Rob Lynch: Rock of Meldrum
by Geoff Kelly - posted 10:00 am, May 8, 2011
Musician and painter Rob Lynch shared this story about his friend Michael Meldrum, who died Thursday evening:
About 10 years ago Mike started asking me where to get some drums for his young son Alexander to learn to play on. I was happy to help out and brought him over an old Rodgers snare for him and his son. A gift. Mike was overjoyed! In his excitement, he said [he] had something for me too. He ran down into his basement and came up with a rock. His wife Diane watched with a happy/puzzled look on her face. He handed me the rock and I gave him a slightly confused thank you. He went on to explain with great pride that the rock was from the Pan American Exposition. It was found in his basement of his house, which was of that era. It was an artifact left behind by skilled craftsman from an important time in history…much more than just a rock.
The story speaks volumes about Michael. He loved to share the good and the honest. Once he found something he thought was special he would promote it tirelessly. Much like Mark Freeland, he excelled in introducing musicians to each other. I met the ultra-talented Dave Ruch though Michael, and countless others. He was always proud to present budding performers at his long-running open mic, proud to showcase the music of Lennon and Dylan at his annual tribute series, and proud to share a cool old sport coat that he thought might fit someone else. He loved letting me play his newest vintage guitars and stringed oddities while showing me a new song he had learned. After that he would show me a pile of oak baseboard that I was welcome to have, let me see the beautiful art his wife and kids made recently, tell me about Ani’s latest accomplishments, and point out a cool two-tone paint job on a ’50s Schwinn bike. He knew what was good and wanted everyone else to take a bit.
All that love was in his voice as he sang, which was pure and honest, with tons of character and no apology. It was in his guitar playing when he climbed up the neck in search of an expressive chord. Playing songs with Michael on his porch during the summer months or at his dining room table during winter was a touching experience. It was the sharing of the joys of music among friends and family. That is a gift that I am very lucky to have received and one that I will pass on.