Whether you knew him as Adrian Egan —wit, class clown, enthusiastic racing fan, cat lover, Beatles uber-fan and computer tech wizard— or as Tex Chainsaw, Punk and Rockabilly/Country singer and guitarist who was a leading light of the uptown TO musical scene throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, you’ll be sad to learn that he passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack the morning of Wednesday, July 6.
His younger sister Alexandra (better known as Lexie to readers of to-nite in the mid-1990s, when she wrote a column and several stories for the magazine) made the announcement of his death on Facebook yesterday afternoon and posted details about a remembrance/funeral service taking place on Sunday July 10. [See below for details and link to funeral home.]
Born in 1959, Tex was just 57 years old at the time of his passing —way too young to be leaving this life behind.
When he started out in music the mid-late ‘70s, Egan was more Punk oriented in his musical manifestation —he was a member of a band called Brat and later fronted his own raw Rock/Punk band The Idles, both of which opened for The Diodes on several occasions, according to the latter group’s guitarist John Catto and Richard Citroen, one of the group’s drummers. According to one post on his Facebook timeline The Idles was opening for Teenage Head at Larry’s Hideaway in 1980 on the night that John Lennon was killed.
Catto recalled yesterday that he’s “known Adrian since 1977 when he was in Brat; later he opened for the Diodes many times in the ’79-81 period. A FANTASTIC guy with a great sense of humour.”
Citroen posted a photo of The Idles on his Facebook timeline and wrote: “I think everyone in the extended Diodes family remembers him fondly, as his band The Idles supported us on all manner of gigs. My chief memory is of them wearing matching stripey Beach Boys shirts when they opened for us at U of T in 1982.”
After reconnecting with Egan through Facebook, Citroen added, “Fittingly, the last time I saw him was at last year’s Diodes gig at The Phoenix. There’s various snapshots of him at that gig floating around, but I’d rather post this picture of him from back in the day, when he looked like something out of a late 60s movie” in the portrait photos of The Idles that appears with this post.
When I met Adrian in the summer of 1992 he was performing kickass redneck Country as Tex Chainsaw at various bars in TO’s uptown area around Yonge and Eglinton. My to-nite magazine of the time featured blurbs about him on several occasions, some of which now appear in the Vault section of TorontoMoon.ca on a page dedicated to Adrian.
Often teamed up with John Bouvette as an acoustic Rock duo, and fronting his Rockabilly band The Delrayos, he performed at all the usual haunts of the day (back then there were several bars in the area offering live music several nights a week) as well as hosting jam nights and also appearing at some of the annual SpringRise concerts I staged over several years.
More importantly, from my point of view, he was an enthusiastic supporter of my journalistic efforts and helped open the door to meet other players and club owners in the sometimes cliquey area when I first started frequenting music rooms as a “newbie” outsider in ‘92. He even introduced me to his little sister!
Another who remembers Adrian as much for his helpful friendship as for music is songwriter Julian Taylor, who these days is again on the verge of national acclaim for his talent but who was an underage kid when he used to attend Tex Chainsaw open stages in the mid ‘90s and benefitted from being befriended by him.
“You taught me so much growing up,” Julian wrote yesterday. “You’ve been a kind friend through and through. A legend and a mentor. A pal to party with on the strip. We have shared many a good time and I have great memories of you … You were and always will be a beaming light.”
Like many of his current Facebook friends, it appears from scanning their posts, Adrian and I lost touch after the turn of the millennium when he scaled back his musical adventures. But while many folks reconnected with him through Facebook, the social media platform actually severed my connection with him when it trashed a previous identity under which we were connected and I unfortunately had not gotten around to “re-friending” with him since. I much regret that oversight now.
In addition to his musical career Egan was a highly sought after systems analyst and designer —Catto, who lives in London, England, says they’d get together in recent years “when people like CIBC would send him over to oversee the setup of their international links.”
But it seems likely Adrian Egan will chiefly be remembered by all who knew him —family, friends, co-coworkers, and fellow players alike— for his upbeat persona and his incredibly razor sharp, bullwhip quick and often sardonic wit, which could cut but was never intended in a mean spirit. His piercing intellect led him to see the absurdities of modern life and his generous, optimistic disposition led him to turn them into humour.
In addition to his sister Alexandra Egan Gibson , he is survived by his other sister Veronica and by his wife, Brigitte, as well as several nieces and nephews: Lauren, Emma, Egan, Brady, Aileen and Colm.
You can visit his memorial page on the funeral home website site. Family will be receiving visitors at Humphrey Funeral Home at 1403 Bayview Ave. (a block south of Davisville Ave.), from noon-1 p.m. on Sunday July 10, with a memorial celebration at 1 pm.
“Followed by a laugh and a pint,” Lexie adds in the notice. Adrian would have wanted it no other way.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
[Moon subscribers registered as website members can see large-sized high-res versions of the clips from old to-nite magazines on the Vault page dedicated to Adrian. Eventually a page will also appear on the Musical Legacies Online Museum site once enough support has been received from readers to establish that entity.]