By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
I feel the need to fill in your readership on the rest of the "facts" on the life of Brad Singer ("End of a Record Run," Gilbert Garcia, May 21). Contrary to your article, Zia was not on autopilot by the time Brad was 30 years old. He had a strong work ethic and was hands-on in all major business decisions. Brad was the Zia Czar, as he called himself.
He was also a loving father who cherished his time with his family. His greatest moment was the birth of his son, Bryan, in 1984. As crazy as his life got at times, he wanted stability and a "normal life" for his kids. On kid days, every Thursday and Friday night, his greatest indulgences were large amounts of soda, not cocktails, as related by a friend. Not being able to be a soccer dad, he decided to instill in them his artistic touch. Their education began with G-rated music of his choice and escalated to music lessons. Occasionally an all-ages show or Zia benefit party were deemed appropriate. Language and drinking were kept at kid levels by most.
Brad was my fiance and husband of 16 years. We had more happiness than most couples. We were together from 1974 to 1990, before the start of Zia. Fortunately and unfortunately, I felt the need to be with contemporaries and be the straight for the kids.
As a son and brother in his family, he had to be the guiding force at a young age--perhaps leading to younger behavior at an older age. He definitely felt the need to take care of his family.
As to Brad's health, he might have been in the 20 percent to 30 percent range of severity from lupus, but when the 90 percent level means hospitalization with near-death situations, it cannot be understated. The pain can be disabling. The changes in one's body can lead to mental distress. Also being blessed with an immune disorder, I know that if your attitude isn't superior, everyday stress, even changes in the weather, can lead to severe depression.
The use of alcohol was an escape for Brad. He could feel good and be one of the guys. If people were less advantageous of his generosity, he may have had a better sense of himself.
Brad's life was one of fame, fortune and fun. Also self-inflicted.
I want to thank Gilbert Garcia for the wonderful story and tribute he wrote about Brad Singer. Brad and I went to high school together, and we maintained close contact over the years until he and Sandra divorced. He was one of the kindest, most generous and humorous people I have known. He was a great influence in my life, particularly when it came to the kind of music I listened to (although I never did become a Mothers of Invention fan like Brad). I spoke with Sandra last week, and with her info and what was written in your article, his death comes as a complete mystery. (I am a physician, and this sounded like nothing I have ever heard of. I would love to see his hospital record.)
And so, it all comes down to Brad's remains winding up in a rectangular brass box in a square marble niche in some mausoleum. I suspect that Brad could find some humor in that, but I cannot. Alas, I miss my friend.
Thank you for your moving and insightful article about Brad Singer's life and death. Brad and I went to grade school together. And though we went to different high schools--he to Camelback, I to Central--I didn't lose touch with him. His first job was at a grocery store near the grade school that was owned by my father, Stan Felix.
I crashed Camelback's 20th reunion because so many of my childhood friends went there. I saw Brad there, and we had a wonderful visit. We spoke on the phone a few times over the years, but I never knew of his feelings of isolation or loneliness. I feel a deep sense of loss and regret that I didn't do more to help him.
Thank you again for such a loving, respectful article about Brad. It was truly a tribute to his life and the way he lived it.
Gilbert Garcia's article about Brad Singer is full of negativity about a man who built an incredible empire--a man whose used-record store has played a part in the lives of everyone who collects vinyl, tapes or CDs. Was it necessary to mention one of the speakers at the funeral was corpulent? I was at the funeral; I never heard him say he was fat. That is what you meant, isn't it? What was your point?
Why not mention the awesome eulogy given by Mary McCann "The Bone Mama" from KZON? Could that be because you didn't know who she was? Her eulogy took us on a trek from Brad's beginnings in 1980 to where he wound up before his tragic death.
Yet in addition to his accomplishments, you spent a lot of time talking about his shortcomings. Why? It was a standing-room-only funeral. Brad will be missed by those of us who knew and loved him. But after reading this not real complimentary article, I doubt I will miss reading anything else in your publication. And, Mr. Garcia, you really spoke to the wrong person when you spoke to a "close friend," as I don't think a real friend would ever air his dirty laundry for the world to see.