I didn't know much about Nikki Sudden, the consummate rocker who passed through town a couple weeks ago and passed away yesterday at the age of 49. But Nikki had some friends in town who are gonna miss him. Here's a spontaneous, e-mailed eulogy courtesy of one of our own rock-and-roll torchers.
Joey Skidmore wrote:
I just received some really sad news: Nikki Sudden just died after playing a show at New York City's Knitting Factory. We just played the Outland and Mike's Tavern with him, and were finishing up some tracks together at Lou Whitney's Studio in Springfield, and John River's Woodbine Street Recording Studio in England.
Billboard online had a blurb about it, but didn't list a cause of death.
Nikki was really charming: a gentleman and a scholar. His last album "Treasure Island" featured Mick Taylor from the Stones, and Ian McLagan from the Faces. I think it was his best to date. He also played me a cassette of his forthcoming album, which was more stripped down, but really excellent material.
I'm proud that he was my friend, and I'm privileged to have had the opportunity to have worked with him.
Check Joey out at www.myspace.com/joeyskidmoreband. And if you (like I) need to play catch-up with Sudden, there are quite a few free, Nikki-approved samples and downloads here. Looks like the guy was quite generous with sharing his music, which is no doubt serving his memory well.
It's also interesting to note that he was just about the only genuine, old-school rocker on prestigious indie label Secretly Canadian, which is home to coolkids I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness and Antony and the Johnsons.
Evidently, Sudden's impact on music was a lot stronger than we bumpkins in Kansas City realize. So let's get hip to Nikki, then let's get a little sad. It's the right thing to do.