I want to keep this space Chris-centric (I’ve devoted other spaces online to my feelings and my grief), but I did want to share an edited version of the tribute that I read at Chris’ ceremony.
I expect that I will continue to grieve him, miss him, love him, write about him, and hear him in music for the rest of my own life, but this is one small piece, for now.
This is an edited version of the tribute that I read at Chris’ funeral/celebration of life on February 29, 2012.
I loved my brother even before he came to be gestated in our mother’s womb. I was five years old when she got pregnant. I was so excited about it, and I was beside myself with joy when my father told me that I had a little brother, that he’d been born at 6:02 p.m., and that his name was Christopher.
At the beginning he was my baby, whom I held and cuddled and cared for, then he became my little pal, the three year old who was star and co-star in all my plays, the consummate professional who never forgot his lines. When he got a bit older still, more than my brother, he was my friend, my buddy, my confidante. We took turns playing straight man and funny man. I know that since our childhood he’d gone out into the world and touched an amazing number of people, and though I was happy to share him, I always thought of him as mine first.
I’ve spent some of the past few days going through our emails, instant messages and texts, most of which are really hilarious but unfortunately entirely inappropriate to share in this setting. If you know my brother you can imagine the content. You’ve probably had similar exchanges with him. Continue reading
-by Clinton St. John
I don’t know where to start. I can’t stop thinking about Chris. I just revisited the site and tears are flowing again like I just found out. I miss that guy so damn much. Its obvious how easy it was to take Chris for granted.
There was never a moment where I felt it was necessary to break it down like an equation what an amazingly kind genius that dear sweet man was. And now its all there’s left to do. I wish I could have been here for the celebrations of Chris’s life but I was in Cuba and couldn’t make it back. Looking back I wish I would have made it home somehow, not that it would have changed anything but it would have been good to be with our friends. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you and your family, and I offer my sincere condolences. Continue reading
Reposted from AaronLeaney.com / Multiphonic Sounds
I am sad to hear of Calgary guitarist Chris Reimer’s passing. We just shared a stage on the 8th of February this year where he saved my opening set that night lending me a missing power supply and cable, reassuring me that he was, “happy to help”. He performed solo electric guitar which shined with beauty; I remember feeling like I was in church or in a spiritual ritual hearing bells of cosmic light that filled my soul. Reimer will probably be best remembered as guitarist for the Calgary band Women but I think this set in particular deserves some introspection and meditation – it shines with beauty.
Recorded by Brad Hawkins, February 8th, 2012 at Weeds Cafe, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost, 1923
From S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders
Johnny: It’s like the mist is what’s pretty, ya know? All gold and silver.
Johnny: Too bad it can’t stay like that all the time.
Ponyboy: Nothing gold can stay.
Johnny’s last lines to Ponyboy: Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.
WE LOVE YOU CHRIS
I knew Chris in a very general sort of way, mostly acquainted through mutual friends and from going to shows etc. We spoke only a handful of times; I always had a “bro crush” on Chris and wanted to pick his brain about pedals or talk about deerhoof records…
I was lucky enough to see him perform very intimately, quite literally in my kitchen for what must have been a very early “Women” gig and one of the last shows “Azeda Booth” shows as a sextet…. quintet if memory serves Marc wasn’t present.
Even though I wasn’t close with him, Chris had this “sunshine prince” quality that made you feel like you had been pals your whole life when you were around him….everyone already has said so many wonderful truths about him, much better than I ever could. Continue reading
I have known Chris for about 10 years, and had the fortune to travel around the world with him, faking my way as some kind of tour manager for the band he played in with the Flegel brothers and M. Wallace. I have been blessed to have spent so much time with him. Chris and I were close, and I know we would have been friends forever. In a way now, we are friends forever.
Chris attracted the best people, and this last week in Calgary has been amazing. Thank you Nikki, and your whole family. Chris loved his family in a way that is uncommon, and you guys meant so much to him.
Lots of love,
As a musician Chris would continuously blow my mind and as a friend he was endlessly hilarious, kind and genuine. I met him in 2007 and he quickly made a huge impact on my life. I feel very fortunate to have known Chris and to have been able to make music with him. He was a sonic prophet and a hero. I loved him and I will miss him a lot.
I don’t really know what to say about Chris that hasn’t already been said. He was an amazing musician and an even better friend. I met Chris 5 years ago and in that short time he managed to make a pretty big impression on my life. He was among the most humble of men, never too concerned about himself and always ready to lend a hand and help out with anything. He was always in a good mood and always had something ready to add to any conversation. Chris was, is, and always will be an inspiration to me in both music and life and he will be missed.
I really looked up to Chris. He was an amazing person, an amazing musician, and an amazing friend. It is rare that you meet such a genuine person and I will forever love and miss him. He has inspired and encouraged me to execute some of the proudest accomplishments in my life. Having the privilege to make music with him was mind-blowing, to say the least… a truly inspirational person, a personal hero of mine, and a great friend… never a dull moment. I really can’t explain how much I will miss chris. Chris you make me strive to be a better musician and a better person…love you man.
I had the incredible opportunity of seeing Chris perform with Women a handful of years back in Denver, CO. I only met him in passing that night but I knew he was a beautiful human. From the first moment I heard Women’s self-titled album, he became one of my guitar idols and will forever be an inspiration to me and musicians all over the world. Even though I didn’t know him, he will remain in my heart forever.
I miss you, Chris.
Filed under tributes, words
Remembering Chris Reimer
Fast Forward Weekly writers pay tribute to deceased Women guitarist
Published March 1, 2012 by Fast Forward Weekly writers in Music Features
In a city with an experimental music scene still small enough to feel like one big family, it’s been impossible, this past week, not to sense the loss of one of its most tender souls and talented players, Women guitarist Chris Reimer. He passed away in his sleep last Tuesday, February 21, most likely from complications related to a heart condition. He was just 26. Many of us knew him by his impeccable wit, killer hugs and mischievous blue eyes, and many more knew him by his otherworldly command of the six-string, able to issue ethereal torrents of noise and shimmering, hypnotic riffs with equal skill and grace. He will be missed, remembered, and then missed some more, forever. His sister Nikki has set up a memorial blog (christopherjohnjosephreimer.com), where you can read about the myriad ways Chris left deep imprints on everyone who knew him, and see pictures that show the myriad ways he was a total goofball. Love you, bud. Continue reading
My name is (william) James (J.J.) Mathison — people tend to decide what name I go by… Chris called me Jimmy. I like that.
I have been punishing my soft little brain for days to find the right words to express my sorrow to you and your family, to all friends of Chris, to myself. Mostly I have been drinking; trying to make some sense of it all. We did a lot of that together, Chris and I.
We didn’t rely on finding the right words too much when we were together. No doubt Chris had them there, somewhere in that sad-brilliant mind of his.
We drove around. We were fucking hilarious. Everybody knows Chris was fucking hilarious.
We hugged a lot.
Smart people tend to be intuitively unhapppy. Chris was un-happy a great deal when I knew him best. This made sense to me.
Stupid-happy people are boring. Sad-smart people are interesting. Chris was really goddamn interesting. I think we bonded.
(in case you’re wondering: sad-stupid people need to just cheer the fuck up already.) Continue reading