Last week, we reported the tragic death of Chris Schaefer, a former European tour manager and driver for a multitude of legendary punk bands–namely OC's the Adolescents–who delivered the sad news via guitarist Steve Soto. The 46-year-old L.A. native tied unexpectedly of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home in Prague shared by him and his fiance. But this weekend, a group of West Coast bands, family and friends gather tomorrow to celebrate Schaefer's life in the only successful way possible: a punk rock pub crawl!
Tomorrow starting at 3 p.m., Schaefer's family is setting up a small memorial area and shrine at Acapulco Restaurant at 4444 Sunset Blvd. in LA, a favorite meeting ground of Schaefer's. Anyone who comes is invited to bring a favorite photo or memory of Schaefer to the memorial crawl. The event rolls on with visits and some surrounding area watering holes like Ye Rustic Inn, Good Luck Bar, the Drawing Room and Tiki Ti. Recently, a few of the bands Schaefer used to drive around Europe were kind enough to share some thoughts about their fallen friend.
Tony Cadena of The Adolescents:
I will miss Chris. It is from a deep, deep place, one which I cannot put into words.Chris had a special gift, a sensitivity to culture shock and human anxiety that was brought on by confusion, and was an excellent healer and guide for so many Americans on tour who were literally living in Europe as temporary expatriates. He was a brilliant speaker, and a knowledgeable historian. He was also a great friend. I am proud to have known him, and devastated that I will not see him again.
Colin Abrahall of GBH:
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Chris. He had driven us about the last three or four European tours we did. Chris was a great guy, a relentless hard worker, and nothing was ever too much for him to do. He always knew the quickest routes and cheapest places for gas. At our shows, he could be found either selling merch or sitting backstage with his granny glasses on, sewing band patches on his jacket. Chris had a tattoo on his arm, the grim reaper with the moniker "Tour's Over." Danny, our roadie, liked it so much he got one done too. And now sadly Chris's tour is over, but he will not be forgotten.
Tesco Vee of The Meatmen:
As it was our maiden voyage to the Euro continent it was critical we had THE GUY to accompany us. Big Rock [aka Chris] was a walkin', talkin travel guide, driver extraordinaire, history teacher and pal. He filled the long hours with stories about his many years in the punk rock trenches. We spent the entire month of Sept with Chris and cannot fathom he is gone. Me and my Meatboys are just thankful we got to meet and know him. Rest in piece brother.
Jason DeVore of Authority Zero:
I knew Chris for a only 3 short European tours, but his impact in that short amount of time was so great. He was such a good spirit, constantly smiling, and so full of great stories and information. He would constantly (regardless of how tired he may be) drive us out of his way to show us all that Europe had to offer. He was kind enough to let us stay with him and [his fiance] Lou at their own place in Prague on the final days of our last tour.
I remember a night in particular that we had the next day off and the rest of the band went to bed. Chris and I continued to hang out just the two of us hitting the town and drinking Vodka Orange Juices. We talked and hung out til the sun came out and it was then that he'd asked me some very personal questions that involved him and I and his future. I won't go into detail, but he seemed so happy and it was a very cool moment with me and my new friend that I had grown to know. I find comfort in knowing his happiness in that moment and will miss him dearly. Thank you for all the great memories, travels, and kindness Chris. Rest in Peace my friend