|Eric, in one of his favorite shirts & one of his favorite ads.|
I can't really add much to what has already been said about Eric. Many people have written and talked about him over the years, with documentaries and books. I did so in my Black Diamond book (both the original 1997 release with a CD of some badly edited audio and the 1999 edition, with a complete transcript of the interview I did with him back in 1990), and in a piece I wrote for KISS Asylum years ago called "Encounters with Paul Caravello." You can read those for more of my few chances to talk to Eric over the years. I won't bore you with it all again here.
Eric has been gone nearly 21 years now. Typically, we tend to remember the years gone when we get closer to the anniversary of his passing. This is our own disservice to those that have gone before us. We really should be looking more to his birth instead - his first hello instead of his last goodbye. That's how it should be. That's how he would have wanted it. The guy really did try to do his best to have fun and get those he knew personally to have a good time with him. It's also the reason fans remember him so well that did get to meet him, because he always pushed himself to try to make fans feel important.
Oddly, people who tend to be this way are usually the ones we lose too early, but in that time we had with them, they made us all a little more special by just being there for us.
So let's remember the kid who wanted to draw. The guy who played drums with his classmates. The man who saved a human life during a terrible fire. The blue-collar, psychedlic weirdo that worked hard during the day burning his hair on gas-stoves just so he could play with his band at night. The drummer who somehow never broke through until he made a crazy, last-ditch move to reach for the stars. The rock star who always went out to meet the fans and treat them so well. The man who could laugh and get others to laugh, even when things were the darkest.
Death is the end, but it's also a blink. Before that, we come into this world wide-eyed and - with hope, luck, whatever you want to call it - get a few years to see the adventure Life has for us. Those are the years we must remember. Death is nothing - a whisper - in this equation compared to the Big Brass Band called Life that is carved into time by those who were once with us. Even if we forget, the years blow by and the world turns to dust, Life will remain defiant because Time will forever have those actions, and smiles and laughs etched into it. Nothing can take it away.
Eric may be gone, but in this day of sweet remembrance to his birth, Life gives us the gift of his being here. Here. Because of that, Eric can never be taken away from us.