1996. I had just started a record label/mail order house called No-Fi and I quickly needed some stuff to fill out the catalog as I was running out of unwanted CDs in my collection to sell off. There was a guy in Philadelphia named Jason who posted to the DroneOn list. He had a 7″ single label called Doorstep Vinyl and was discontinuing it to concentrate on his band The Azusa Plane and a new label called Colorful Clouds.
I sent him $50 bucks for a few things, but in return he sent me a GIANT BOX of singles, probably everything he had. I didn’t get a chance to thank him until a year or so later at Terrastock II in San Francisco. I babbled at him about how much I liked Azusa Plane’s set (“as loud and final as an asteroid strike!” or something) but he was frustrated and kept apologizing for the rushed set because the time was changed at the last minute and really, they were rushing so they wouldn’t miss Roy Montgomery. I don’t believe he made it out to the west coast after that. I think that last time I heard from him was in 2001 when I contacted him to get hold of The Highway’s Jammed With Broken Heroes which I think was his last release.
Last year, I was driving at night through a snowstorm in Oklahoma and a track from Tycho Magnetic Anomaly… came on shuffle play. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate, compelling, and well unnerving track to listen to then. I always wondered what he was up to.
Today this message showed up on DroneOn:
Subject: [DroneOn] woah – Jason/Azusa Plane dies
Date: November 1, 2006 12:59:46 PM PST
Just heard on another list Jason DiEmilio of Azusa Plane died recently. He had some severe medical problems that, among other things, basically left him unable to listen to music so he ended his life.
In the later 90′s I listened to a lot of AP and played AP on my radio show. I was just looking at the chunk of split 7″ers in my singles boxes a few weeks ago. Didn’t he used to post here way back? Jason provided a soundtrack to many hours of my life. I hope he’s someplace where he can listen to tunes again.
How many times do people say “I wish we’d kept in touch” after tragedy? Way too goddamned much.