Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Founder of Nashville's Dead and D. Watusi Bassist Ben Todd Dies at 24 [Updated]

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM

It is with very, very heavy hearts we report to you the following: Founder of local rock blog/record label Nashville's Dead, bassist for D. Watusi and widely beloved champion of local rock and all things positive, Ben Todd, passed away yesterday at the age of 24. Details are slim, and all we can confirm is that a close friend found him yesterday in his home.

Todd's Nashville's Dead, founded in the summer of 2009, has long served as a hub for Music City's ever-growing punk, indie and garage-rock scene. ND's annual rock festival Freakin' Weekend — scheduled this year for March 7-9, though no details have surfaced on how the fest will proceed — is slated to be their fourth.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Todd — who blogged under the moniker "Forever Young" — on more than one occasion. But more than that, I had the pleasure of existing in and reporting on a scene that Todd helped shape not only with his seemingly inexhaustible passion for rock 'n' roll, but with his boundless positivity and goodwill. Anyone who frequented local rock 'n' roll shows was no stranger to Ben's smiling face, his readiness to lend a helping hand to touring outfits, and — for a time — his willingness to invite freaks, punks and even the occasional rock-fan nerd into his home.

We at the Cream and the Scene are shocked and dismayed at this news, and at a time like this, there's nothing we could possibly write that would ease the pain of all those affected by this loss. We will of course report any news regarding funeral arrangements* or donations that we're able to uncover, and if you have updates or warm memories you'd like to share, we ask that you please do so in our comments section or by reaching out to me directly (prodgers[at]nashvillescene[dot]com).

Rather than fumbling at anything else, perhaps it's most suiting that I leave you with some of Todd's own words. Just a few days ago, on his final Instagram post — a characteristically modest and artistic self-portrait — Todd included the caption "I love you," going on to include a second comment: "really though — hope you all know that I love you."

Good night, Forever Young.

Update: Over at Nashville's Dead, Todd's close friend, D. Watusi bandmate and fellow ND contributor Dillon Watson posted a statement. We've block-quoted it in its entirety after the jump.

* Update No. 2: Ben's older brother Matt just reached out to us to share the following: There will be a visitation tomorrow, Feb. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., and another visitation Friday, Feb. 15, from 1-2 p.m., with the funeral to follow immediately. Both visitations and the funeral will take place at St. Edward. We've also received word that the folks behind Freakin' Weekend IV intend to proceed as planned. More details on that to come.

Update No. 3: You can now see our full obituary here.

Nashville, Tennessee lost its greatest asset yesterday. Ben Todd (b. 1988), party thrower, blog creator, record label owner, photographer, bass player, son, brother, boyfriend, and best friend, has passed on.

As you can imagine, Ben’s presence will be especially missed here around Deadquarters. We’re all at a loss for words and still trying to figure out just how to keep going. We can’t say things will be the same, but know this: the party cannot be stopped as long as the Young People will it to be. Ben loved Nashville and lived to see the End sell out on a Monday night, and we’re gonna do our best to keep that going.

Ben Todd, I LOVE YOU!

Everyone else, I’ll see you at Freakin Weekend IV.

Dillon Watson
13 February 2013

Watson followed his statement with lyrics from Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" (from the album of the same name).

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