When I was seventeen I used to ditch school a lot. I would sit in this
park with my headphones on and rock out until it was time to finally try and make a class or two. This is when I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I wanted to make music. Music meant something. I didn't know how to play a single instrument and I couldn't sing to save my own soul, but I knew this was what I was going to do.
A month later I get this phone call from a guy named Jim Cherry. He had
gotten my number from a friend of a friend and heard I was a kid looking for a band. He played me a song he was working on over the phone (a song today known as "Support Your Troops") and I was floored. All I had was a thousand notebooks filled with words, but then Jim comes along and asks me to step up.
This was the beginning of Strung Out and the start of a relationship that
wasn't always good, but always brought out the most in us. When I heard Jim had died this was the first memory that came to my head. Jim gave me my first chance to do what I had been put here to do and for that I love him.
He had more talent than I could ever recognize and he taught me how to be a real musician. Jim Cherry was one of the most creative people I have ever met and one of the most destructive. For this reason, at times our friendship could not survive. He put his heart and his brains into everything he did and he truly cared about music.
When we chose to go our separate ways, I always felt he could pull off
anything he tried. He did so much for Strung Out and Pulley. I knew he
would find new ways to relieve himself of the sadness and anger we all know he carried inside. Here I am now writing this letter to explain to myself his passing. I haven't spoken to Jim in about four years. Our friendship passed and our lives separated. We make our decisions and do what we think is best. I wrote some pretty special songs with Jim Cherry and I hope he is in a better place now..with his guitar!!!!
Jason Cruz, Strung Out
According to the official Fat Wreck Chords site, Jim Cherry died
on July 7 from an accidental overdose of Soma (a muscle relaxer).
Source: Jason Cruz, Strung Out