Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson R.I.P.
Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson R.I.P.
March 15, 1959-March 24, 2022
By Shelley Garrett
Portland’s music community is mourning the loss of one of its hardest working and most beloved family members.
Greg Johnson, 63, fought the good fight against cancer and a stroke for a long year with the strong support of his wife, Cherie, and the uplifting help of the blues community at large. One can only imagine how difficult it was for him to lose the power of speech with all his great memories locked up. But Greg’s was a life fully lived.
Greg is survived by Cherie, his mother, Pat, and many dear friends who will miss him terribly.
A dedicated music lover and devoted husband, Greg spent decades in service to the local and national blues community and encouraged countless musicians.
His legacy won’t soon be forgotten.
Some of Greg’s local and national accomplishments:
- Board of Directors Cascade Blues Association 1998-2001
- Cascade Blues Association President 2002-2021 (president emeritus 2022)
- Muddy Awards Committee chair 1998-2020
- Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation 2016.
- Blues Music Awards (Memphis, Tenn.) stage manager for seven years
- International Blues Challenge Orpheum Theater Stage Manager
- Club 152 (at the IB) stage manager for 13 years
- Muddy Award, George Paige “Back What You Believe In” (4)
- Muddy Award “Lifetime Achievement”
- Waterfront Blues Festival emcee
- Blues historian and photographer
- Blues Notes main contributor
- Cascade Blues Association official photographer
- Journey to Memphis co-founder and chair
- I served on the board with Greg for the past several years and was struck by how calm he was, often under extreme vitriol. He listened to all opinions with respect. Greg’s love of the music and the people who make it guided him. He was so proud of the local musicians who had made it out of our beloved little town! Greg valued their accomplishments and seemed truly humbled by the friendships he made through the CBA.
So many of the tributes posted on Facebook in the first few days mention his mentorship, guidance and support. Many of those comments, along with quotes from close friends, are at the end of this article. Visit the CBA website for updates at https://cascadebluesassociation.org/
Look for a comprehensive article in the Blues Notes print edition that will be handed out at the 2022 Waterfront Blues Festival.
For those wishing to commemorate Greg with stories, photos etc., please add them to the “RIP Comments Section”.
His wife Cherie announced that here will be a Celebration of Life for Greg — details and venue will be announced soon.
Quotes and Facebook Tributes
Cherie Facebook Announcement
I don’t know how to say this in an easy or any less painful way so I’m just going to say it. My beloved husband Greg Slim Lively Johnson passed away last night. I am so sad I & the world will be without him. Portland was so lucky to have him. 25 plus years on CBA board, & being CBA President, years of dedication in Memphis, historian, photographer & writer. Multiple award recipient and A Keeping The Blues alive award recipient in Memphis. Always full of commitment, passion & integrity. The legacy Greg created will be carried on.
Gregory Vincent “Slim Lively” Johnson
March 15th, 1959 -March 24th, 2022
You are life itself without boundaries.
Greg has suffered physically for a year with health complications cancer and massive stroke. The door has been opened & Greg passed through & now is not limited to his physical body or in any more pain or trauma. Greg was with his wife when he passed away.
I can’t tell you what a loss this is to our community. Greg Johnson was a dedicated soul to the Blues community, which included the artists, the fans and others who donated their time because they loved this community. He was a music person, much like me, and that drove him to jump in years ago and help out. And his love for music was not limited to the blues. We shared music and artist likes over the years. He had also worked for a recorded music distributor here in Portland called Lieberman.
Greg would do whatever was needed to keep the Cascade Blues Association going as an organization. He championed the artists in the Northwest and especially in our state. He was always going ” Have you seen this artist yet?” or “You have to see this artist.” He was a dedicated individual because of the music and the people.
It’s been tough seeing what happened to him this past year. Something was taken away from him and from our community. there will always be evidence of what Greg made happen but now there is no Greg. It will be important to him that we all work together to keep this blues community and Cascade Blues Association alive.
This is a time we should all reflect on how Greg touched us and the community. I will miss him, not just for all he did, but because he was a great person and a great friend to me.
Twelve years ago, I started my first jam session at Hart Road Pizza. It was there that I met my friend Greg Slim Lively Johnson. At the time he was in a relationship with my friend Sue Eastman, living out in Beaverton, close to the gig. I met Sue at Hart Road while I was bartending and often served her and she and I surprised each other with a shared love for the Portland blues scene and all the players that we both knew so well. By that time, I had worked at Bojangles, and The Candlelight Room and we would go on for hours talking about those places and the great music that we had heard. Stories about those legendary venues and the personalities that worked them would fill the air for hours when we would hang out together at the bar. When I told her that I was starting a blues jam at Hart Road, she told me that she would bring her guy out to listen and before we knew it, there was Greg at every session, taking pics of us performing, getting us excited about finding more gigs, regaling us with stories of all of the people that he knew in blues and the history of the scene locally and nationally. He put me in personal contact with people that he felt I should be meeting and being involved with and a lot came of that. Greg would often hip me to music that he thought I would sound good doing and we would laugh about me playing “Cool Guitars” or “Trick Bag”. My bandmates and I didn’t know that we were standing with a such a giant friend of the blues. Over the years we found out. I learned about him passing today from an elder statesman in our community, Norman Sylvester. I can’t tell you how sad I am to have lost the best friend our blues scene has ever had. The man was of service, and I will miss him very much. Rest in peace, my friend. You deserve peace after all you’ve been through. Love and relief to your family and everyone who knew you.
Chad also shared this FB post from Greg from October 11,2012
As the night draws to a close at the Hart Road jam, it has been an incredible nearly two years. They do not realize what they are letting go. This jam has given them an identity that spread far beyond a neighborhood sports bar and pizza restaurant. Chad Rupp hosted one of the finest, best run blues jams in the region that attracted many of the best players not only on the West Side but from the West Coast. They will land elsewhere while Hart Road will once again fall into obscurity. Thanks for the fun times and farewell.
A heartbreaking loss for all who knew Greg Slim Lively Johnson.
Kind, giving, selfless, capable…A leader with vision and humility.
We are all better for knowing him ~
May his cherished wife, family and friends find comfort in the
gift of his memory and gratitude for all that was shared.
Rest in love Greg
RIP, Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson. You will be sorely missed throughout the blues world.
Cherie Johnson, I am so sorry, I simply can’t find the words to express it. Know that I will help in any way I’m able. Greg was special to me, always giving respect to my limited efforts to be a good blues musician, taking several of the photos I ended up using for profile shots. He had a great eye.
Much love to you and comfort in your mourning. If there’s any way I can pay it back, please don’t hesitate to ask.
“I owe a lot to Greg but it’s not just me. The community at large owes a lot to Greg. He supported and loved more musicians than possibly anyone else I’ve ever known. He absolutely loved music and it showed. I personally know first-hand how much he loved to support young musicians as well. Musicians who are just getting their feet wet, and for me, his support was immeasurable and inspiring. Thank you, Greg! R.IP. Greg Johnson, you will be missed.”
“He discovered so many young talents and supported their burgeoning careers. He was always looking after the tradition and the art, but the people in his community came first.”
I was gob-smacked and honored when Greg Johnson got the Cascade Blues Association to nominate my first CD “Are You In, Kid?” by Hifi Mojo, for Best Home-Produced Album in the IBC competition in 2011! But then, he was always doing nice things to support the blues artists in Portland! I’ll always remember his heart, his love of blues music and his generosity towards so many of us. His was a life well-lived and we will miss him dearly.
Jonn Del Toro Richardson
Till we meet again brother, Greg Slim Lively Johnson . I’ll miss seeing your smiling face and your embrace. So grateful you’re love passed our way, and proud to call you a brother. I know you’ll be moving bigger things there than you ever thought possible on this plain.
Keep on moving.
So many thoughts, feelings, emotions when I found out about my dear friend Greg Slim Lively Johnson’s passing. First, my heartfelt condolences and love to his wife Cherie Johnson and all his family. We are all here for you.
Greg was a wonderful man with a passion for the blues and a gift for bringing the community together. He spent countless, unheralded hours building up the blues community, not only here, but around the country. From writing articles for the Blues Notes, reviewing new releases, checking out new bands and venues, being a stage manager at IBC venues, putting on benefit shows…. the list goes on and on. Most importantly he was a good man. A man who cared about people and their stories.
I met Greg the first week I moved to Portland back in January 2007. It was at the CBA meeting, and we became quick friends. We exchanged IBC stories, discovered we had many mutual friends, and talked about our favorite blues artists in the scene. He asked me to play a meeting and was just blown away how welcoming he was to me. From that day on, we became great friends. He would stop by my shows regularly and was just so supportive of me. And he wasn’t out and about just to be seen. He just genuinely loved the music.
Every time I’d see him, he’d give me a big bear hug and we’d just sit and chat about anything and everything. He truly was family. He’d always make sure to ask to introduce my set at the Waterfront Blues Festival. I was always so honored about that. There are so many things I could say and so many memories I have…just overwhelmed a bit at the moment.
Greg, I know I would not be the musician I am today without you and your support. I love you and am going to miss you so much my friend. I’ll be playing the blues for you.
Greg gave this blues community something that cannot be measured, he was always ready to take care of business and was loved by so many. Cherie was his wife and caretaker and never gave up. Bless all of you as we mourn our great friend Greg.
When harmonica master, Paul deLay, passed away, I thought I was done with playing, that there really wasn’t anything more to say or do. I certainly acknowledged that I would probably continue to work but finding anything meaningful enough to let me actually enjoy it, while I was doing it, just didn’t seem realistic. However, Greg Slim Lively Johnson thought otherwise and he pushed back on the notion, pressing on the fact, as he saw it, that there were still opportunities, especially with this talented lady from Australia, Fiona Boyes, who he swore sounded like the reincarnation of Memphis Minnie. I mean he would not take no for an answer, so I relented and found out just how right he was.
One act of intent, by someone who cared enough to press a purposeful point — that you don’t determine when or if you hit your peak; there are other factors — opened a world where musical relevance didn’t just unfold; it has repeatedly imposed itself upon my life. It seems somewhat poetic that Greg would transition at this time, just as I prepare to wrap up the deepest, most diverse musical project I have ever known, with someone else who wouldn’t let me say no, who also holds Greg in highest regard, and who Greg insisted was another good fit for me, Ty Curtis. I only wish that you had stuck it out long enough that I could see your face when you heard it for the first time.
I miss you already, my friend.
A beautiful tribute to a man who gave so much of himself to support the music communities close to his heart…I have no doubt wherever Greg travelled he gave of himself, whatever was needed, because that was the kind of man he was. Love and healing Cherie, the Johnson Family and his many friends and fans around the world…Rest in love Greg. Blues on Beale Street Memoirs of the International Blues Challenge by Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson
It’s been heartwarming and heartbreaking to read all the fine tributes to Greg Johnson today. It’s been an honor and privilege to know you Greg and call you a friend for so many years. Thank you for your love and contribution to the music community and for the positive impact you have had on our lives. Rest easy brother, your struggle is over, and we are going to miss you dearly. Blessings, love, peace, and strength to dear Cherie and everyone he leaves behind.
Anni Piper/CBA Board
Today we mourn the passing of Greg ‘Slim Lively’ Johnson, President Emeritus of the Cascade Blues Association. His leadership was an inspiration to us all. Greg devoted more than twenty years of service to the CBA as President, photographer, writer, and historian. His generosity knew no limits when it came to the music and community that he loved. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we extend our deepest sympathy to Greg’s wife Cherie Johnson and the Johnson family. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
Today we mourn the passing of Greg ‘Slim Lively’ Johnson, President Emeritus of the Cascade Blues Association. His leadership was an inspiration to us all. Greg devoted more than twenty years of service to the CBA as President, photographer, writer and historian. His generosity knew no limits when it came to the music and community that he loved. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we extend our deepest sympathy to Greg’s wife Cherie Johnson and the Johnson family. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
There would be no major ongoing CBA community nor blues music scene here if it was not for Greg Slim Lively Johnson‘s leadership, creativity, commitment & ability to humbly bring people together. Thank You Always Greg!
A great friend, a kind spirit, and the foundation of our music community. I am heartbroken.
He will be missed
Impossible to replace Greg
Heaven just gained an Angel. Rest in everlasting peace Greg Slim Lively Johnson. We will never forget you.
At The Garages Satellite Pub
He is without a doubt an inspiration to all that had the opportunity to know him. His impressive knowledge of music, his gift to the music community, and his teamwork as the Cascade Blues Association President sure were magnificent. He will genuinely be missed. If ever there was a man that should be an angel this is the man!
Mary Hope Cummings
I want to say something profound and loving to describe the heartbreak, find the right comforting words & the loss, but there is only sorrow. The rich music life, the community, the organization building, the commitment, the passion, the hard work, the vision! And watching him finally blossom & be so happy (finally! BIG smiles) when he met you, was impossible to miss. I have HUGE gratitude for all the joy I have experienced… we have ALL experienced through his dedicated work building this blues community and connecting us to the national scene. But I just cannot give voice to all that I (we) feel. Surely, it can never match what you are feelin. I wish you an ocean of love and courage, dear one. I want to thank you PROFOUNDLY on behalf of every person who has struggled through a medical catastrophe & had a special someone to care about them and FOR them. NO ONE has done that better than you have, Cherie! My heart is joining yours today, and for a long time to come. Blessings, dear one. Many, many courageous baby steps ahead, but you are showered in blessings & courage. Here, have my heart. Maybe a huge communal heart will help bear the pain a bit less heavily. AAHHH! John Prine was with him, too! PERFECT.
Tiger Wiese Jones
Sam and I are heart-broken, he gave it his best and he packed so much into his life doing the things that he loved best. I’m so grateful that you were able to meet and fall in love and marry. You were gifts to each other and what you shared you have within you for the rest of your life. He’s always with you, never not at your side. It was an honor to know him and to have had the privilege to spend time with him. My fave was in Memphis during the IBC and then once at the Waterfront, it was late, the bands were closed and the guys were taking things down and someone was playing funk. I danced and Greg tried to get a shot, but it was dark – we all laughed. I respected and admired Greg for all the volunteer work he did, how good he was at giving, just like you Cherie – two peas in a pod. Beautiful inside and out. My heart is with you. I’m here if you ever want to just talk or have someone to walk with it. Much love and hugs. I lit a candle a few days ago and then dreamed of him that night. He looked healthy and whole. He loved you with his entire being. I’m so very sorry.
Wow, a huge loss for our community. I can’t even count the amount of shows over the years where Greg was there either with his camera or the MC of the show. He was the MC at my cancer benefits.. I’ve known Greg Slim Lively Johnson for many years and. It’s hard to imagine any future shows without him. Cherie, I hope you are doing ok. Just remember how many people love you and Greg. The last year has been full of ups and downs and unknowns, but one thing is for sure we witnessed a beautiful love story. Greg will be missed but he will never be forgotten. Rest in peace my friend and soul brother.
Jason JT Thomas
My deepest condolences to Cherie Johnson and the whole family. Greg Johnson was an intregal part of our blues scene for as long as I have been in Portland. It was when we went to Memphis that I got to fully see Greg in his element. He knew everyone, and was clearly respected by the larger national blues community. I’ll miss his voice announcing in Memphis, and at the WBF stage. Rest in peace my man.
Cherie, you, and Greg have been in my daily thoughts for some time now. I was so hoping that St. Vincent’s and their doctors would cure Greg.
His dedication to promotion of the blues music and artists in Portland and country wide is responsible for the vibrant scene we have today. Greg did all the little things behind the scenes that are necessary to continually motivate the artists to hang there. We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude.
Thank you as I know Greg has been a very happy man ever since he met you.
Today has been a day of immense sadness because another friend and pillar in the music community, Greg Slim Lively Johnson, has passed away. With his beloved, Cherie Johnson, by his side, Greg fought cancer, stroke, and seizures but the toll was more than his body could continue to take and he is now gracing the stars, curating the best playlists to make them dance. The mark he left on the entire Blues community, the Cascade Blues Association, and IBC in Memphis will be felt forever.
Greg and Cherie shared a love that was beautiful to behold and I had the honor of capturing it behind the lens on their one year wedding anniversary. I will always treasure that memory and those pictures. Cherie, we hold you in our hearts and hope that it gives you some small measure of comfort. I am so sorry that Greg is no longer with you on this earthly plane but know he will be watching over you and wrapping you in his arms.
May you rest in comfort and peace, dear Greg, we will miss you.
Cherie, I am so saddened to hear of Greg’s passing. He always struck me as a person who selflessly tried to promote others. Our musical community was so fortunate to have him so consistently and tirelessly advocate for all of us. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
One of my dearest friends Greg Johnson passed away today and my heart goes out to his wife Cherie Johnson who remained by his side and kept us all updated on Greg. Many a late night with Slim in Memphis along with a special group of people in my life during a special time of my life. Greg opened the door for my band and I to perform in Portland at The Waterfront Blues Festival and several other PNW venues. Greg loved his friends and would do anything to help accommodate trips, tours, or anything else we could dream up. Greg Slim Lively Johnson, I love you buddy.
Michael Hawkeye Herman
Greg was a dear & cherished friend. He truly made a huge difference in the lives of so many and to the music we love and share. We are heartbroken by his passing. His memory and good works will live on forever in the hearts and minds of his family and all those who had the great honor and pleasure of knowing him. We will miss him, his smile and laughter, his intelligence, his great good humor, his deep passion and support of the music and the artists who create it, his heartfelt compassion for others, and his dear friendship. RIP Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson
The Portland Music scene suffered a great loss, the Cascade Blues Association president Greg Slim Lively Johnson. Greg was good to me. Fond memories of making him smile at shows. I told him I loved playing for him, he knew his music. He knew when I was paying tribute to the greats. He really dug that roots blues music and helped propel it for many years. He loved us and we loved him. Greg gave me very kind words always with encouragement. Let me headline the CBA Christmas party, gave me a couple covers and inside stories in Blues Notes with amazing write-ups and pics. He let me tell my story and really loved our grimy, swamp stompin’ sound. Greg, you were a class act and really kept the blues scene thriving for many years! He looked out for us musicians. We all owe a ton to Greg. Please support his lovely wife Cherie Johnson in this time of need. We are all heavy-hearted with you Cherie. Greg is front row for some of the greats now. May God hold you in his palm until we meet again my friend. picture a 15-year-old kid wrapped up in trouble, just out from the detention center, doing community service to pay off my debt. I was assigned to the Oregon food bank where I ended up working the gate collecting cans for entrance at the Waterfront Blues Fest. I got blown away by searing guitar and raw power of music. The rest is as they say history. Music saved my life more than once. Where I would be without it is a scary thought. Thank you, Greg, for always keeping it in your heart. You gave me a world to live in and I will always appreciate you for that. Rest easy my friend.
Losing some friends these days. Greg Slim Lively Johnson just passed who was president of the Cascade Blues Society out of Portland – 25 years he was at the helm. Greg was also a blues historian & photographer. He loved musicians and blues music. He would come out to see my band when we travelled to Portland. He really was a huge advocate of Ben Rice & Karen Lovely, and so many other blossoming artists. Condolences to Cherie Johnson who was always by his side and has really so supportive.
He will be missed. I do hope people can begin to understand the importance of local blues societies. It’s an important part of a much bigger picture- helping blues artists to thrive, gaining new and younger fans, creating festivals. Yes, there are some societies in name only that do very little, but Greg was a star. An example of how to be a president. He created local awards, ran a hot local IBC, and he was at every BMA and IBC event in Memphis and knew EVERYBODY. We will miss you Greg and honor your life.
R.I.P. Greg Slim Lively Johnson. You were a great guy and a huge inspiration to the Blues community here in Portland, the entire NW, and beyond. Tracey Fordice and I will miss you and remember you always. Our sincere condolences to Cherie Johnson and your family
Missi Hasting Baker
John and I are so sad to say goodbye to Greg Slim Lively Johnson today. Greg’s deep commitment to the blues and its musicians has been an inspiration and support. He believed in Mojo Holler when we first got started many years ago, and he understood our love for Mississippi Fred McDowell and that type of roots blues.
Later, he met Cherie Johnson and just blossomed into a true lovebird! Their relationship is inspirational, a true pair of soul mates. We married during the same summer, a second Summer of Love.
RIP, Greg. We will always love you and give thanks for the ways you treasured the blues.
Although the band was deep into rehearsal last night, I happened to glance up at the clock at 9:10p. This morning brought the news that Greg Johnson left this world at exactly that time. Greg embodied the term “a pillar of the community,” as one whose commitment to the Cascade Blues Association strengthened the organization immeasurably. He lifted us all up with his enthusiasm for blues music, artists and events. He loved his wife Cherie with all his heart and soul. I am grateful for his generous support of my musical endeavors, letting me know that the CBA was a big tent with room for this Gulf Coast harp player. I will treasure his friendship until we meet again.
A thrilling experience to perform 2 sets with such talented ladies and gents at the BMAs! I was worn out by the end of the day… So can you imagine what the CREW was feeling after the show? Big ups to Joe Whitmer, Greg Slim Lively Johnson, Paul Averwater, Jessica Willis, sound and light crew, and everyone else behind the scenes at the event. We musician types saw you busting your humps from rehearsal to soundcheck to show and in the days preceding, and we know you’re the reason this “best BMAs yet” (as many keep saying) went DOWN!
Greg was ‘one of the good guys. Never seen him get mad or tell somebody off – he had more important things to do, like take pics or hang out with Cherie.
He was a one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
Rest In Peace, Greg.
Cherie Johnson – I do believe that I can speak for the ‘Perfect Gentlemen’: We are each deeply saddened at the loss of Greg, and heavy hearted at the anguish that you, Greg’s mama, and the entire extended clan are feeling now.
I will truly miss you Greg Slim Lively Johnson– a kind and loving friend and a fierce promoter of music in our community. My heart is with his loving wife Cherie Johnson and his mom Patricia Johnson. Rest In Peace my friend.
Yesterday I lost a best friend. We all did. My dear friend Greg Johnson left this world last night and I’m really going to miss him. We shared so many memories. We went on trips to the coast, rail-riding, wine tasting, a gazillion shows to hear bands, restaurants, birthday parties, dinner parties, Christmas parties, cigar nights…. Greg was my brother from another mother. Thank you so much for your friendship, Greg, it meant the world to me. I am going to miss you deeply. You, my friend, made the world a better place by being in it.
Greg discovered so many young talents and supported their burgeoning careers. He was always looking after the tradition and the art, but the people in his community came first. Greg was like a big musical hug when I first started singing in Portland. His appreciation of the blues scene and his passion for promoting the players in it was like one of those hugs that you feel long after it’s over. I never felt like an outsider for long even when no one knew my name…because he did and it didn’t matter where you came from or what you knew or didn’t know, it only mattered that you had blues in your soul. Thank you, Greg, for helping me live my best life by having had a part in it.
I just found out that a close friend, blues lover and really good, hardworking man-; which I had the pleasure of working with on the board of directors for the Cascade Blues Association in Portland, OR, Has passed. Greg Slim Lively Johnson you are loved and missed by many. My love, prayers and support goes out to his wife and soulmate Cherie Johnson. No one could have done more than she did in sickness and in health. Love you Cherie
He was a booster to so many, He made it possible for me and Justus to have a father son memory that will never be forgotten, thank You Mr. Greg Slim Lively Johnson
Love you so much Cherie. So sad to hear of Greg’s passing. So many fond and wonderful memories. So appreciate you being a part of Greg’s life. You are truly a precious gift to our community.
Greg Johnson was passionate about keeping the Blues alive and he understood that goal involved keeping our youth engaged. He was so very helpful with all my questions about Timothy’s (James)applications to represent the CBA at the International Blues Challenge. Once we got to Memphis, he was again very helpful with showing us how to get the most out of being at IBC. He will truly be missed.
He kept steady and wholeheartedly believed in the promotion and preservation of the music.
Roger and Debby Espinor
Greg was a powerhouse in the blues community but was a close “cigar and scotch loving” friend. Our favorite times were with food and drink where we got to hear his many stories of the musicians he met at the history of the blues. He was one of a kind and will be so missed.
Jennifer Moriarity Scheller
Truly appreciated his big heart, support, & strength. He will be truly missed.
As he and I were walking down the street after a heated Board of Directors meeting…Greg said, “Everything we do should have one goal”. “Keeping the Blues alive?” I asked. He said, “OK 2 goals.. Keeping The Blues Alive with getting kids involved. And, we have got to re-establish some sort of Musician’s Trust/Relief fund with the Priority going for those who have given their life to the music.” I remember that walk. I can remember the cool evening and the smell of Hawthorne Blvd. And I remember looking up at him as he said, “To those who have given their life to the music…”, and said, “in that case, you should get entire amount!” “Wouldn’t that be nice?” Was his response as we laughed and went our own ways. I remember the walk with my friend. And he gave everything. I can’t ever remember him asking for anything. Not for himself, ever.
I always admired Greg’s ability to create a set list that he played at his job, and it wasn’t always the blues. He loved all genres of music he understood the power of music! I’d say rest in peace, but I know you’ll be busy making setlist in heaven.
Greg was a kind, passionate and fun soul, so excited and knowledgeable about music history and upcoming talent. His stories of journies and amazing shows were amazing and he was one of the single biggest supporters of Portland musicians I’ve ever known. Everything from his excellent eye for photography to his ability to excite an audience when he introduced people at a show…there will never be another Greg.
I have known and admired Greg since I came to Portland in 1994! I was Greg’s Vice President for 7 years and on the Board of Directors for 10 years. I would stand in for Greg when he left town. My heart breaks for Cherie! All of the accolades above are so true. Good bye, my friend!
Thank you for taking the time to honor a very special man and treasured friend. I’m still trying to process the fact of his passing but it’s how I’ll deal with his absence at Waterfront that concerns me. As good as it is that we get some things back to “normal”, it will not be the same without Greg. I really am at a huge loss here…
I lost my home and family 12 years ago. Was lost and without any anchors in my life. I grew up in Chicago about a mile from Muddy Waters and appreciated Blues/Roots music. I was fortunate to find the Cascade Blues Association at that time. I met most of my friends thru the CBA and found the anchors needed to enjoy and live life again. I always felt a great deal of gratitude to Greg for being the anchor for the CBA. Wish I could have told him this.
The Image at the top is how I will always remember Greg, I just knew him as a fellow photographer at the Blues Festival. At the time I had no idea that he was with the CBA, or even the president. I’ve really enjoyed working with Greg the last 9 years at the CBA and he was so easy to get along with. He definitely will be missed.