Bill Doss

My day was meant to start with a couple of hours of work on my new website, continue with the usual routine of dog walks and errands, then end around 8 P.M. in an entirely unspectacular fashion.

Instead, I’m still sitting in my office, writing this.

I saw first saw the tweet from Stereogum: “Bill Doss of the Olivia Tremor Control Has Passed Away.”

I’m still having trouble processing why this is affecting me so deeply.

I never listened to the Olivia Tremor Control until they reunited last year. When I did, I loved it, but it didn’t become my whole life. Nor was the Elephant 6 Collective, the loose batch of indie-minded musicians that Bill Doss co-founded in the ‘90’s, a huge presence in my life … or so I thought.

Even though I never became the Elephant 6 devotee that so many music fans rightfully did, everything about that collective, and the musicians who were a part of it, speaks volumes about the way that I and so many others have come to love the things that we love.

Thinking about which OTC song I should play on my show this weekend in tribute led me thinking that I really should do a full Elephant 6 tribute set. This would include Of Montreal, Beulah, and of course, the other two bands that, along with the Olivia Tremor Control, completed the founding trio of that collective – Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Apples in Stereo (a band which Doss had toured with and contributed to since 2006).

I remembered late nights alone on the beach, running along the edge of the water as I listened to the Apples’ song “High Tide”, for what would have probably been the 100th plus time. When I think about that Apples in Stereo song, I just feel immediately happy.

All of the musicians that were involved with Elephant 6 have moved music fans that way – and many different ways — and somehow knowing that we’ve lost even one of them feels like a giant loss for indie culture as a whole. We didn’t just lose an extraordinarily talented musician today, we lost a game changer.

– Marion Hodges

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  • Neil said:

    Thanks for this post. In lieu of flying to Athens for the memorial, I've been floating around the web trying to process Bill's death which still seems so unreal. As sad as it all is, it's been beautiful to see so many testimonials of how Bill has effected people's lives. May he shine on.

  • Marion Hodges
    Marion Hodges (author) said:

    Hi Neil,

    Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I'm glad you appreciated this piece. I've been reading all of the testimonials as well. It is genuinely inspiring to see so many people celebrating the life of such a unique and genuine soul.

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