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Michael Strassman: 12/29/59-6/30/07

My brother, Michael Strassman, would have been 59 today. He was a videographer, photographer, rock climber, and lots of fun to be around. We put up a website dedicated to the work that he had done in his life and you can visit to see his videos, photos and read some of his writings. He loved all kinds of music and he and I shared a love of the English and Celtic folk-rock music of our adolescence.

I dedicated my 3rd recording, “Fond Desire Farewell” to Michael and this was what I wrote:

Transformation Through Devastation

“As an impressionable teenager almost 40 years ago, I stumbled upon a genre of music that not only changed my life, but also deeply affected my younger brother, Michael. Groups such as Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span gave us a connection that wasn’t shared by our other three siblings and through the years, got us through “each pothole and bump in the road”.

He was excited to know that I was working with Dave Mattacks, whose credits include the three aforementioned bands, and Michael was looking forward to hearing the results. Alas, it was not to be; after a five-year battle with a methamphetamine addiction, Michael left us in 2007. After Michael’s death, Dave and I began preparing these songs for recording. As we progressed, I was finding that they became more meaningful. Studying each song, the realization came to me that there were bits of Michael’s 47 years in the stories that were being told.

It’s been a year since we said goodbye to my brother and I can say with certainty that this recording project was a large part of my healing. I have been very fortunate to work closely with Dave Mattacks and Mike Barry. With “Fond Desire Farewell” I feel a connection to those sounds that formed an impression on my brother and I in the early 1970s. I have been given a great gift and opportunity; Michael would have approved.”

Below is a slideshow I put together of Michael’s photos, all of them taken in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains where he lived for more than 30 years. The song is “Wall of Stone” by Chris Moore and was one of the songs from “Fond Desire Farewell”.

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