin' shame?
People going nowhere, and still have a teenager's dream
Life brings gold to some, to others it just brings lead
Some are lucky, some just turn up dead

Posted by: Rev. Spankalot at April 4, 2006 9:49 AM

"for now we'll say goodbye. we know it's not the last time. i've lost the best part of my day... but it's better where you're going anyway." NFG

Posted by: spring at April 4, 2006 11:58 AM

Steve, I immediately thought of you when I heard this. My thoughts go out to you, Buddy's family, and the rest of his friends. I know the local music scene would never have been the same without him. Like you, I hope he and Country Dick are somewhere harmonizing together.

Posted by: Lisa at April 4, 2006 1:39 PM

Aw Steve I'm so sorry to hear that! You and his fam are def in my thoughts today...xo

Posted by: michele at April 5, 2006 2:30 PM

A tear for Buddy. ;(

I think an appropriate tribute would be to play Lakeside Trailer Park at the Beachland in Cleveland next Tuesday....

Posted by: Willis at April 6, 2006 2:15 PM

Steve the Love you have for family and friends is unmatched. I,m sorry to hear about Buddy, He had many friends and always will be remembered. That's an accomplishment of life that most don't achieve.
See you soon

Posted by: Sean at April 8, 2006 5:08 PM

kudos to you sean....well put.

Posted by: Dawn at April 8, 2006 5:26 PM

Steve, so sorry to hear about the loss of your freind Buddy! You wrote such a wonderful tribute to Buddy. I'm sure he is smiling down on you right now.

Posted by: Mark at April 8, 2006 10:39 PM

Is this someone's way of asking for a new post?
SJJP, there are those of us that wonder how you're doing, would love another installment in your BIG, colorful, zany life, send happy thoughts into the bright sun-filled sky in hopes they reach you, and hope you find countless things to bring an enormous smile to your face.

Posted by: tucson bikram addict at April 20, 2006 11:18 AM


I appreciate your support!!!

Thanks to you, Lulu will get a great education. Buddy would be as proud as I am!

Words cannot express my gratitude for your efforts and generosity!!!

Another special Thanks to David Branfman, I hope Susan's foot is feeling better!

Love Annie Marshall--- Buddy's wife

Posted by: Annie Blue at May 8, 2006 4:05 PM

Today is the first day I found out about Buddy. I can't even begin to tell you how my heart goes out to you , his family, and so many others especially down in that San Diego area . I know what an impact he had on others . It's great what you did to help Lulu . It's guys like you that will keep those memories alive,and remind others of what was and always will be , a special time of our lives .
God bless ya Steve
And God bless Buddy Blue
yer pal CB

Posted by: capricorn boy at June 14, 2006 8:52 AM

So sorry to hear about your friend's untimely departure... he sounds like an outstanding person and a fine friend. Best wishes to Annie & Lulu!


Posted by: Coco Kruse (aka) Corey at June 18, 2006 4:06 PM

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