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Mike Randle


Day 36 Happy Birthday On The Saddest Of Days
March 8, 2004

Woke up around 9;30 and had a walk around. But it was Sunday and nothing I MEAN NOTHING was open. and, I should mention this; in France, on the sidewalk is puppy poop EVERYWHERE you go. ok, I said it. the drive to Colmar was simply gorgeous. Colmar is one of the prettiest, unspoiled places I’ve yet to witness. we checked in at about 5 pm and it was still light outside by 6;30. Dave Green was a bit under the weather and decided to stay in bed while the rest of us (minus the singer, who had other plans on his birthday) was ready to set off in search of historical landmarks, beautiful cathedrals (I am a sucker for cathedrals….blame my mom, who was brought up a strict catholic but has sense denounced) and also in search of a proper public house (or PUB, as most people know them as…) it was at this time that Daddyo got a text from his wife, Traci; our former manager and friend for 8 years had passed away. Gene Kraut had died a week earlier. We were all speechless. we knew it was coming but we werent ready for it. you never are. it was a little more than a year ago in los angeles when he was diagnosed. what we thought was a routine earache and headache turned out to be worse than we anticipated. it was a bad day but Gene was an optimist. or maybe he was putting on a brave face. either way, he was a brilliant man, a visionary, a wonderful father to his 2 daughters, and a great husband to his wife. and a great son to his father, whom he took care of for a year -even moved his family from sweden to new york – to make sure his dad was taken care of. casue Gene was that kinda guy. and, he and i had our differences. but it never got in the way of our friendship and there was no misunderstanding we couldn’t straighten out. I meant to call him right qfter the new year. i said i would. my own life took an emotional spin and i got caught in a whirlpool of things. and then this tour. and I regret not calling. somewhere; someone is playing Jonathon Richmands song, ROAD RUNNER. That was the first song Gene played on his Swedish radio show, BANDIT FM. their motto? ” Swedish Radio sucks. We suck less! ” and so, I’ll leave it at that. Thank you, Gene. Love you man. Have a safe journey and know you played an important part in touching many people. and now they have forever changed thanks to you.

Gene Kraut, on the Road in 2002 with the guys

Mike Randle


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