I’ve been posting a lot about Bella Morte recently. These guys just aren’t great musicians, they are dear friends as well.
Last week Gopal Metro, one of the founding members, announced his departure from the band. In my memoir I described him as a man of “many piercings and tattered clothing”, and how he booked my first show in C’ville and comforted me after I threw up from pre-show nerves (8 Mile). I met him around the same time I’d been diagnosed with AIDS in 1999, a funny time to be introduced to a band whose name translates to “beautiful death”.
Andy (on left), the lead singer and guy who co-founded Bella Morte with Gopal (on right), lives right up the street from me and Gwenn. I see him all the time these days, watching horror movies and boxing. Engaging in a sporting rivalry on the tennis court, where neither of us thrive. It’s easy to forget that I was once just a fan, emailing him about how much I related to his music.
When Gopal and Andy met years before I knew either of them, they built a band whose music reached me during a time when I wasn’t interested in leaving the house. I was at my absolute worst health-wise, which is why I remember the night I went to see them play at The Dawning for the first time.
I was dressed in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms because the thought of putting on jeans was too exhausting, but the thought of missing the show wasn’t even a question. After the show I came home that night and told Gwenn that she had to go see Bella Morte the next time they played. She agreed, partly because she hadn’t seen me that energetic in quite some time. Soon therafter, as my health was rebounding and my friendship with Andy and Gopal grew, they played a benefit show for the local AIDS Services Organization. In 2004, they played our wedding, and we’ve been working with them ever since. (Gwenn manages the band. An adoption of sorts.)
This Saturday is Gopal’s last show with the band, and if you’re a townie, you can’t miss it. I’ve posted a vid below. (The black space is intentional, because I wanted it up as soon as possible.)
Check it out, and check them out this Saturday. Even if it’s in your pj’s.