Monday, December 30, 2013

RIP Benjamin Curtis (School of Seven Bells/Secret Machines)

This I guess doesn't come as an enormous shock as the Facebook post below explains, he had been battling Cancer for quite awhile. But regardless, this is still rather sad.

I can say a few things about Benjamin Curtis. I saw School of Seven Bells play at the 7th Street Entry twice, once with Warpaint on October 13th, 2009. One of the more memorable and surreal concerts I've attended certainly in the last 5 years, if not ever. A show I attended almost entirely to see Warpaint, but I stayed to see SVIIB and frankly was floored by how acid-trippy and surreal their show was. And Benjamin's guitar textures/atmospheres was a HUGE part of that.

They came back the next year, playing at the 7th Street Entry again, on September 19, 2010. And they didn't include the slide visuals, and shortly after Claudia Deheza left the band (I recall later within said tour), but that show was still very memorable (Entry w/ that announcement).

I even recall talking to Benjamin after maybe both of those shows, telling him about my impressions of the shows and how I always wanted to get into the Secret Machines, but never could, but SVIIB were more my thing.

I also recall seeing something on Facebook, a few months back about his cancer. But I am not sure how long he had been battling it. It may have been like Earl Root, where he had it, but never really made it public, but was dealing with it for many years. I hope not though.

edit: from Wikipedia
Curtis announced in late February 2013 that he had been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma A benefit concert was held in New York in August 2013 and included performances by members of the Strokes and Interpol. Curtis passed away on December 29, 2013 at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York.

Very sad, as he was a talented musician and I'm sure he had a lot more music and many other things he could do in the future :-[


Dear friends, 

Last night, Dec. 29th 2013, we lost our friend and brother Benjamin Curtis to his fight against cancer.

While we had hoped to delay this announcement until a more suitable time when his friends and family could feel better prepared and settled to greet any correspondences from folks attempting to reach out, unfortunately the news has prematurely leaked. So we felt it would be appropriate to at least offer an official acknowledgement from us, in light of all the fans who loved and supported Benjamin and his music. 

We kindly ask that his immediate family, friends & bandmates' privacy be respected during this time, and that instead, any inquires, well wishes, or notes-of-consolation be sent through School of Seven Bells’ management, where it can be shared with them at the suitable time. They can be sent to a special e-mail address here:

If relevant, further information will be made available through the suitable channels in the near future.

We can’t thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough. All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures. We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.