Just learned today that my childhood friend John S. Mann was killed in a car accident on Saturday, January 24, 2015. I don't know any of the details.
I grew up with John. His parents are friends with my parents which led to all five of us kids being friends. For most of our childhood, John's family lived in Pennsylvania. We would visit them regularly (usually Easter and/or Thanksgiving weekends) and I even spent several weeks during summer breaks there on their Civil War-era farm. We grew up playing with Star Wars and GI Joe action figures, re-enacting the Indiana Jones movies, camping down by the creek, climbing around the barn, exploring, etc. As we got older, our families would take summer trips to the beach together. Some of my best childhood memories were spent with the Mann family.
In 2000, when John was wrapping up his film studies, he called upon me to find bands for his full-length motion picture... The Screen. I answered the call. We met in person to discuss details (first time we'd seen each other in years and the last time I was ever at that old farmhouse in PA) and then I set to work while he continued filming and editing.
On December 8, 2000, at the film's premiere, we gathered together in Tennessee to release the soundtrack. Zuzu Bailey, a band I managed and was on the Bailey Records roster, performed live at the premiere. They performed the opening title song from the movie which they wrote and recorded for the soundtrack. The Screen was also the debut of my instrumental music and the birth of Stratos.
Thank you John for the experience. Thank you for your friendship. You may be gone but you will not be forgotten! Rest in Peace brother!