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Mark Tulin

Photo credit: Kristin Burns

Mark Tulin was the kind of guy who got off his couch when Hurricane Katrina hit and went down to New Orleans, first to counsel survivors, and then to pull dead bodies out from the deluge. Mark Tulin was deep. He was a great guy.

He was amazing when I was his impromptu room mate. On tour he was a rock, over coffee he was fun, in the studio he was inspiring, and back stage we had vivid, in-depth conversations about music, about technical aspects of composition, geeky stuff, and anecdotes and memories, of which he had many. Kristin‘s photo captures one of these precious moments, like she does.

We shared a huge admiration for William‘s musicianship and songwriting skills. We also shared a love of opera and orchestral music, a source of joy to us both. The Electric Prunes guy was deep into Wagner, and so am I, which was wonderful to discover in a shouted conversation conducted backstage at a super loud psychedelic rock show.

Shouting stuff with him could somehow be intimate. Reading people’s thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, it seems his confidante abilities were pretty universal. He could have written a fairly interesting book himself based on all the people who trusted him so intimately. The fact he wouldn’t dream of it illustrates one of the fundamental characteristics of goodness he embodied.

Trustworthiness. Solidity in a sea of crazy. He was a bass player. He provided that same sense of bass to the lives of his friends and family. A groovy bass line. A trusted friend to many, including me when I needed one. He was like a brother/ surrogate dad/ favorite uncle to a lot of people. His family must be devastated, my prayers are with them. He was so proud of them.

Mark took his job as village elder seriously, gently shining the light of his experience on Mike‘s path as he took his first steps into Pumpkinland. He held Linda‘s hand on the bus, supported William with authenticity, shared with Kerry and Stacey like family, opened to Rachel, and was a friend to everyone in our community. I cannot begin to imagine James’ sense of loss.

The last time I hung with Mark was the KROQ Acoustic Christmas show, which was cool, because we got to share his favorite line in the Smashing Pumpkins song, Freak. Man, he never got bored of the bored line… I can’t listen to that song without seeing his smile.

May he inspire us all with his loyalty, kindness, generosity of spirit, openness to change, and dedication to excellence. I will always love Mark Tulin. May he rest in peace. He was a great guy. I’m so sad he’s gone.

In his own words, from his last tweet:

“It is post show – Thanks to Jeff for the spirit and Mike for the joy. Specially thanks to @Billy for letting me be a part of it all.”