Billy Ruane, Rest in Peace

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

— Kerouac

Billy and Billy. Photo by Ken Okaya.

Boston just lost a legend and a giant-hearted friend. Billy gave Buffalo Tom one of, if not our very first gig in Boston. For those of you who are not from Boston, and/or didn’t know him, Billy was more than a fan, more than a promoter, more than a friend. He is responsible for so much good music, so many good clubs, and endless generosity and good will. He singlehandedly brought music to the Middle East Restaurant, which became, simply, the Middle East. But there were stunning memorable nights at Green Street Grill, galleries, bowling alleys, lofts…

The loss is staggering. My eyes are misty as I write this. He will be missed and his death marks the end of an era. We mourn Billy as we mourn the passing of our youth.

Photo by Wayne Valdez.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

8 thoughts on “Billy Ruane, Rest in Peace”

  1. pretty sure the last time i saw billy he was chatting with you bill at the superchunk show a few weeks (days?) ago

  2. .: As usual, your words convey so much more than what's on the page, Bill. Like you did with Uncle Vince, for those of us outside the Boston music scene who didn't know Billy, through you we now know more about him and his impact on so many, and can appreciate his legacy. Thank you for taking the time to do that for us. I never cease to be amazed at the strong sense of musical community in your town.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top