Category Archives: words

James Thomson

Chris was a dear friend. In my six years of knowing him, we formed a bond I could never forget or ever hope to duplicate. He changed my life in a thousand small spectacular ways. I am so deeply saddened to lose such a pure and true person.
My deepest sympathies go to his beautiful family, partner, friends, and followers.
With love,
James Thomson
Creatively, and personally, Chris was always a source of inspiration and encouragement. I wrote a poem for him.


Filed under images, tributes, words

Julie McLaughlin

not enough words, so so so much love. xxoo

1 Comment

Filed under images, tributes, words

Michael Whelan


I’m very sorry for your loss. I never got to meet Chris in person, but I did get a chance to see Women when they played in Dublin, Ireland in Novemeber ’08. I listen to them almost everyday and was very saddened when I was told of Chris’s death. I made this in pattern collage of his image in Photoshop and wanted to share it with you.
He was an inspirational musician and I wish I had the chance to meet him in person. Thanks for making this site.
Take care

1 Comment

Filed under images, tributes, words

Hedwig Plomp

Dear Nikki,

Such sad sad news… I’m so sorry for your loss… I have met Chris a few times briefly while he was on tour in the Netherlands with Women, he and the other lovely guys of Women and their music have made a great impact on me (and my friends). He was such a nice and friendly person. It is great you have set up this blog… Much strenght to you, Rena, family and friends.

one photo was taken at the Women/Chad VanGaalen show – VERA Groningen in 2008 by Esther
one photo was taken by me at the incubate festival 2010 in Tilburg.

Hedwig, Groningen the Netherlands Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under images, tributes, words

Emily Moore

Found these – from Primavera 2009, which is where I first met him and the whole crew.

He was on stage with Chad here, in the baking Barcelona late-afternoon sun.

Sounded magnificent, of course.

Leave a comment

Filed under images, tributes, words

Your Incredible Brother

Hi Nikki,

I am so sorry for the loss that you, Rena, your parents and family, and Chris’ friends (myself included) have suffered. Chris was a truly wonderful person–human to the core, a trait that I can imagine brought him as much pain as it did success.

Chris (and those close to him) was and continues to be a major inspiration to me. As a child, I was very musical, but lost my affinity for playing as other priorities took hold in my teenage years. I was finally tempted back into music upon seeing Chris, Mike, the Flegels and their cohort performing during my high school years. I owe much of my current happiness to them.

I rose early the morning after hearing of Chris’ passing, and began writing a poem to help myself wrap my head around it. I finished it today. I have included it for you because it represents my best effort to begin to repay Chris for his incredibly positive influence on my life.

Finally, thank you for setting up the memorial website. I am sure that its visitors are deriving comfort in knowing both their pain and fond memories are shared by so many others, as I am.

Euan Thomson


When last words ablate and death is exhumed
When harmony collapses on a lifetime in tune
In the closing climax, mind and body quiver
Into one final shudder plunges rhythm’s red river
      Tremulous yet unshakably benign
And the celestial dance resumes.

From rhythm’s black hole, a wave breaks away
Sound become matter in physical dismay
But the wave propagates, oblivious to Law
A duality of functions: an aide memoire
      Or an agent of change
And often synchronically grey.

In grief’s trough our eyes lose the peak of the wave
Confusing the now with the days gone away
In a subconscious effort to sever the tie
Neurons decay while at synapses vie
      For the road to the substantia nigra
By amnesia the road is unpaved.

But at times we are dowsed by a torrent unseen
Just moments before, now revived as a dream
By memory’s lapses retracing synapses
Awake now as rhythm, the memory elapses
      A wave weighing nothing and all:
Our matter bequest is our rhythm sublime
      Which, as harmony betrays us at the brink of our time
      And collapses on the medley of body and mind,
      Persists as a wave in a squall.

Leave a comment

Filed under words

Love From Kingston, Ontario

Dear Nikki, Rena, Chris’ parents and friends,
I’m a member of Kingston, Ont.’s campus and community radio station at Queen’s University, CFRC 101.9 FM.  Ever since we received Women’s first record, and then Public Strain, I have loved their music so very much.  In reading the outpouring of love and grief, I too feel great sorrow over losing Chris, one of our best Canadian musicians of all time.  I am buoyed by seeing so much love on the memorial website, and such beautifully kind words from people touched by Chris and his music.
I send you love and strength and my promise that Chris will never be forgotten in Kingston and the Thousand Islands.
Melissa Salsbury
host of “Under the Radar”
Queen’s Radio-CFRC 101.9 FM

Leave a comment

Filed under tributes, words

Michael Halls

I have only briefly spoken to Chris on two occasions, but I feel compelled nevertheless to share two memories I have of him.

Firstly is of seeing him recently at Weeds. Before starting, he announced that he was drunk and proceeded to play an otherworldy, powerful and downright impossible set. Part way through my friend told me that it was “transcendental”, and it was true. The fact that it was improv and that he was drunk made the kind of sounds he was creating all the more insane. Jordan is right in saying that Chris is the kind of person who would simultaneously inspire you and make you want to quit music forever.

Another is of seeing Women play at Comrad Sound maybe two years ago. It was the first show to be held there and was billed as a secret. I was set to play my first show ever there at Comrad about a month later and through working out the details of this show I found out about the secret show. Needless to say, Women floored me. While I was maybe 15 and just beginning to get into the scene, I knew at the time that this would have a profound impact on me. This show was my first all ages concert experience and it seems fitting then that Women are now my favorite band.

I can already see Chris’ influence come up in many places and I know that it will only extend further as time goes on. It is clear that we’ve lost not only an incredible musician but a deeply loved person.

I am extremely lucky to have seen him in my lifetime.


1 Comment

Filed under tributes, words

February 27, 2012

Dear Chris,

You left us approximately one week ago, right now, give or take a few hours. We don’t know exactly what time you left, but our neighbour Sandeep tells us that a meteor crossed the sky at about midnight or one o’clock that night. Apparently there was lightning. We can only assume it was you.

This guy from your Sea Vegetable series now graces my arm. I think you’d dig it; dude did a great job. Jonathon thinks it looks like a turnip, and Mom said it looks like a heart. I just see my brother.

Miss you so much.


1 Comment

Filed under images, notes from nikki, tributes, words

What more can one say? (one more story)

Hello Nikki,

I am sure you have your hands full at the moment, but I thought I would contribute yet another memory to this touching collection, and maybe you will find the time to post it. Regardless, it meant a lot to me to take the time to do it.

My name is Daniel, and I met Chris through Mike Wallace in my second year of high school. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had never had friends like that before. Chris was always so passionate about whatever subject he chose to rave about, and he had a delightful and wicked sense of humor I have not encountered again since.

Chris introduced me to so much music. We even made a bit of our own together from time to time. In the summer after graduation, us and a few ol’ boys went on a road trip (my first) to see Radiohead in Vancouver. Some of my fondest memories date back to those days. There was one night at a random campground where everyone fell asleep way too early, and him and I spent hours until daybreak smoking drum cigarettes and talking. I will remember that night for the rest of my life.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under images, tributes, words