Later Dude

Posted Feb 1, 2015
Last Updated Feb 1, 2015



I can't believe it's been well over a decade since the breakup of Cringe. Cringe played a major and important role in my life. And to this day I listen to Cringe almost daily. Half the photos in my office are cherished images of the band.

I was shocked and saddened to hear that Ryan Butcher, who played Bass for Cringe, died this week. Of the guys in Cringe, Butch was both the one I knew the longest in time but the least in person. I always felt warmly welcomed by him, and felt that he was always an outgoing and friendly guy.

Over the time I spent working with Cringe I got to know many of the local bands, musicians and fans. For the most part everyone was doing the best they could to follow their passions and dreams. Like in all industries and groups, there were those that did better than others. Cringe was among the most successful groups in the Columbus rock scene during that era.

Despite their local success and rock-star status, I always felt that they kept pretty close to the ground. And Butch excelled at that. I always felt that he was appreciative of the talents of those around him.

Butch said, "You know what I love? You know what I love about my band, dude? About the band I'm in right now? About these guys? Is our singer. I love him--because... you can tell a good singer when you hear him, because, a good singer [makes you] feel the emotion of that song... That's what sucks you in."

There are people who knew Butch better than I did. But I always liked him. I intended to share a bunch of the photos of Butch this weekend, but the photos are scattered through my collections of CDs that are all stored more deeply away than I expected. So instead I'm sharing an interview of Cringe from July 29, 2003 that includes Butch's quote above along with various intimate and raw discussions with the entire band. I will share more old photos soon too. For the moment, the photos above are low-res photos loaded a decade ago when file size was more important than now.

I'm sorry that he's gone. And I wish that on the several occasions he called out my name at a Beacon Hill stop sign with a friendly expletive, that I had taken him up on his invitations to hang out. But it's easy for people to get caught up in their lives and make an excuse to spend some time later.

I have a feeling that Butch understood that. But maybe he understood that too well.

In his characteristic lingo, Butch has said for the last time, "Later Dude."

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