Remembering Gene: Dan Michaels

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EarlyAAGene1) When/how did you first meet Gene?
The Choir was playing a show in Southern California along with some of our other So Cal friends in the early 1980’s. Gene was mixing for Undercover that night. I remember seeing him running around dealing with the sound and helping them get set up. He was easy to notice and remember. Gene had a distinct charisma and an interesting look. I was curious about who he was and what he was all about from even a casual connection that evening.

2) What projects were you involved in with him?
Adam Again of course. Nearly all of their records and live shows. Great memories of touring with them in the US and overseas. Gene had me play sax or lyricon on a project here and there, but it was Adam Again primarily.

3) How do you think Gene shaped/impacted the music scene?
I think that he inspired creativity and brought out energy and passion among established talent like The Choir, Mike Knott, Terry Taylor, Mike Roe, Undercover and many others. He recognized talent in unknown and emerging artists too, helped them find their place creatively and gave them a platform commercially. Gene’s confidence, creative genius and infectious personality brought out the best in both.

4) Three words you would use to describe Gene and why?
Hidden… I don’t think that any one person knew the whole Gene. He revealed what he wanted to each person, no matter how close they were to him. While he could appear very casual and transparent, I believe he was a very complex soul with many sides to him.

Funny… He always made me laugh and I was so pleased when I could make him laugh. It could be a peculiar, humorous perspective, an elaborate practical joke, stressful circumstances that he had the ability to lighten or plain gooberish nonsense… I remember laughing a lot with him.

Awesome… I know that might sound a bit pedestrian at first, but I was, and do, remain in awe of him. His voice was beautiful, his lyrics profound, his friendship genuine and his soul deep.

5) As a friend of yours how did Gene influence you?
He taught me that I can always try again, even after failing many times. He made me feel like I was better than I believed I was. He shamed me when I was shallow, and I cared to change myself for the better because I loved and respected him. I depended on him for so much. To have him as a friend, company when I was lonely and help when I needed a hand is something that I am still grateful for.

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