Here is a message forwarded by Mama Turtle

He (Bam Bam) took his life 2 days ago (sept. 25 ?) by hanging himself. 
He and I talked 2 days before that and he let us know he was thinking 
about this. 
We tried to get him to go to a doctor and get medication for his chronic 
manic/depressive disorder (that he's had for decades ) 
and he said he would. But, I guess he was just ready to leave this world. 
He was never really comfortable here. Too much sorrow and insanity for 
him to stomach. 
He was a real sensitive spirit and he tried many ways to deal with it. 
Well, now he's happy. He can finally get some rest and truly be 
celebrating the Great Spirit 
all the time now, which is what he wanted for all people. 
I'm torn up, broken hearted and a general mess right now. 
I would love to hear any exceptional stories (which would probably be 
most of them) about Bam 
and any pictures would be appreciated. 
We will be having a memorial service in CA, probably near Santa Cruz for 
him at the end of Oct. 
as we all have to fly in and plan the thing. Plus, he's being cremated, 
so it can wait. 
He left a note pinned to his shirt and I know Bam would want me to tell 
you all that 
at the end of the note he wrote this, 
"P.S. Hang Loose!" 
I will let you and everyone else know the specific date,time and place 
of the memorial in Santa Cruz. 
Plus, we wil ABSOLUTELY have a memorial at this years gathering, so if 
you can't make it, don't worry. 
I love you all. You are, and always will be Bam Bam's true Family. He 
lived for for The Family. 
He believed in The Family. He loved us all more than most Family folks 
will ever know. 
Stay in the Love. 
Mama Turtle
Remembering Bam Bam 
by Miranda Howe

Bam Bam was a man who did what he wanted.  He loved a lot, was loved a 
lot and was much beloved. There were more than several people who 
didn't care for his drumming or his leadership in drumcircles.  For 
certain Bam Bam could be a disagreeable rascal.  He was a legend for 
well-earned reasons. But he was also an arrogant snot.  For instance, 
Bam Bam acted like a know-it-all high holy from time to time, as well 
as being downright cruel to young neophyte drummers.  But let me say 
it's damn difficult not to seem like a high holy given circumstances 
that all too easily line up when especially leos bring pressure to 
bear.  Likewise, it's damn difficult to teach and not be cruel because 
teaching denotes learning and there are always those who will not or 
cannot learn despite their own expectations and evaluations. 

While there's nothing here I wouldn't or didn't say to him, I'm sure 
that this post seems negative in the balance so far especially to 
those who hold with maxims about not speaking ill of the dead.  But I 
only want to emphasize one more negative before I go on to praise this 
guy I loved:  Alcohol.  Goddamned godblessed alcohol.  If you tell me 
what a hell of a good drinking buddy he was I puke on your shoes. 
Alcohol informed everything.  Rather: alcoholism.  Bam Bam's life, 
death, mania, depression, talent, bad acts, good acts, sweetness, 
meanness-- all of it was affected by alcoholism.   Please don't get me 
wrong.  Just don't act as if being good at drinking is a commendable 

I love Bam Bam dearly.  I cannot think of Bam Bam and not get happy. 
I saw him do a lot of things but two stand out.   1993.  May?  Dead 
Show.  Sacto.  It's just the way he would lead that tide of one 
hundred drummers against that sea of leos and block the squadcars from 
encroaching on the village in the parking lot, just as he would at 
various gatherings. It was a joyful thing. 

That day was very very hot.  115.  Early in the year.  Still early in 
the day, say three pm, under the press of an orange fiery sky on that 
black coal asphalt,  Bam raises one arm, says, "There we were on the 
Serengeti--"  Well, I fell instantly in love and we were paramours for 
that day, making that scorched africa motif our script for the day and 
night.  There were only half a dozen drummers at that hour.  By the 
time the crowd swelled to a hundred or more then went down to just 
several of us again, somehow Bam Bam's brand new very fine jimbe (sp) 
had been ripped off.   It was such an outrage.  Outrageous!  He was 
dejected and whispering after an initial burst of hilarity and 
invective that seemed so short lived considering the magnitude of the 
loss.  THEN!  It also turned out someone has knicked his backpack, 
rendering him a man with the clothes on his back (plus thousands of 
friends).   He really was like a little boy and even cried a bit and I 
with him.  I gave him five bucks which was half what I had.  It was 
tender and moving to see a big man of such art and ideal who with such 
extravagant  primitivist  showbiz acumen "led" a big exuberant motley 
orchestra brought to little boy tears and knees by some greedy maya- 
deluded people.  I was struck by the gentility in one who might have 
been expected to be macho and blustery. 

Flash forward a few weeks.  July 1994.   Wyoming.  Vision council. 
I've been knocked flat by altitude sickness and stuck in my rig in the 
parking lot from the third on sundown until this time on the seventh. 
Up through the middle of the circle of some hundred people come Bam 
Bam and a few other brothers carrying the peace pole which they then 
plant in the ground.  Now that's the entire story.  No more plot than 
that.  The story was that the story goes on. 

The reason I write of it is that this is Bam Bam and this is life! 
That's the first I'd seen him since the dead parking lot.  I mean 
there he was!  In full throes!  Free!  Yet in harness!  A gallop! 
Nearly naked and magnificent.  Muscles.  Veins.  Sweat.  Teeth.  Hair 
tangled like roots or flying clouds or lover's limbs or real life's 
real soap opera plots.  Big bony feet.  Pounding a rhythm on the Teton 
dirt.  Smiles, grimaces.  All worthy of the late masters' oils. All 
browns and tans and blacks and reds and golds. God I love the 
rainbow!  God I love Bam Bam!  The story is the beat goes on! 


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Comment by Valterra Blue on December 19, 2012 at 8:46pm
your thoughts are a tribute to this man's LIfe on Earth- it's nice to know deep down inside- people are people- Thank you for celebrating the Life & Times of Bam Bam -
Comment by KEITH DICKERSON on November 7, 2011 at 8:21pm
Comment by Tracey LaForge on October 3, 2011 at 10:48am

I hate to hear of the loss of Bam Bam. I never had the pleasure but I feel a huge connection with him. I am an alchoholic. I no longer drink, (once a pickle you can never go back to being a cuckumber)!However, I am still a drunk even if I do not drink(sober 6 years).When I got sober a bunch of others in my group did as well. A few went back out , a few got sober, and a few couldn't or wouldn't . The  few that wouldn't or couldn't of my "Littermates" chose to take the path that Bam Bam took. Like you Miss MaMa Turtle , I was a mess and deeply saddened. I also knew I was still very sick and all I needed was an excuse to get drunk at the situation. However there were other plans written for me and I made it thru.That time,as I do each time,one thing at a time.

I felt the need to write and let you know that I heard and wanted to reach out and comfort you if possible. I hope by sharing that perhaps I have given you some comfort . Thank you for sharing. I need to hear these things,to be reminded and remember that I am to help if I can......

      Huge Hug for You

                                          Tracey  LaForge

Comment by Moonshelle on October 3, 2011 at 7:31am
I'm glad Bam Bam has Rainbow. I'm glad Rainbow has Bam Bam. In the distance, I can hear the rhythm of the saints.

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