Author: Ritter, Travis
Date published: December 2, 2010
Mark Arm (Mudhoney): Andy and I went to lunch two days before his accident. He had recently picked up the Rhino boxed set of the fi rst Stooges album. He hadn't opened it, but it was sitting out in his home. His daughter, Anna, became increasingly interested in it, asking all kinds of questions about the people on the cover. Apparently, she got pretty hung up on the fact that Iggy Pop was also Iggy Stooge. This went on for several days until she spoke the words that Andy said he had never counted on hearing, but had always hoped she would say: "Daddy, can we listen to the Stooges?" He was beaming when he told this story, and I keep clinging to this image of him.
Eric Johnson (Fruit Bats): Last year, we had gotten some tacos and brought them back to his house and were hanging out. His daughter, Anna (she was around 2 at the time), is hugely into music, and while we were lounging about, she wanted to do a concert for us-which was her singing along to mostly Tammy Wynette songs. A lot of parents would have been like, "Not now, honey, Daddy's eating tacos with his friend," but Andy cranked up the tunes and let Anna do her thing. It was such a beautiful moment-and he was so proud of her geeking out on records, singing along, being generally adorable.
John Olson (Wolf Eyes): He helped us to present our noise to a whole new crew. He opened many doors and gave us all the freedom we wanted/needed.
Matt Korvette (Pissed Jeans): I'm not entirely sure Pissed Jeans would still exist today if it weren't for Andy. He dug us, hooked us up with Sub Pop, and has been a huge supporter, always. If there was anyone besides ourselves we owe our success to, it'd be him, no doubt.
Ishmael Butler (Shabazz Palaces): Andy had an innate talent of compassion for art/artists and of being a very gifted observer. His natural reactions to things always rang proverbial. I was always in awe of his prowess at accumulating knowing about so much music from so many sources. His work space alone was a museum of surprising, interesting things that only the freshest type of dude could gather.
Michael Yonkers: Andy was the perfect representative of the Sub Pop thing. He was truly interested in the music, the makers of the music, the performers of the music, etc.
Erin Sullivan (A Frames/AFCGT): I moved to Seattle in the early 1990s largely because I liked rain, Mudhoney, and Sub Pop, so being asked to do a record on Sub Pop felt like coming full circle in a cool way. He helped us feel like we had established our own small place in this great music town's history.
Andy Cabic (Vetiver): He was the type of record head you don't encounter much anymore, someone who spent their life buying records and working in record stores, who knew the industry from the ground up and really loved what he did. I feel lucky to have had him as my representative at Sub Pop.
Arm: When we returned to Sub Pop in 2002, Andy introduced himself as our new A&R guy. My fi rst impression was something like, "Geez, this kid looks young, I hope he knows where we're coming from." It quickly became clear that he did and that the good ship Mudhoney was in the best of hands.
Johnson: There have been several generous and supportive people over the years who have helped my band, but there's a very good chance I'd be nowhere if Andy hadn't come along. I make my living doing music, and I have him to thank for it. Sometimes it takes just one guy-and he'd be that guy.
Arm: Andy was always turning me on to something new, or something old in a way that made it new again. He played Omar Souleyman for me, which directly led to my wife taking a trip to Syria while I was on tour. He was also very vocal about the crap he didn't like, and he would dispatch these things with perfect comedic timing.
Olson: He was a fan of old music and was always looking for new bands. He knew his stuff. Had the OG Michigan vinyl savage lust.
Butler: I loved to visit his work space. After a short exchange of pleasantries, in which he was always genuine, he'd get down to what he was all about: talking about, playing, and asking about new music. Music, music, music, man. Every single time, I'd leave full on some new songs/groups from the widest reaches of variety you can imagine, and his taste was impeccable.
Cabic: He was someone for whom an appreciation for music was at the core of everything he did, how he viewed and came up in the world.
Sullivan: Most musicians have very broad musical interests and love to explore and experience new kinds of music constantly and draw inspiration from things people would never suspect. Andy had this same kind of interest in a wide variety of musical styles without really being conscious of the lines he might be crossing between genres/ fans/bands/labels. It was all just music to him, and he let it reach him by whatever powers it had to offer.
Johnson: There is a very small contingent of people I know who are impervious to being stumped in music history, records, and whatnot. Andy was most certainly one of those guys. He had a deep academic sense of pop music, but a very unpretentious populist bent as well. A nerd of the highest order, which is a very rare and precious thing in the music industry today.
Korvette: I understood that he was actually a paid employee of Sub Pop, but he really never seemed like anything besides this awesome, excitable friend who was into my band and eager to help us out. Our relationship was always based on being friends fi rst, then talking whatever pesky business had to be discussed (or, often, forgetting that and just talking about new records we were into).
Arm: From the time I got a job at Sub Pop in 2005, we hung out nearly every day. He quickly became one of my best friends.
Johnson: We were buds right off the bat. I had it in the back of my head that he was from this big label, that this was some sort of important encounter, but he was such a downhome, mellow dude I was stoked to have him as a new friend.
Sullivan: It's easy to think of a lot of things I could say about what a great person he is, what a cool dad he is, and how much we appreciate his support that would probably just embarrass him to no end, but I really just wish we could sit down with a couple of drinks and I could ask him what he's been listening to lately.
Cabic: To be able to join up with everyone at the label, share my respects, and participate in a celebration of the music and people Andy loved feels important and like an honor. It still doesn't seem real that he isn't there.
Korvette: It will be great to see so many people who Andy touched and to play in his honor. Still doesn't entirely feel real, like it's an elaborate prank and Andy will be giving me a call any day now, but going out there and spending time with the rest of the Sub Pop family will be great.
Yonkers: This is how important it is to me: Because of health reasons, I had stopped performing a year and a half ago. But I am going to do this benefi t.
Johnson: We're all still grieving, but I hope that this will be a celebration of his life in many ways, and a way to show what he brought to this world musically, and how strangely linked it all is.
Sullivan: We hope his family walks away knowing, even more than they already do, how many people's lives Andy touched through his passion for music, his family, and the work that he did.