Although I have never met Chi, he has touched my life in ways I never could have imagined. I grew up in Smithtown NY, the suburbs of NYC. There was a nice family across the street, couple of young kids, a boy and a girl. They were much younger than me, but we all grew close, partied together...I would drive Dennis and his friends to shows in the city... Pantera(who Quicksand opened for), White Zombie, Beastie Boys come to mind. All very memorable shows.
Dennis loved music and turned me to Deftones when Around The Fur came out. I bought the CD and loved it!(that CD has been in every car I've ever owned since). Dennis went on to become an overnight DJ at NYC's most popular rock station back when radio was relevant. We would talk from time to time, living our lives but staying in touch occasionally. I'll fast forward about 10 years. I followed Deftones, was deeply saddened by Chi's accident but always hoped he would recover, they would play again and make new music.
I heard Diamond Eyes was coming out and pre ordered it, very happy to hear they would tour a bit. I found out Deftones would open for SOAD at Jones Beach Theater here on Long Island. Called my old friend Dennis to see if he wanted to go. His response was... I know those guys!!!! Unknown to me, he promoted and interviewed Deftones numerous times while working at the radio station. Dennis became very close with Chi.... and was devastated by the accident. It was difficult for him to even contact the other band members, but we ended up going.
I met and talked with them all, watched them kill an amazing set, partied with them and we all watched SOAD together. I felt Chi's presence the entire time. Saw the pain the band memebers were feeling, without talking about Chi... But he was there. After that show, I joined an amazing group on facebook... Deftoned Familia...that has changed my life... I have met a group of caring beautiful people, many of whom I am very close to. The more I hear about Chi from Dennis and other people who have been touched by his tragically short life...
The more I understand what a beautiful soul he was... and is. I find myself saying, during trying times "What would Chi do?" I feel Chi's presence every day through his music and the way he has touched the lives of my new family of Deftones brothers and sisters. Without ever meeting Chi, I feel I know him, and I know he would want each of you to be safe and happy, to live life to the fullest and keep those you love out of harms way. Please wear your seat belts. Lets help Chi's continuing legacy of love move forward with this one simple act we can all do everyday. I love you Chi, and I love every one of you.