Last week a treasured friend and brother to many in the Revere, Mass., music scene passed away after fighting cancer for several years. I didn’t know Gary Cioffi nearly as well as many of you, but he touched my life all the same.
Gary and I were connected on Facebook, where I enjoyed the jokes he posted almost every morning. I also followed his cancer battle, which he waged with grace and humor. I’ll miss those posts.
Shortly after he connected with me, he sent me a private message asking if I remembered him. I had to admit that I hadn’t. He reminded me that his mom used to babysit my siblings and me in the 1970s. My memory kicked in when he mentioned how he used to play the piano we had in the living room. I was barely beyond toddlerhood at that point, and the memories are fuzzy. But I remember images and sounds.
I connected with him online because he was part of my hometown music scene. A lot of Boston’s best bands have their origins in Revere, most famously MASS. I wanted to see who was doing what, and I quickly discovered that Gary was a central player in the scene, drumming for the band That’s That.
He played the places I remembered as a kid, including Bill Ash’s Lounge.
His helping me to reconnect with my hometown musical roots is the thing I’m most grateful for.
To those who were close to him, I offer you my sincere condolences.
Peace be with you.
And thanks again, Gary, for giving me a glimpse into your world and reminding me where I came from.