January 16 would have been Doug Bashaw's 46 birthday and although he has not been with us since Aug. 6, 2008, it still feels like he really never left.
A Charlestown, NH native and 1982 graduate of Fall Mountain Regional High School in Langdon, NH, Douglas S. Bashaw was many things to many people; a son, brother, husband, father, friend, a well-rounded musician, comedian and sound engineer.
This editor remembers that fateful day as if it were yesterday. A very rainy afternoon when I heard of Mr. Bashaw's tragic accident, as I helplessly gazed out my window, listening to the radio as I drove home, wondering how this could be possible and hoping it wasn't.
However I digress, this is certainly not intended to be a sad story, but one of remembrance and good feelings, because that is what Mr. Bashaw did for others every day of his life.
He made people laugh, and he made people feel good through his many musial talents.
Doug had music in his blood from the beginning I am told, learning how to play the mandolin from his father at the ripe old age of three.
"Doug was about three years old and liked to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" while his dad played guitar," Doug's mom Patricia said in a recent interview.
"Doug wanted to play as well but the guitar was too big, so his dad taught him three chords on the mandolin. I guess that was the start of his musical career."
Doug started his first band, Governor, in his early teens called and this editor remembers seeing that band on TV, performing The Monkees "Stepping Stone" on the local community access show called Community Audition.
And that was just the beginning, as Doug would go on to become a favorite on the local music scene for many years as a bassist, singer and front man with such bands as Block Party, Signature, Shine and Sun King, just to name a few.
Doug also evolved into one of the best and most sought-after sound engineers in the area, constantly giving his time, expertise and sound equipment to various bands and local charity events.
Doug also worked very hard to promote the local music scene and its' many musicians, always encouraging young players to get out there and perform.
Whatever it was that a band, local artists or organization needed, Doug would do it with no questions asked.
"Doug was one of the best sound engineers in New England, and would give you the shirt off his back," Josh Parker of the local band Stonewall stated at the time of his passing.
Doug had worked with Stonewall, engineering their debut and very successful release titled What If?
Indeed, Mr. Bashaw was a very special person and talented musician, and to this day he is truly missed and not forgotten.
In fact, each year on his birthday (Jan. 16), many family members and friends trudge through the snow to visit Doug at the cemetery, cranking up Led Zeppelin on the boom box to reminisce about a man that continues to create a huge impact on the lives of many who loved him.
Indeed, heaven has one heck of a musician and sound engineer in the band. Happy birthday Doug.