This video is somewhat appropriate for the time at hand.. Art Bell, dead at the age of 72 on a Friday the 13th in the spring month of April. This was Art, healthy and alive, waving us all a grand goodbye as a drone flew above his compound in the kingdom of Nye. Pahrump… The desert where he was king.
Initially when the death news was revealed, it was strange. For some reason I woke up around 2am on the East Coast. I fell asleep listening to Clyde Lewis and awoke to him lamenting that he was often the opening act for Bell but never met him.. and now Art Bell was dead.
I was in shock.. I hardly slept from that point and immediately tuned into Coast to hear Noory conduct open lines focusing on Art.
The emotion hit about 24 hours later when I realized just what we lost. Not only a legend, but quite honestly a maverick in industry.. a friend.. someone who comforted us during some of the worst times in history. Someone who had human emotions himself, contemplating suicide after the death of Ramona.. someone who is a father of a new baby.. someone who gave us amazing nostalgic memories in only a style he could. Someone who re-branded 70s and 80s era music as a bumper to his program, complete with the WAV file of the thunder crack that he recorded himself.
His final drone video, featured with this post, fills not only me bit also fans with heartache and joy.
He was famous for not knowing if he would enter the light.. if he would think of it as a bug zapper or if he’d just brave it and figure out the afterlife in the same style he tried to question our current reality.
I post this with tears at this moment. Anyone who grew up with him listening nightly on old fashioned radios or new fangled smartphones have the same appreciation. He took us beyond where we exist.. he took us to the limits of time and space. Was he hokey at times with Mel’s hole or fear of the Oiujia Board? Absolutely. But that is what made it all better. The fact we never knew.. the fact he was neutral. Sure, you can get a sense of his thought from the tone of his voice. But boy oh boy.. you just never knew for sure..
And now things are done. Times have changed. There is no ‘return to the airwaves.’ Heather Wade will decide how MIDNIGHT tears into the night.. Keith Rowland will figure out what to do with his WEB version of events. Bellgab will figure out what’s left to gab about in the absence of the man who spawned the site. And we will collectively contemplate his time and space on this planet.. and conjure up some thoughts of his travels as he now contemplates the next realm.
For he is gone.
And we are thankful we had him.