Sunday, April 1, we gathered to celebrate Solomon’s life and wish him God-Speed into his new adventures beyond this physical life. So many friends and family filled Angelico Hall, at Dominican in San Rafael. Here I offer my speech, and will post a gorgeous musical tribute by the two Terrys – Terry Riley on piano, and Solomon’s Terry-Dad, Terry Haggerty on guitar. These two musical masters had never played together before this tribute to Solomon.
It is good to be here with all of you, here to celebrate Solomon.
When Shabda and I were in our late twenties we met Joe and Guin Miller. These amazing elders were real Godparents. They led a walk in Golden Gate Park every week. On holidays there were sometimes more than a hundred people walking from the Hall of Flowers to the ocean. I used to meet with Guin and a group of young women she invited to her apartment above the Theosophical Lodge in SF – some of you have been there – and she would play the piano for us, then we would talk and eat cake. Once I got up the courage to ask her about how it really was for her to have lost her son in the war. Her boy and Shabda had the same birthday. She was quiet for a minute, then said, He’s still with me. She was smiling. I didn’t get it. I thought she was hiding some terrible grief. Now I understand.
When Solomon was just a week old, Joe Miller gave me a large ring for him. When he was grown, I tried giving it to him several times but he said – You keep it, Mom. (He didn’t wear rings). That ring was set with a Mariam Stone, from the formation of the Himalayas, an alchemist’s stone which allows the wearer to “keep cool under pressure and allows him to transform grave, even hopeless situations into creative and positive ones!” I wear it now.
When Solomon turned eleven, and my Uncle Willy, Senator Bill Proxmire had served in the Senate for 29 years, Shabda, Solomon, and I went to Washington DC for a visit. Imagine this: Solomon and his father sitting in the Senate dining room each dressed in suit and tie. The great liberal Teddy Kennedy stopped by the table. So did extremely conservative Jessie Helms, who nodded to us and turned to Solomon – who somehow managed to really look like a small-sized politician – and said, “Well, you look like a fine young man,” then reached out and shook Solomon’s hand. Solomon had the uncanny ability to be at the energetic pitch, and fit in wherever he found himself. After he left, my uncle leaned toward his great nephew and said: “He’s one of the bad guys!”
What a lucky mother I am to be invited to Burningman with both Ammon and Solomon 5 times! In 2003, Ean Golden took me and my good friend Wendy Carlisle in the open top bus where he DJ’d the night-time cruise. Way out on the playa stood a gigantic Steel frame that held five rectangular rock slabs – each supporting ten or more people – that swung gently from chains. That evening a sizable crowd filled the space below. As our bus slowly approached that lit-up scene we heard the beats, tum tum tum, tum, then the sound of Solomon’s music over an enormous speaker system grew louder. There he was, at the turntable, spinning in the portable playa DJ studio, making people happy. What a party! How many moms get to do that?
In 2004, while traveling and working in Europe, his curiosity lead him to search for the Jewish Cemetery near Cologne, Germany. Finding it locked, he leapt the fence, found and photographed the tombstone of his namesake Solomon Solomon, his great-great grandfather; the beloved patriarch of a family that no longer existed in Germany.
He took me to see the film Scratch, when it first came out. He explained about the DJ genre and the legendary Philippine scratch-masters. So when he gave me a photo of himself with Mix-Master Mike at the Warriors game, I framed it and put it on the wall. A few months later we had our house painted, and a surly painter stopped in his tracks and asked me, who is the guy with Mix-Master Mike? That’s my son, I told him. I wish you’d seen his face! He was really nice to me for the rest of the job.
One afternoon, when Shabda was traveling, Solomon called and asked if he and Nicole could pick me up and take me to GunBun Winery then out to dinner in Sonoma. That wine-country estate goes back to 1858! Solomon introduced me to the owner, who seemed to be really glad to see my son. What an afternoon! The ride through the wine country with Solomon and Nicole in his then white Audi, with new mixes he wanted to share, followed by dinner at The Girl and the Fig on the Square. Much laughter and fun ––even with his mom. That was Solomon.
Then there was Las Vegas. He got me compt’d a pool-side room in the Hard Rock Hotel, where he and Chris Clouse played a dinner set on Tursdays. At 1AM he was to play the Taboo Room in the MGM Grande. I had my friend Palden with me and we took a cab. The lobby is enormous. There was a pounding beat, and a long line to get in. I addressed the bored looking Hollywood-type who held a clip board at the door. I’m DJ Solomon’s Mom! I shouted. He looked at me deadpan, took in the dreads, my age, my clothing. Then he said: Well, that’s a first! And stamped my hand and hers. We went in and waited for Solomon. Soon, I saw him. He arrived and connected his computer to the sound system and began, no introduction, and no more than 6 seconds between the exiting DJ’s last tune and his first––– all without slowing down the momentum – I understood. DJ Solomon would be just fine doing what he did. He was a consummate professional, a star.
When Solomon cruised, he often took me with him, now it’s my turn to take him along. I recently wrote down these words:
Take me with you, Mom, into your life, and what you do. Let me bring the balance and glide of boarding into the continual challenge of your everyday life. And please keep loving Nicole….. Thank you. <> <> <>
New post of Youtube Shabda, Tamam and Chris Clouse at the memorial: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvdSk-PKNs0>
Nicole’s speech came next. Here are some excerpts: Solomon did not want to leave us grieving too long — let’s respect him that way.
Let’s let Solomon continue to be a source of happiness, energy, love and compassion.
Let’s continue to be enriched by his life, not diminished by his passing… Let’s try to make Solomon’s way of being our way of being…