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Bill Doss, Rock God and Kind Soul, Dead at 43

The first time I met Bill Doss was Halloween 2011; he came up to me and asked me “Are you Laura Palmer?” When I confirmed his suspicions, a large smile came across his face – the same smile that could be seen throughout the Olivia Tremor Control’s last show last Thursday night at the Georgia Theatre.

Let it never be underestimated how far Bill’s talent reached – as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and founding member of the Elephant 6 collective, he was a driving force in the Athens, Ga music scene. But beyond that, he was also a very humble and kind person, and an inspiration to many, not just in his local community, but world-wide.

At this moment, the Athens community, as well as the music community around the world seems to be in complete shock. Most of us woke up this morning to discover the sad news of Bill’s passing from a tweet from Gabe Vodicka, Flagpole Magazine music editor:

Very sad news: Hearing that Olivia Tremor Control’s Bill Doss has passed away. No other details available yet.

For  about an hour, this tweet was the only source available regarding the news, and the speculations and shock began streaming across my Facebook and Twitter feeds. But later in the day, the band’s official webpage was amended with the statement, “We are devastated by the loss of our brother Bill Doss. We are at a loss for words.” The heaviness of the shock within the music community is palpable…and in Athens, today is a particularly heavy day…the sky is gray and somber, as if the heavens are letting us know that they understand, and that they too feel the sadness of such a great loss way too soon.

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