simply crushed. a more gentle, passionate, unassuming, and humble man is hard to imagine, and with (largely unrecognized) talent of a very rare level... the kind of talent i believe comes around on our planet extremely rarely...
last Saturday, the day before i flew out of LA, the day before this tragedy took place, he called at around 3 PM, and we had a 20 some minutes conversation. i remember it very well... i was standing outside of the Apple store on Melrose... he told me about his new record, which was a long and arduous process, because the mastering place compressed the sound like a pop record, cutting off the sustained sounds and echoes, so that each note faded to silence -- NOT what Rod intended. and they would not give him his money back so out of his own pocket he re-pressed the record, and made only 50 copies. he told me that he had saved a copy for me, and if i had time to come by and pick it up... leaving the next day and trying to get ready, i asked him to send it to me in Germany... along with some CD-R copies for me to pass around the new-music / improv festival in Vienna in July. he was happy that i offered to try to get him gigs in Europe. and I was happy to offer as he is the best, there is no doubt in my mind, in the field of microtonal solo acoustic guitar, period. and the best the LA underground has to offer. he continued to reflect on the (dreary) improv scene in LA compared to that of England, his home country, where he has played with Derek Baily, etc. it was a lovely exchange.
he was so very devoted to his art. he played at a show i organized a few years ago, and the fluidity of the playing was incredible. it was funny that while he was doing unbelievaly complex chords and polyrhythms he was looking around at the space, and the projections going on behind him, seeming to be occupied with the objects and people around simultaneously as his fingers plucked with a mind of their own... it was so natural, a 6th sense.
he did not care about anything else; money, fame, was all beside the point. he had called to thank me when i posted Death Adder on this blog many months ago, expressing that all that was important to him was for people to hear the music...
and now this momentary, sensless, meaningless act of brutality has taken a great gift to all of us, to mankind, away from us... life is so very fragile... and the psychopaths out there far out number the angels.
rest in peace Rod. you will be missed.
PS: if anyone missed Death Adder, I would be obliged to post. also I will also share with you his "December 1996" recording sometime soon.