I was totally blown away by the news that Ryan Sumner died suddenly on Saturday, apparently from a bloodclot in his leg that had dislodged and made it's way to his heart. Ryan, a popular guy to say the least, was a friend and past bandmate and a really cool dude.
I first met Ryan in May of 2000, when Dan Jones invited me to play a gig with he and Ryan at Tiny Tavern, sight unseen, no rehearsal. What ensued was a great sloppy, noisy set that included both "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young and "Expressway to your Skull" by Sonic Youth. Totally fun, we later formed Activator, Ryan, John Laney and I, first playing as a trio and then later Dan rejoined at Ryan's request. During our trio days, I recall fondly a Vet's Club gig where we were on fire, playing much better than usual. I jumped up on the small, fence-like wall in front of the stage and ripped out a solo to whatever song we were doing. I looked back and Ryan was just grinning, really digging in and rocking hard. Shucks. I wish I had been more in touch with Sumner lately; I miss his sarcasm, humor and brilliant observations on music and life in general.
Rock on, Ryan! We'll see you on the next go 'round.