Tag Archives: Real McKenzies



A towering presence in more ways than one, a true rara avis, I had the great privilege of knowing Dave Gregg since our punk rock heyday, when he presided over Fort Gore and played in Private School then DOA and the Real McKenzies. He became close to me and my family through my best friend Cathy after they hooked up. Cathy is my son’s godmother and Dave was like an uncle, an exceptionally jolly uncle and a wonderful role model with his indefatigable exuberance and generousity. Cathy’s an equally extraordinary individual and she and Dave complemented one another. They revelled in a symbiotic relationship, partners in business, life and love. The pair travelled extensively and we always looked forward to meeting up with them for a vacation or whenever they landed in Vancouver. I hold close fond, precious memories; celebrating my birthday on Molokai, kids indulged with kayaking and horseback riding, sleeping in tenatlows on the beach. During a momentous holiday gathering in Whistler, much to our delight and amazement, Dave and Cathy bestowed us all with commemorative white terry robes. One year it was cabins in Waimea Canyon on Kauai, grilling tuna steaks and mahi mahi for Christmas dinner on the Na Pali coast.  We shared many good times and bad jokes over countless meals together.

Three weeks after his departure I am only now beginning to navigate the void, assimilate the sorrow. The loss. He meant so much to us all. Yes, Dave was a consummate musician, a great showman, and a wild man who was as free as a man can be in this world. As bitingly observant and wickedly funny as he was, I never heard Dave diss anyone.  Truly benevolent, I’m certain the man didn’t have a malicious bone in his body, as they say.

Here is a poem that as I told Cathy, couldn’t bear to write in past tense. Dave will always loom tall in our home, hearts and minds.



Head of fur.

Unabashed depth charger


As a cascading river

Wilderness alive inside him

Night a badge

Over savannah heart.

Heroic trickster

Dutifully howls,

Coyote-like scatters stars

Unerringly sharing his light.