Sunday, December 10, 2006

man down

Sean Fightmaster
6/24/69 ~ 12/6/06

Sean Fightmaster

Sean Fightmaster died last Wednesday (6 Dec 06). I'm not sure where they are burying him (if they are in fact burying him), but if you see his grave please leave him a bottle of beer and some spare change. He was a welcome splash of color in a city that was often much too gray.

There's a guest book where you can leave messages (until they decide to remove it... perhaps I will mirror it here afterwards).

There's also a MySpace page for him here.

I've been getting email from friends all day and reading the posts at the guest book and I'm really struck by how much Sean is loved. Everyone has a Sean moment, a story that makes them smile... I've had conversations with total strangers who, hearing I lived in SLC, asked me if I knew Sean, and it's like a bonding thing: "were you there when...?", "did you hear about...?". Since the first time I mentioned him in a post here three years ago, I've received email from numerous people asking me if I knew what Sean was up to now, or sharing their stories. He certainly is an unforgettable person, truly one of a kind.

The last time I saw Sean was on my last visit to SLC; I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, but we talked like it had only been days, basically resuming the last conversation we'd had before I left SLC. He seemed very bright and clear. He had this way of saying something really funny, delivered totally straight like he hadn't intended it to be funny. In most of my memories of Sean, everyone around him is smiling.

UPDATE (23 Dec 2006): I am going to just add to this post, because right now it comforts me to see Sean's picture on this page.

I had a couple of very rough days dealing with Sean's death. I could tell you all kinds of stories about how he was bigger than life, how he was literally a legend in his own time, but it would all sound like the kind of things people say about someone after they have died. The important thing to remember about Sean is that we spoke of him that way when he was alive. I'm not going to pretend I never wanted to kick his ass, but the rest of the time being around him felt like having front-row seats to something important and exciting. He was kind and intelligent and was funny without being mean. He had uncanny style and charm.

Reading through the guest book (linked above) it is plain to see how much Sean was loved and how much he will be missed. There is also a story of sorts, a context to be found in the names and places of the people leaving messages: Sean's friends didn't all come from some little clique, or even from what any one person would consider to be 'the scene'. Sean had a way of transcending such distinctions, and his friends vary wildly in scene affiliation, age, and personality. Any two people might have very little in common except that they were both friends with Sean.

It has been a good thing reading all of the messages people have left for Sean and his family. There are names there that I have not heard in years. And hearing them now, sharing their feelings for Sean, does make it a little easier. There is less of a sense of loss, knowing that people are still carrying Sean in their hearts.

ANOTHER UPDATE (19 Jan 2007): It's been over a month now.

There were a couple of articles in SLUG: With a Name like Fightmaster, You Have a Reputation to Live Up To and his sister, Cyd, wrote up a Fightmaster Memorium.

There's been a flurry of activity on the a guest book today due to an article about Sean in the Salt Lake Tribune ("Punk's passing"). It is a fitting tribute to Sean, and I'm glad there's now a permanent record noting his passing. One of the few things I regret about my time in Utah is that I have little material evidence of the people and places that meant so much to me... we didn't have digital cameras (or computers to plug them into) back then, and there were a few years where everything I owned fit in a backpack, a lifestyle that doesn't lend itself to collecting memorabilia.

So I just collected memories... and the various strains that drugs, university, and time (in roughly that order) have put on my brain have been steadily eroding those memories. The pictures and memories of Sean that others have shared have not only helped me deal with Sean's death, they have brought back some of the feeling of those days, that sense that something incredible (even when it was incredibly tragic,or incredibly boring) was going on and that I was right where I needed to be.

Ave atque vale, Sean. Peace be upon you. And upon your family and friends and everyone whose memory you burned yourself into.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean's mom here. Thank you for your acknowledgement of Sean; he, in my opinion, was a unique, wonderful and giving man. If you would, please go to and put in any messages regarding your experiences with Sean. Thank you.

Sean's mom

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean's Sister Here,
I can't thank you all enough for the family. All your touching stories of Sean and your out-pouring of love that you all felt for him is more to me than words can say!! Our family may have been small Me,Mom,Sean and Da but,all of you and, you all know who you are(meaning) everyone that Sean knew if only for a moment, has made our family become so much more than I can comprehend.God I miss him so much and,looking at his pic still hurts.I know that with time we all will heal.But what i wish more than ever is that we never and I mean never forget. He touched so may lives as well as saved so many lives. With his love, his life force and his talent to draw,sing,and just create.I could go on forever about the most favorite and wonderful man in the world but thats a book in the workings. So Baby Bro I Love You Man. Keep Blazing and, Thrashing. Punk 4ever XOXOXOXOXOXOX CYD VISIOUS......

Blogger Heidi on Vashon said...

Hey, Sean was my sweetie.
I blogged a story about him today and remember so much more that will always be precious to me. -h

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The afore-mentioned blog post.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all knew the best guy from the SLC scene. I can't say I have been the best friend to those around me but damnit somthing about today says I can be. See you soon buddy,

Matt in SLC

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and Seans dad created a wonderful human in Sean. I met you once over a decade ago when he brought me to your home after a late night of partying. I stayed in his room and you were so nice and kind to me. I can't say that I would do the same if my son where to bring home some strange girl.

Your brother always had sweet things to say about you and I know he loved you and your mother so very much. The last time I saw you was when you stopped by Bandaloops looking for Sean when he had disappeared. I shared your concern for him because like you I knew beneath his tough outershell, inside he was warm and squishy.
Thank you for allowing me to use your blog to go on about Sean.

Blogger BWJones said...

God speed Sean... You are one of SLC's icons. No doubt our lives are richer because of you, your presence and unmistakable influence on the SLC punk scene.
  Post a Comment
return to front page