Mission Accomplished in Knoxville
We made it to our third show in Knoxville last Friday. Below is an account of what happened to the best of my ability as reported to members of Soule-man's family. Historically I've never been a big Memorial Day guy but this Memorial Day weekend was such a fine send off for Soule-man that it has changed the way I view and fell about it forever. Thanks Perry, Dave, Stephen, Chris and crew!!!
Thought you two might get a kick out of this. Lilia, Christian and I caught Jane's Addiction last Friday down in Knoxville (it was our third show of their tour this year). I splurged for tickets in the pit so we were front and center for the whole show. We could literally reach and and touch these guys and it was an incredible performance.
Anyway, as they were setting up for “Jane’s Says” I encouraged Lilia to put Mike's urn on the stage since it was right in front of us. "Jane Says" was the song that was the trigger for Mike and I to reconnect and Jane's Addiction was the band that I turned Mike onto in the desert which he was always grateful for (music was foundational to our friendship). As Lilia moved forward with the urn in her hands Perry crouched down and asked “who do we have here?” I stepped forward and he put the microphone in front of me and I said it was the ashes of Soule-man and that I had served with him in the military. Who is it? He asked again. Mike Soule, Mike Soule, Soule-man I shouted louder. Lilia then told him "he was a big fan of yours and the band." Perry said, “it’s Mike, he served in the military, he was a fan of ours?” Yes we said nodding while he repeated that back to us. We explained, "it's about celebration, celebration of his life.” Perry looked at me straight in the eyes and said “a celebration?” And I said yes a celebration and he held Mike's urn up for everyone to see and he said "we have the ashes of a solider here that served us, fought for us and then he said as he held him up in different directions while saying his name, "Mike, Mike.."
The crowd started going crazy cheering and someone shouted America and then another and then the crowd started chanting “USA, USA, USA!” Perry said, “OK, yeah that's right we need that right now.” He went on, “you know you travel to these other countries and they're nice and all but the United States is the shit!” Everyone was going nuts. “And you know what makes it great?” Without stopping, “we do, me and you!” “You and me we make this country great!”
It was such an awesome celebration of everything fantastic and special that words really fail to capture what transpired. My beliefs are probably off from what you may believe but there was a lot of magic happening down there. I was so proud of Perry for doing what he did and equally proud of the reception that Mike got on stage from all the good people of Tennessee (like always he was the focal point, the core and man what a party it was). We were buzzing from the whole thing for days afterwards.
Mike was such a good and kind soul and such a dear friend that he deserves to be recognized in an honorable way. Friday was a high honor and I am glad to have been a part of it. Perry Farrell and crew made it the most memorable Memorial Day ever for us and everyone else there as well.
All our Best,