January 4, 1967 – August 7, 2019
David BERMAN was born on January 4, 1967 and passed away on August 7, 2019.
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August 14, 2019
It’s weird when someone’s voice has been in your house nearly every day for 20 years and you never met. That voice was a sibling and friend, leveling with you in clarity and then challenging you with what became an expected brilliance in the paint: pivots that didn’t just move you on the court but transferred you to a new arena entirely.
The closest I ever came to him was about 10 feet away during the opening act at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland 11 years ago. Everyone, including David, were gawking up high at the members of Monotonix. We were tasked with passing the band above our heads, instruments and all, around the room while they rocked very well. I thought: this is my chance to say hi and wish him well for the show! Even if I got hit by the drumkit it seemed like “the chance.” I passed and it’s ok. I wouldn’t and didn’t want to erase the delight I saw in him watching those crazy sons of guns pedaling their wares. It was a beautiful image of him smiling sooo big.
What you gave us was more than enough, David. I’m ever grateful. You were someone I can still rely on to level with me and mine for the next twenty years.
August 14, 2019
It's hard for me to express just how much David's words and music have meant to me since I discovered him nearly 15 years ago. From the moment I heard the opening guitar riff to "Punks in the Beerlight," I was hooked. Few, if any, people have influenced the way that I view and interact with the American landscape as much as him. He wasn't required to share his work with the world, but he did, and I'm so thankful for that and the positive impact he's had on my life.
August 14, 2019
There's not a lot I can say that hasn't been said already by someone at some time. I'm really going to miss musing over words with you. Searching for meaning behind everything.
I've spent the last week reading emails we sent to eachother looking for something meaningful to write here. Two things struck me. Firstly you helped shape me into a better writer by telling me that I should stop trying to tell a story and use words to make people feel their own story. Secondly every know and then we would touch upon something and you'd be giddy with excitement over it, like we had found a door in our house we'd never used before. This is the hardest part of you leaving us so soon. I just know that there was so many more doors we could have found together so many more things we could have tried to deconstruct and find meaning.
I'm saddest because now I have to find meaning without you.
Thanks for being my friend.
I hope you've found peace.
August 13, 2019
David was my only friend through some of the lowest parts of my life. We’ve never met, but few people have had such an impact on me. I thought I’d get to meet him someday, to tel him what his words meant to me and many others.
His latest album felt like an old friend showing up on your porch to tell you things aren’t and haven’t been okay, but that if you could just spare a moment to listen that he’s ready for things to be better. It turned out to be a goodbye note, instead.
I’m sorry things were hard.
“When the dying’s finally done and the suffering subsides all the suffering gets done by the ones we leave behind.”
August 12, 2019
What an incredible artist. In his recent interview on the Kreative Kontrol podcast, you could tell he was struggling. He also described that he thinks in fragments, not narratives, which explains is amazing ability to reinvent language line by line in his art. Purple Mountains is an incredible project. Maybe it just wasn't enough for him; maybe nothing ever could be. I hope you feel better now David, wherever you are.
IN THE CARE OF