My birthday this year, October 17, was just like any other normal day, except that I was in final discussions to join a new company and was getting ready for what would be my final interview the next day. I was excited, as 2023 had been the most difficult and challenging year of my adult life, having to deal with being laid off for the first time in my life in March, at the height of the 2023 Tech Layoff run. I had had so many interviews that for one reason or another, just didn’t pan out, and I had gotten to the point where I had let go of any and all expectations from interviewing and had centered myself on the idea that whatever would be, would be. It’s all in God’s hands. So that acceptance actually helped me in this whole process, but that’s another story for another time. I had one more interview lined up and I was doing some prep work when I received an ominous facebook message from a friend from another band.
“Please call me ASAP”
I called Dave and asked if everything was ok, and he said “you haven’t heard yet, but my best friend is your drummer Sean’s cousin and he just let me know that Sean passed away this morning. I’m so sorry to be the one to have to tell you this.” I literally yelled at him “you’re fucking kidding me right?!?!” as I couldn’t believe that Sean was gone. But it was true. Sean Boyles, the guy who had been playing drums in my band for 7 years, who I had known since 1998, was gone.
I was tasked with the job of letting the rest of my band know and they both took it as expected. We were broken. One of the brightest shining lights in our lives was gone. Sean was an amazing drummer, one of the hardest hitting groove monsters I’ve ever played with. He always loved to say that he hits his drums like they owe him money. He was known throughout the region as one of the best drummers around as well as one of the coolest cats you could meet. He was a fan of music and would go to shows of the bands he loved regularly. He was also a stand-up comedian, appearing all throughout northern California, as well as building a community of comics in his hometown of Hayward with a monthly comedy blowout. He was respected and loved in the comedy community as well. It’s no wonder his GoFundMe was able to raise over $25K in 24 hours. Anyone who knew Sean, loved him. He brought smiles and happiness to any room he was in, and despite the challenges life threw at him, he persisted and never lost his light or kindness toward others who needed it. He was a giant of a man, and the love for him was evident with the incredible outpouring of help toward his family to handle his services and the attendance of so many people at his final laying to rest. it was absolutely beautiful.
I’ve been listening to Sean’s podcast alot lately, which I didn’t do when he was alive. I miss his voice, his laugh and his presence in the studio. I’ve been learning more about him through his own words and realizing things about myself that I just wasn’t seeing before he passed. As cliche as it sounds, not a day goes by where I don’t think about him, and the tears can still flow pretty quickly, as evident when I was telling my children on Christmas eve what I was thankful for, him being one of them.
Sean, you are loved and missed. I will see you again one day. I know you are smiling now, seeing how you brought so many people together. I love you, ya dirty!