Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Keyboardist Nik Green dies after battle with cancer March 13, 2016

Nik Green  lost his fight against cancer Sunday, March 13.   He smiled and wave goodbye to some friends that morning, but his weakened condition and complications of pneumonia were too much.  Just a couple weeks earlier, Nik was going to the studio for a couple hours each day to finish up some of his mixes of his music. I promised him during his last day that I would finish his mixes, especially the mix of "Starless" which he'd been working on.   Nik's own music deserved more recognition.   He didn't seem to know what category it fit into, or how great his music was -- but every piece was a journey, a mini movie.    Together, we were "The Away Team", and besides being musical partners, we've been married since 1994.

There will be a tribute to his life and music in Santa Barbara, CA He was loved by so many for his sweetness, his quirkiness, for his kind heart.  TBA.

Nik was a childhood prodigy, who would pick out melodies of songs on the radio at age four.  After rejecting formal classical training, he was introduced to synthesizers and taught himself "pretty much from scratch".   After a stint with Roy Harper and Jimmy Page, Nik joined Blue Murder, a hard rock outfit lead by former Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes,  releasing several albums, touring alongside notables like Jon Bon Jovi.   After Blue Murder, Nik and I formed the Away Team.  In our first incarnation we had a Chapman Stick player, James Fanning, with both Nik and I on keyboards.  Our last gigs were a series of album release parties for "Topsy Turvy World" and playing the Summer Solstice Festivals.

Nik was first diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the head, neck and lung in October 2014.  It was already in an advanced stage by the time a lump appeared on his neck.   He underwent chemo, radiation and immunotherapy treatments which reduced the cancer in his neck by 85% and the lungs by 50%.  Nik contracted pneumonia in October,  had a downturn, from which he never fully recovered his strength  .Immunotherapy medicine Nivolumab kept the progression of the disease at bay.  When Nik had another bout with pneumonia, he was still hopeful that he might recover and get back to music.     Squamous cell cancer of the head, neck and lungs is a formidable beast.   In spite of all this,  he remained in good spirits.  He died peacefully, simply stopped breathing, no gasping, no fear.  Twenty minutes after his death, his mouth which had been wide open, closed and he had his wry little smile on his face.    We watched as this happened.    He left us a little "gift".

It is nearly unfathomable for me to imagine life here on Planet Earth without him.

Because he did not have an insurance policies, a friend, Dawn Perrine has set up a Memorial Fund to cover costs of Cremation, Services, and final medical bills.  Nik Green Memorial Fund

Nik with Jimmy Page

Nik at the Black Cat Ball with Jonathan Alburger