Poem for a Gentle Giant
Mayhem was our great friend beginning when The Rogues started appearing at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Texas in the mid-90s. He was a giant of a man in stature and spirit, and created a huge hole in our lives when we heard of his premature death in 2004.
On tour with the band Damageplan as head of security when they were performing at the Alarosa Villa in Columbus, OH, he sacrificed himself to save others when a crazed gunman opened fire on the band and others. Jeff ran towards danger instead of away from it, struggled with the shooter, and took two bullets to the chest. I remember getting a phone call from a friend in Dallas about 3:00 in the morning telling me that she was worried Jeff had been shot and killed on tour in Ohio. Of course I didn’t want to believe it and was devastated to find out the next day that it was true. Everything seemed to change after Jeff was gone and was never the same again.
Mayhem had a huge presence, but lived small. Not a man of means, but always willing to share and to offer help to others. His was the most difficult funeral to get through I’ve ever attended. Mayhem’s death left a huge hole in our lives, but at the same time he left us an example to live by. We have many happy memories of Mayhem to remember him by and will always be thankful to have known him… a hero and a great friend.