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Remembering "Just a Fan" Lane Campbell

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Recently, Chicago music fan and friend to many, Lane Campbell, went missing. After an agonizing stretch of days spent searching, Lane's body was discovered in a forest preserve area. Cause of death is still undetermined, but there weren't any indications of foul play. It's an enormous loss to his many friends around Chicago's music scene. On last night's Tweedy Show, Jeff dedicated "Please Tell My Brother" to Lane's memory. Today I read this beautiful remembrance by my friend Chris Castaneda, fellow VC member and Lane's friend. I asked him if I could share it here.

From Chris:


Hey Lane Campbell...

So, you’re dead. That’s not cool. You’re not helping disprove the theory that Keith Richards is going to out live all of us.
I write, I say it, and it still seems like a weird dream. It still pisses me off, and it’s a shitty song I really want to change.
Did you hear Tweedy dedicated a Golden Smog song to you? You know if you wanted him to take your request you could have gotten in line early with the rest of the Via Chicago crew outside the Vic, right? I know you could have gotten a spot in line. I would have played the song for you. I’m no Tweedy, I know, and I may not play the song with a capo on the guitar, but I would have tried playing the song for you.
I guess I could make a joke about you in the great beyond, but you’d recognize the R.E.M. association and I know you’re not a big fan of post-Berry R.E.M. (even though I say you’re wrong and you didn’t give me enough time to convince you with an awesome R.E.M. mix CD of songs from the post-Berry era). Yeah, sure, you had “Imitation of Life” on a mix, but you could have gone with a deeper cut on REVEAL instead of the obvious radio single. Come on, man.
It’s been a week. I don’t know. We may not have logged a lot of miles with each other, but we sure were at a lot of the same shows over the past 20 years. In the trenches. Dealing with the same grumpy door guy. Getting that one guy who happens to be taller than you to take up that small foot space in front of you that you’ve comfortably had to yourself for 75% of the show...you are a friend.
I don’t remember if I ever shared this photo with you from the McCaughey benefit. A Monday night at the Hideout. It’s a Where’s Waldo pic for sure. I don’t remember much from the stage, only what friends could recount from the night. I think I surprised you with the Possibilities cover as the opener, and I faintly remember hearing your voice above the claps at the end.
Anyone who knows you would be able to find you in this pic. It’s a glimpse into a sacred world. A world we couldn’t wait to get to after 5:00 PM on any night of the week. A world that made sense to us.
I think the fact that I could convince you to come check out a documentary about Oasis on a weeknight was a sign to me that you accepted me as me. You’ve probably had to do your share of trying to convince friends who weren’t a huge fan of a band that they needed to check out the band. At those moments, you were the defender of the music. You were the flag bearer with damn fine mix CD skills that gave me a run for my money.
I was at a drive-thru last night, and I finally got Jimmy Eat World after 20 years. I know you’d get what I’m saying.
Our last chat shouldn’t have been about Wilco or the Hideout calendar. It shouldn’t have been the last chat at all. I haven’t told you about the Kinks album or the Dave Edmunds stuff I recently got into. I just got an album from Bulgaria! What shows were you gonna try and see this summer? Don’t forget to pencil in at least one of my backyard shows. Wanna meet Jen for a smoke break outside Rubloff in 5 minutes? I guess we can go to Lou’s for a slice to maintain your Friday lunch tradition.
I know. I know. Some other time.
“When the Bible is a bottle
And the hardwood floor is home
When morning comes twice a day or not at all
If I break in two will you put me back together?
When this puzzle’s figured out will you still be around?”
I’ll look for ya when I get to the club.
I should be there for the opener.
May be an image of 21 people, people standing and night
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One of my law school classmates in Mississippi knew him and had been posting about his disappearance and the sad ending to the search for him. It seems that he touched the lives of a lot of people. I'm sad that I didn't know him. Godspeed to him and sending my condolences to all who were fortunate enough to know him. 

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