Some surprising and incredibly sad news just arrived here, that I’m having a very hard time grasping. I wanted to drop a quick post out here, though, as I know a lot of folks who read this are fans who should know.
Natasha Shneider, co-founder of Eleven, one-time keyboardist for Queens of the Stone Age, collaborator on the Desert Sessions, inspirer of many and co-conspirator of Alain Johannes, passed away late this morning of cancer.
Update, July 3: A site has been set up to honor Natasha and to help Alain cover the medical bills from her sickness. Stop by http://natashashneider.org/ and donate whatever you can, please.
I still can’t believe it, don’t know that I ever will. It seems completely unnatural and impossible that vibrancy like hers could ever end.
I can’t really come up with adequate words right now, but will say this:
About ten years ago, not long after I moved to Seattle and was struggling to find my footing, I got the chance to see Eleven play an in-store at Easy Street. The place was packed with what felt like the entire Seattle music scene, and it was intimidating for a girl who adored music more than almost anything else, but who’d just arrived from a place where live music of any sort was a rare treat. Seeing Natasha, Alain and Jack that day introduced my mind to all sorts of possibilities, sounds, people that I would grow to adore very shortly thereafter. When I somehow worked up the courage to say a few words to Natasha later, she was so immediately engaging and encouraging that I felt a little less alone, as I’d found one more female musician that loved and understood rock and music as a whole, and the power it holds.
Thank you, Natasha. From that day on, I was fan of the music, which hit my ears at just the right moment I needed it, and a fan of yours, for giving me that first glimpse at the possibilities ahead.