Every day, people have an impact on this world. Some of it lasts for an extremely long time, and they live to tell their stories for decades to come. Some however, are not so fortunate. Some sadly make their mark on this world, and are taken away from the living that love them.
The reason I'm talking about this might not deeply impact some, but it should bring awareness to all. Here in Southwest Florida, there is a pretty tight-knit community of up and coming musicians that are known and loved by many. One of the most well known ones in this area has been a metal band called Nine Mile Drive. This band have always been legendary in the area, drawing in crowds from all over the surrounding areas. This band has also been through several hardships that have shaken the community.
The area is experiencing yet another one, and this one is really shaking everyone up. The band's frontman, Christopher "JC" Dwight just passed away from Glioblastoma Multiforme, which is a very aggressive, and incurable form of brain and spinal cancer. This came on fairly suddenly, which means JC was luckily not suffering overly long. That doesn't change the impact his passing has caused on his family, friends and the entire community.
“It is with heavy hearts that we inform you our brother, Christopher JC Dwight, has left his body but not our thoughts and memories,” the band wrote. “JC cared deeply for everyone that he has ever come in contact with as well as everyone he hasn't.
“He would wish for all of us to keep our spirits up and wear our smiles and know that he's still with us. His kind heart and strength of character has impacted so many of us, and will continue to be an inspiration. JC has lived an amazing life and is now free to run with the wolves. #weloveyou #rip.”
I didn't know JC personally, but have a few memories that are now almost haunting to me. The very first time I met him, he insisted I stick with him and the rest of Nine Mile Drive for safety. This was in 2012, at the State Theater in Saint Petersburg, FL. I used to manage a band called Remedy X (formerly known as We're All Virus), and had lost them at the venue. This was the first time I had ever been out of town with the band, and I had never been in Saint Pete. So, I was visibly concerned, and lost.
JC noticed and approached me, asking if I needed some help. I explained who I was, and that I was looking for Remedy X. He knew exactly who I was talking about, and suggested I wait with them until the band returned. He also made sure to introduce himself, and the rest of the band to make me feel safer.
That's the only real direct memory I have of JC that wasn't brief at several shows at various venues, such as Rack Em' Billiards or the Cigar Bar. What really sticks with me was his stage presence. This man could capture a room with his voice. Any time Nine Mile Drive would be performing, hundreds would gather, and surely shared similar thoughts to myself.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen Nine Mile Drive perform, but I can say every time I found myself thinking, "If any band is going to get out of Fort Myers -its Nine Mile Drive. They're going somewhere." Nine Mile Drive, among several others, can make you forget you're in a pool hall or small bar downtown.
I am so thrilled that they got to experience their dreams, and impacted so many, together as a bad. The community has really pulled together on this, and I'm so thankful for that. Chris Monaco, the band's manager and a very close friend, started a GoFundMe to raise money to help his family out with medical expenses. As of right now, they have raised over $11,000 which is absolutely incredible, but unfortunately there's still a lot to go. The goal is to reach $20,000, and everyone's hopeful to help out in this unbelievably difficult time.
I highly encourage you to donate or at least share the link. I can't imagine what his family is going through anyways, let alone having to figure out how to pay for everything. They shouldn't even have to, not after such a massive loss.
Someone else has also started a foundation in his name to raise awareness and funds for research on Glioblastoma. It may be incurable now, but perhaps with enough research, it won't take so many of lives far too soon. For more information on that please visit the Christopher Dwight Foundation on Facebook.
My heart goes out to everyone over this, and I can only hope that JC is rocking out with other legends that have passed on such as The Rev from Avenged Sevenfold, or Kurt Cobain. I'm sure Heaven sounds amazing, as it's filled such such talent that was taken from this world far too soon.
Rest in Peace, JC. You may be gone from this world, but you're never going to be forgotten.
These are just some of the happenings in the music world. There will always be something that Immortal Music did not cover, but here are just some events.