We were saddened today to hear of the passing of Derek Shepherd.
The first time we met Derek was when we played a show with the Queers around 1997 at Pioneer Square Theater. I saw Derek and was shocked at how much he looked like Touch back when we were in Junior High. I would guess Derek must’ve been 14 or 15 years old. We asked photographer Curt Doughty to take some photos of them together (which I have to admit was more for my amusement than anything). We told Derek he had won the Touch Look-Alike contest, and gave him an ultra rare Head Zeppelin shirt. He was a sweet kid. About a year later, we played with Derek’s band The Retards when we both opened for the Groovie Ghoulies at Velvet Elvis.
I didn’t see much of Derek for a while after the Retards broke up. When he resurfaced, it seemed to me that his love had gravitated towards power-pop music. He played in Weird Science, Plastic Letters (which I believe had their LP produced by Peter Case from the Nerves/Plimsouls) and The Pop Machine. We saw Derek on and off through the years. He was always very pleasant to us and excited to talk about whatever project he was doing. When he worked at Bop Street Records, he unsucessfully tried to talk us into playing at the store (I also remember him scoring a Pointed Sticks/Wipers Showbox Concert poster while working there)! Last time he resurfaced here was in a band called the Sick Secrets, which I never saw.
The last time I saw Derek was when I was driving through the U-District a few months ago with Big D. I saw a guy walking down Brooklyn with what looked like a bag of groceries; then I said to Big D, “Holy shit!!! There’s Wreckless Derek!!!” I thought about stopping, but decided I didn’t want to bother him.
We’re really going to miss you, Derek, and our thoughts go out to your family.
Here is a song by one of Derek’s heroes, Peter Case:
Curt Doughty’s photos of Derek and Touch at the Queers show