The Sad Death of Spencer Dryden

· State of the Union

I’m old enough to remember when the Airplane ruled San Francisco and rocked my adolescent world, but I confess I barely noticed Spencer Dryden’s drumming between the trebly distortion of Jorma’s guitar and Grace’s Icy Bitch Goddess persona.
But this post isn’t about my taste in popular music. Reading through the fan tributes in the Guestbook at, I found this comment from Dryden’s fellow musician Norton Buffalo:
“What a sad display of how this ‘great’ nation ‘takes care’ of it’s people.”
He’s referring, of course, to the miserable material circumstances of Dryden’s death at 66: impoverished, uninsured, living alone in a rented or borrowed cabin on a friend’s property. No one should end up that way, but more of us will as our nation explicitly abandons any notion of shared responsibility in favor of “ownership.”
“Dare to struggle; dare to win,” as we used to say. Dare to defend the public sector, and ourselves, against the Republican Revolution.