photo, thanks to Julia Spears
Archive for the ‘Bee Spears’ Category
December 9, 2012, marks the one year anniversary of the date of Bee Spears passing. Today, the extended family and friends of Bee Spears welcome those who knew and loved Bee and his music to take part in a candle lighting ceremony to celebrate his life, Fans from across the globe will take a momenot of silence today, and light a candle, to honor Bee.
A facebook page has been created for the event, Bee Spears: Power of the Flame, where you can see postings of fans and friends. Everyone is invited to post their stories and poems and pictures of Bee.
“Wherever you may be December 9th, please take a moment of silence and light a candle in Bee’s honor. This representation is symbolic of the creative source and inner light that truly never burns out. Those fortunate enough to spend time with Bee outside of work know what it meant for him to gather around bonfires with family and friends. He often referred to these as ‘Spirit fires’, because they marked a sacred space for sharing the gifts of spirit: stories, dancing, laughing, prayer and song. Throughout his journey he touched so many hearts and the reach of his light was widespread. Let’s unite our individual flames at this time and present Bee with a collective representation of the love and admiration we feel for him. Together, we may build the most beautiful Spirit fire to ever ‘Bee’.”
To take part in the event, visit Bee Spears, the power of the flame. and share your poem, story song, and memories of Bee. This is a public event, please feel free to extend this to friends & family who you know would want to participate.
Also, in Bee’s memory, today the family wants to present information about Bee’s passing, for fans who have heard so many stories, rumors, news reports about the night he died.
This video was prepared for and shared at a private memorial service for Bee Spears on December 31, 2011, in Luck, Texas.
A Celebration of Bee Spears *Mild Profanity Warning*
Created by David Anderson for the Memorial December 31, 2011 in Luck, Texas.
Music, quotes, and visuals of Bee Spears and family
Johnny Bush and the Bandoleros Stop Records black and white promo picture. Pictured from left to right: Johnny Bush; Lee Harmon; Bee Spears; Frenchie Burke; Lynn Frazier.
All of us at Epiphone were saddened to hear the news that Epi bassman Dan “Bee” Spears passed away in Nashville last Thursday after a fall near his home. He was 62.
Spears was a native of Helotes, Texas and spent most of his professional life as a member of the Willie Nelson Family band. “We are deeply saddened by the death of Family member Dan ‘Bee’ Spears, long time friend and bassist for Willie Nelson and Family,” wrote Nelson on his website. “We are still in shock.”
Nelson hired the then-19-year-old Spears in 1968 after Nelson’s original bassist was drafted. “I happened to be there when the guys were talking about finding a replacement,” Spears told Rolling Stone. “One of the guys said, ‘Hell, let’s hire Bee. He doesn’t play worth a crap, but we can teach him what to play!’”
Spears and longtime Nelson drummer Paul English were Nelson’s rhythm section during the period when Willie went from being a lauded but obscure and eccentric Nashville songwriter to the leading symbol of the Outlaw Movement, which transformed the sound of country music and made Nelson and fellow Texan Waylon Jennings household names. Spears’s elegant bass lines can be heard on many of Nelson’s classic albums including The Red Headed Stranger, Stardust, Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages—all of which topped the Billboard charts and established Nelson as the pre-eminent male vocalist of the American songbook.
Spears’ accomplishments as a storied session and live performer are especially noteworthy considering he played for a vocalist who never phrased a song the same way twice. “Playing with Willie is tricky business,” Spears told Billboard in 2003. “If you try to follow him too close, he’ll lead you down to the river and drown you. You have to keep one eye on him and one eye on your part. Just play your part and trust that he’s going to come back and meet you at some point.”
Bee Spears was a fan of our Jack Casady bass and was a friend of Epiphone President Jim Rosenberg. Jim recently recalled Bee’s generosity and sense of humor.
“Years ago, Bee Spears invited me to come out to a Farm Aid show. Bee told me that during the finale of ‘America the Beautiful’ when everyone comes back on stage that I should stand beside him on his riser and sing along,” Rosenberg said. “So there I was singing beside Bee. I then hear something behind me. I turn around and it’s Neil Young trying to get up on the riser behind me. I give him a hand up. I could tell the whole time that Neil is kind of looking at me going… ‘Who the heck is this guy?’”
“Thanks Bee for some great music and great times. We’ll miss you.”
We lost the b man today
His world got too crazy so he just passed away
He was so tired of living that he died everyday
We lost the b man today
– Willie Nelson
A memorial service and celebration of the life of Dan ‘Bee’ Spears will be held in Nashville today, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin, Tennessee, at 12:00 noon. Visitation is from 10:00AM until noon today.
You may share memories and photos at Williamson Memorial. In lieu of flowers, you are invited to ‘do whatever you feel to honor the eternal spirit of this great man.’