This is written in memory of my friend Daniel Drew Bailey. Drew was also Drew Blood, poet, art nouveau romantic, Joan Crawford fag, proud headstrong do-ragged post HIV, post hardcore punk artist and loner. Homeboy. I loved him unreservedly, because as Regi says elsewhere here, Drew was like a magnet or a force that attracted love to those that knew the innards of his soul. His heart was corny at the core but full of love. God, how I miss his hacking coughing laugh, his beautiful apartment crammed with a million pet things from genuine Euro-decadent art, to legless Barbies. All empty now, or perhaps home to someone who has no idea who used to live in that space.
God, how I miss not having to explain anything to Drew. We had a telepathy going on. I remember how we would synchronize. In 1991 we both got into Nirvana the same week, we would call and write letters the same day.
Drew was your ideal and idealised friend. Drew never disappointed me. Yes he did. When he died the first time in 1992, a rehearsal for death in the form of his last suicide attempts, I thought I would die of grief, but I was angry underneath the grief. He had no right to remove himself from the 'stage' dammit. But of course he supplied us with one of the great modem day hoaxes of all time. He and Hemingway could both claim that 'Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated', and have it be true.
I am anxious that this is perfect. Drew deserves a perfect tribute, Will it be? He had a tattoo of a blue circle on his hand done by his great love Randy. But the circle is crooked. In Drew's words,'Imperfect, like life'. So perhaps it's best if this story is imperfect, like life, inkblots and cankers and all. In 1995 Drew had a great summer. Randy was staying. They went to the beach. Drew was invited to the recording of X's new live album, and there he met up with Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks who put him on the guest list for their next Riverside show which was another great weekend. They got to see Mike Watt, and Drew called me long distance often to tell me about some new network he had gotten into with whoever, it was a fertile time for Drew. He was interviewed by Rodger Grossman and Brendan Mullen for the Germs film. Drew was finally gaining some kind of belated celebrity for his years in the underground. I was so happy. Drew was hyper. That was the last perfect summer. Drew's dermatological disease hadn't yet got out of control. He had fallen in love again at the HIV retreat camp in Sequoia, but there was always a burnt underside to Drew's piece of toast. Manic. Obsessive, depression. As soon as he would call me about the benefit concert that Courtney Love and Bikini Kill were doing for him and the Inland Aids Project, he would go into a cold blue downer for a few weeks...
In 1996, he was hospitalised forcibly by the local police department when he refused to leave the county hospital, and had to endure two forced psychiatric stays at the request of his family. He considered suing the county and the Riverside P.D. That was also the Xmas that Drew's Father died and he ended up reading the eulogy at his funeral service. The faggot prodigal son, returned to read words of love over his Dad, because none of the other heartless creeps could match Drew's love.
Drew contracted Tuberculosis. He sent me blood soaked I tissues in the mail as a reminder of his contagion and his name 'Blood'. Well, nobody ever said Drew was in charge mentally in his last two or three years. I loved him, and it didn't matter. In 1991, we began an epic letter to each other on cassettes that ran until 1998. Drew would tell me all that had happened in his last two weeks, and I would do the same, we must have sent over a hundred, but I have only got a few left now, Drew always said they should be disposable pieces of information and not kept, so like a fool I believed we had forever... Life is full of regrets isnt it? The last letter tape I sent was in february of 1998, and Drew received it blank, I had accidentaly taped it all on the erase button. When I called soon after and found out that Drew was in the Riverside AIDS hospice, from Mrs Bailey his stepmother, I think my eight years of denial that Drew was going to ever die of this disease was finally over.
Larry Bob who is kindly donating this space in HOLY TITCLAMPS for this, says that the memorials for Drew should be in place by the summer. Drew I know, wished I that some of the people he discovered as self-published poets like A. Razor, Kim Landry, and the rest, would one day be household names, and that that fame would be memorial enough. He once said to me that when he died his life would just be so much paper with writing on and no I more, I disagree, we live on, and we remember.