I’m sure everyone else who loves the Olivia Tremor Control is feeling as crushed as I am right now. Bill Doss has died at a far too young 43; the world has one less person who can give us the kind of pure melodic joy that was his specialty.
On a selfish level, I feel robbed of the chance to see one of my favorite bands keep growing. OTC had already broken up by the time I fell in love with Dusk at Cubist Castle and Black Foliage, so when they reunited in 2005 it was like a gift. That first reunion show at the Bowery Ballroom – ecstatic, anarchic – is still one of my top five or ten live experiences.
Last fall, I ran into Bill standing outside Le Poisson Rouge after another Olivias show. He told me he couldn’t wait to start playing all the new songs they’d been working on. Wait ‘til the next tour, he said.
I saw them for the last time barely a month ago, in Williamsburg. My sister and I stood front row, maybe a foot or two from Bill’s part of the stage as he sang “Hideaway” and “Jumping Fences” and “A Place We Have Been To.” He seemed happy, I thought; he certainly brought us a little more bliss that night. Rest in peace, Bill.