John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

The Text Files

Sterling Morrison

Friends for Life

This text was published as an obituary for Sterling Morrison, who died August 30, 1995.

My fondest memories of Sterling come from the days when we carried out our assault on the sensibilities of teenage America with Moe and Lou in the band. There were great days and nights of rambunctious shenanigans, some of which were part of an ongoing tussle over who would play bass. I loved his bass playing as much as his guitar playing, but Sterling, not wishing to be known as the bass player, would always opt for his favorite, the guitar. At this he excelled also, and whenever the story of the band is recounted Sterling will always loom large in the legend. But he also had another strange effect on me - one that took me back to my home in Wales, what I'd learn from my mother. It was the great value placed on the acquisition of knowledge. Whether he was innately gifted (which I suspect) or if it was the way he showed this from day to day - by his pride in his children Tommy and Mary Anne's progress or in a well-crafted guitar line - it was a clear signal of the intangible values of humanity.

People leave a trace not always visible, and Sterling continued to show this to me last Tuesday when I said my farewell to him. It was in the impressive dignity he showed as he struggled. He does it today in helping me understand his passing; and I consider myself very fortunate in having known him as a dear friend and companion and also at having been allowed the opportunity to tell him last week how much he had meant to me over the years. He was a scholar and a gentleman of great resource and that is how I will remember him.

John Cale

© 1999- Hans Werksman