Sunday, January 31, 2016

Our drummer and best friend Ken passed away after a 4 year battle with stage 4 colon cancel on January 10th, 2016.  There were multiple articles and posts about him on various online papers and things, a local writer asked me for my thoughts in regard to Ken, below is what I sent him. All in, we miss him terribly and wanted to put some info here on the blog for anyone who occasionally reads it. RIP Ken McCray 1972-2016

Ken McCray passed away this morning. This is what I want to say about Ken. as a friend: just the best dude. Nicest, warmest big teddy bear. Always a hard worker and helpful with crap he didn't have to deal with. Loves Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and Pantera, and Tommy Lee. The best stories, long detailed story teller type St. Louis 80s south city dirty kid in the street stories that are always funny and interesting. Creatively and as a musician: just the greatest intuitive musician I will have ever interacted with. As a drummer it's like a mix of John Bonham, Bernard Purdie and Alex Van Halen, but totally unique and special in his own way above all those things. Not a stuffy musician, an economical player that always changes the song for the better and has chops to do 3x more than what he shows you, but totally humble. He will ruin your band when he leaves it. When Shame Club was signed to Small Stone records he was most of the reason why. To be losing this guy to cancer is the most devastating thing, I am almost 40. I smoked for 20 years and quit when he was diagnosed because I couldn't believe this guy who basically lived more healthy than me got it, he who worked tons of jobs, played in cover bands, selflessly did tons of thankless work for friends and bands and coworkers, is a terrific father of two, a great brother, son, friend....Only 3 years older than me, how can HE get this? We left Shame Club together and started Tilts in 2009 and he recorded mixed and engineered all the first 3 eps himself. He just had an ear for music. He used to tell me he had dreams about the song Ten Years Gone by Led Zeppelin. Music really spoke to him it wasn't something cool to do, but he was a very common guy that would poke around in your basement and try to buy stereo equipment from you on the cheap. Big guy, the biggest farts! The biggest laugh, laugh himself into silence and tears and send you there with him. The biggest heart.
And absolutely this will be one of the largest losses this city has seen from a drumming giant who touched a lot of people. And it is wrecking me, making me furious, lost and broken. But I am glad to have known this man and shared so much time in vans and dirty basements with him. It has made me better. I love you Kenneth - Andy White

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