I guess that probably most of the people who read this blog aren't aware of who you are—Christ, I just can't write about you in the past tense—and of what you do—or if I gather myself together as I don't want to/can't believe I can, "what you did"—...so I guess some introduction is in order. I would hope—and here I address my readers—I would hope that if you live in the tri-state area you might be aware of the ISSUE Project Room, the performance space that has consistently housed, or rather, given a welcoming home to, the leading lights of, I won't be so trite as to call it avant-garde music and art, I'll just say forward-looking music and art. Suzanne was this entity's guiding light through several locational iterations, the latest being inside the large complex at Third Avenue and Third Street in Brooklyn. And there was more. Through your—that is, Suzanne's—tireless efforts, ISSUE had procured a new permanent space, in Brooklyn Heights, and despite this deplorable economic downturn you were tireless and passionate and fierce—fuck, Suzanne, you were nothing if not fierce—in getting the word out that this space needed money for restoration, money for upkeep, exposure to get money, everything.
Our last three or five conversations were on this topic: "When do you think you can write about ISSUE for [magazine X] or [magazine Y]?" I never had a good answer. Coming from anybody else I would have been annoyed. Two factors prevented me from this. One. ISSUE was a completely fucking awesome joint. I remember getting shut out from the venue a couple of times when it was hosting some iteration of Sonic Youth over at Carroll Street, and me thinking, "man, is that Suzanne Fiol via whose e-mail I even found out about this the same Suzanne FIol who...?" And two. FInding out that you WERE in fact the Suzanne who I had I first met in 1985, via J., a woman I had just started dating and the woman who would, for better or worse, turn me into an actual New Yorker. (Introduced me to sushi, among other things.) I remember going with J. to some party in the East Village, in an apartment filled with fern plants...in one room were a couple of younger kids who told us, with much enthusiasm, that they were forming a band they were gonna call Raging Slab; and later you, Suzy, in the kitchen, pointing at me right in front of J. (to whom you were sufficiently close that you actually shared a page in your high-school yearbook), said in your infectiously loud voice, "I like him; you should keep him around." That was so goddamn absolutely you, Suzy: instantaneous and unequivocal in your judgement, and completely, fiercely loyal once you had made said judgement.
I was SO glad to re-connect with you in person earlier this year, SO glad to please you by finding a car in which to deposit Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones (and wife and daughter) after he had vetted the ISSUE Project Room's 15-channel speaker system, SO glad to turn up of a summer's night to see you hosting my friend Alan Licht and his friend Loren Conners. And SO glad to hear about how you were battling, and beating, brain cancer. My cousin Mark had died of lymphoma in 2002, and he was as fierce a fighter as I knew you were. I rooted for you not just for you, and me, but for him.
And today, you succumbed. Which made me so angry, and so sad.
The honor roll of artists who spontaneously turned up at ISSUE tonight would have made you proud. I'd mention them here, except it'd sound like name-dropping... oh, to hell with it; I shared words and tears with Tony Conrad, Anthony Coleman, Steve Buscemi, John King, Bob Holman, so many other wonderful artists who already miss you so fucking bad. As does your family, as does J...as do I. I know that all of us feel a very strong mandate to keep ISSUE alive, and I write and save this blog post in the hope that some of my readers will be similarly moved. The website for Suzy's second baby is here. Keep visiting, and find out what you can do.
I love you, Suzy, and like I said, I already miss you so bad...