Randy Julius impacted my life as the bringer of immense joy and community.
~ Jacquelyn Rose, Publisher, BuzzAround.Info
Dale and the Duds created frozen moments in time where we all sat in our stadium chairs and on blankets, toes in the grass, enjoying the guys playing on whatever stage, gazebo or trailer set up for them.
We would watch the children bounce around to music we all knew. We would talk to our neighbor and visit with each other. During the BuzzAround’s first years, I would publish their whole summer schedule, knowing for some, the four times they played in East Bridgewater was just not enough.
Randy’s smile, ready. His quirky humor, constant. To heal, we’ve started to share Randy story’s; in person, on social media, anytime we talk about him. “Randy once joked the first band name for Dale & the Duds was ‘American Cheese’ when band-naming conversation was had in a convenience store.” Tom St.Thomas mused: “a band could be named anything… there are doors. It could be named ‘ Doors,’ here is some american cheese, it could be named ‘American Cheese,’ ”
What strikes me about Randy stories was the joy he had in sharing himself. A funny insight, a silly song, a bit of knowledge, encouragement to try something.
Here are two personal stories all about encouragement. My son, then in his teens, heard I was to stop by for a quick visit with Mary. With hopes he would see Randy, he grabbed his guitar. When Mary and I were done talking, I found them outside, Randy giving TJ advice on how to practice bar chords with The House of the Rising Sun. Gracious and kind, giving his time and encouragement to an eager young musician.
This was not unusual. This is what he did.
TJ was in Bye Bye Birdie at EBJSHS in 2014. At the end of the play, a teen- aged 50’s/ 60’s tribute band played. They looked like the mop-topped Beatles and called themselves “Four-in-a-Row.” I immediately became a groupie, enthralled by the campy and fun concept. The energy and delivery of these teenagers gave songs I knew (too well) a new life. That July, BuzzAround hosted an open-air market & I arranged for them to play. Mary texted me ” Randy will be stopping by to see them.”
Four-in-a-Row was on their last song when Randy arrived. They played two more. After that, Mike Quaglia, Dan Cohen, Peter Lee and Gus Muscato had a fan. Randy encouraged the boys, asking them to open at a Duds Concert on EB Common. Then Dale & the Duds opened for Four-in-a-Row for a music dept fundraiser at EBJSHS. They would go on to play together a handful of times. Mike Quaglia, guitarist for Four-in-a-Row, remembers: “Randy came to some of our shows, even came to one of our band rehearsals in my parents basement. Any time I would go see the Duds, Randy would call me up on stage to play with them… he would hand me his guitar.” Four-in-a-Row went on to do what every teenage band can only hope for… they were booked regularly; Sweet 16 parties, graduations, local pubs, and Duds shows for hundreds of people. They worked hard to achieve that success, Randy saw that and gave them opportunity and encouragement.
That was Randy, sharing himself. That was his magic, and how he touched so many. That glimmer in his eye showed you that there is joy… joy in learning, joy in doing, joy in being together, the joy in being in tune with the earth. I hear it in every Randy story.
Through the grief and the shock that has been in our collective psyche this week, the sharing of Randy stories has been healing, keep it up, remember his joy! There is no memorial service planned at this time, allowing family much needed space for healing but we can grieve together through our story sharing.