I came home today after a trip to Germany, only to find my Facebook-mailbox full of private messages from friends who wondered if I had heard the sad news. “Stanley is not with us anymore”. One of my friends called me the minute I got through the door because he didn’t want me to get the news “through Facebook”. Sometimes things should be done “old-school”, person to person, not through social media. And I’m grateful for that.
I had a flashback that took me few years back in time, when Stanley’s bandmate from Nasty Idols, singer Andy Pierce, suddenly passed away in the shower at the age of 45.
Now Stanley. I’ve been friends with these guys since what feels like forever. There’s no secret that they didn’t choose to live particularly healthy lifestyles.
But it just doesn’t matter, the reaction and the sadness is still the same when you are faced with the fact that they are simply not here anymore and they won’t be coming back.
Stanley was always a wild child, a person who everybody knew – and much like with Andy, you either loved him or you hated his guts. Or it would go both ways like a roller-coaster, depending on what state of mind they happened to be in at the time, cause they could both “suck people in” in a strange sort of way.
Stanley and Andy had another thing in common, and that was to provoke people. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes it just happened, but I think that most of us knew that they had good hearts – somewhat troubled, messed up souls – but good hearts and that’s why they still had people around them offering their help and support even when they messed up, which was an ongoing thing pretty much.
My very first thought when I heard about Stanley was something he did for me that I’ll never forget – and which defined him as a person in my book.
I was celebrating my birthday and wanted to do something that would be a great memory for me and my friends, so I wanted to take everybody to Tivoli – an amusement park in Copenhagen – and pay for everybody’s entrance tickets and the transport there so we could all have a good time, regardless of anyone’s financial situation. I would pay for all of us, cause I knew it would be a great memory, and that’s what it’s all about, not the money.
Two or three people bailed in the very last minute with bad excuses and I was really angry that they hadn’t told me earlier, because I had already bought their tickets as well, and they knew it.
Stanley was the ONLY person who had a VALID good reason not to go, he was just out of surgery and was in great pain, he should have been at home resting.
But when he heard that people had let me down, he immediately got on the phone and called me and said that he was back on, cause he sure as hell was NOT gonna be one of those who ruined my birthday.
I told him not to do it, it wasn’t his problem what other people did, he was sick and should be in bed! But there was no way I could change his mind. He had already made up his mind that he was going – for my sake. It was the right thing to do and he was determined to do it.
We had such a great time that day, he was so funny and he enjoyed it, dispite having taken god knows how many strong painkillers to make it through the day.
I’ll be forever grateful for that gesture. THAT showed me what he was made of, he was there when he needed to be. He cared. And we weren’t even that close, just long-time aquaintances I guess, would meet at gigs or private parties or whatever.
A few years prior to that, he also showed up to one of my birthday parties with one of the best gifts that I got that day – a box of organic cheeses, crackers, jams, just little goodies that felt a little bit exclusive in all its simplicity. But it was well thought through, he knew what I liked and what I would appreciate and put some effort into it.
You wouldn’t think he was that kind of guy when you saw him, cause he could be such a mess. I’m not saying that to be mean, he knew it, everybody knew it, it was just a fact.
A few years back, I was recording a demo and he was brought in in the last minute because the original drummer effed up. After a few days I was ready to kill Stanley. He was complicating everything, sucking up all my energy and making us all wait for hours (studio time that I was paying for, stressed me out big time).
I cursed him for weeks after that, going “never ever again!” – but the good thing about Stanley was that he could be very charming when he wanted to, so he could win people over – or win them back. :)
We could have arguments but still always with that “twist” where we both knew that we disagreed but we would cut eachother some slack. He would go “oh come on you bitch, you know I’m right” and get the reply “call me bitch one more time and I’ll kick your ass“. And then we would laugh about it.
It was all cool, no hard feelings. It’s a balance act that doesn’t work with everybody but you could do that with him.
Today, Facebook is flooded by goodbye messages from people who knew him – which is pretty much the whole city and then some.
I needed a few hours to even take it in. On one hand I wasn’t shocked that something bad could have happened to him, cause he was often walking on the edge, and willing to take risks. But you are never ever prepared or indifferent once it actually happens and it’s no longer a joke.
You can say a lot of things about Stanley, but he was genuine and didn’t make any excuses for who or what he was. Take it or leave it – he was who he was and proud of it. Sometimes he might not have been, but at least he knew that there was nothing he could do about it anyway.
He was a good person, I can say that much, and my heart and my thoughts goes out to his family and closest friends who are suffering today. He was too young, but I guess that when it’s time to go, you must go, your time is up. None of us knows when that day will come.
Stanley’s time was up and it’s just hard to handle when someone who’s always been around, suddenly won’t be coming around no more.
We will miss you Stanley, I hope you’ve finally found peace, wherever you are….