POSTED ON APRIL 18, 2012:
One of Their Own
Local musicians band together to honor the memory of a friend
When Adrian Alexander passed away in his sleep on March 28, he may have gone quietly, but that's not how he'll be remembered. As the former drummer of Doxy, Sybil's Machine and Down for Five, as well as a member of Jakob, Alexander was never the quiet one. Instead, he was the one with the big sticks and the flair who kept the music booming. Even after his passing, the music continues to boom on in his honor.
As soon as word spread of Alexander's passing, friends and former band mates came together wanting to do something in his memory that would also help his family. Initially, Jeff Allen, who played with Alexander in Doxy and Sybil's Machine, was going to make Sybil's April 14 CD release show at Dixie's Tavern a benefit for Alexander's family, but as more and more bands stepped up, he realized he didn't have the time to put the show together properly. Instead, his band will be part of a huge 12 band lineup at Fishbonz this Sunday, April 22, that allows all the groups to pay tribute to an old friend.
When discussing his history with Alexander, Allen explained that the two met when they were 17 or 18 and have known each other ever since. Musically, the two first came together in Doxy, a local group that won a battle of the band competition for a chance to open for Slaughter at Brady Theater in the early '90s.
"It's funny how a lot of things form the late '80s and early '90s are forgotten, but it was really a happening time," Allen said.
At the time, Doxy won the slot to open for Slaughter at the Brady, but the band got a call from Larry Schaeffer asking if the group wanted to play Little Rock as well, so the group also opened for the band at Barton Coliseum as Poison dropped off the bill at the last minute. It was a great opportunity that gave the band some exposure, but after recording a couple of albums, "It never really went anywhere," Allen said. "Jimmy quit, Jodie got married ... you know the story."
Even so, both soldiered on in music and Allen began his next band, Sybil's Machine. When the drummer and bassist quit while in the studio, Allen called up Alexander and Scott Squires, who were playing in Down for Five and the two ended up playing together again.
Although the two went separate directions musically, with Alexander playing in Down for Five and Jakob after departing Sybil's Machine, he and Allen remained friends and kept in touch. Allen even recalls talking to his old friend just a couple weeks before his passing.
That led Allen to want to do something in his honor, mostly because "Adrian did a lot of things for a lot of people, so this is kind of our chance to give back to him."
Once other bands started stepping up and wanted to be part of a benefit and tribute to Alexander, Allen realized he didn't have enough time, nor space, to do the sow properly at Dixie's Tavern last weekend. As a result, over a dozen acts will come together at Fishbonz this Sunday to pay tribute to their friend. Each of the bands has some tie to Alexander and his music career, with members having played with him in Doxy, Sybil's Machine, Jakob or Down for Five.
As of last week, the lineup included: Brian Simmons (doing a solo set to start the event), Bad Things, Super Sonic Music Train, Forgotten Friday, Sarah D & the Damned Souls, Amped (Mark Mortensen's latest band -- who played with Alexander in Sybil's Machine), Searching For Sanity, Down For Five, Jakob and Sybil's Machine (the current lineup, which Allen refers to as version 4.0).
Doxy will also be reuniting for the night, with Charlie Ledford (of Searching for Sanity) filling Alexander's spot on drums. According to Allen, Ledford was picked because "He was coming to see Doxy when he was just a teenager. His mom or aunt would bring him to our shows and he was one of our biggest fans. He worshipped Adrian back then, so when we asked him if he'd play, he was honored and more than happy to do it."
Two more bands were still pending confirmation at press time and a special appearance by another band that prefers to go unnamed (but won a 2011 ABoT award for Best Hard Rock/Metal act) had agreed to perform as well. In other words, this will be a big night for fans of Tulsa's hard rock scene and a fitting send-off for one of Tulsa's beloved heavy hitters.
When discussing Alexander's passing, Allen shared that he left behind three kids: a son, Julian Alexander (in his 20s) and a pair of teenage daughters, Alexis and Adriana Alexander. "Years ago, Adrian named me a Godfather to his children," Allen said. "He gave a lot of his time and life to me in our bands and to many other people as well. It seems only fitting that we do this show in his honor and to try and give something back."
The benefit at Fishbonz starts early and cover is on a donation basis with all proceeds going to Alexander's family. A raffle ticket will be given for every $5 donation with donated door prizes to be given by the end of the night. All in all, it will be an opportunity for friends and fans to pay a fitting tribute and farewell to Alexander while helping his family. It's also a rare opportunity to see a couple of his old bands -- specifically Jakob and Doxy -- come together one more time in honor of their old friend, giving everyone a good reason to get out on a Sunday night.
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