Rest In Peace John Kuhlken
Bad news travels fast. I got a sad phone call from Tony Lillard this morning all the way up here in Nova Scotia, Canada. The San Diego music community has lost a great treasure. John Kuhlken passed away last night and it was way too soon. Even though he had been battling cancer, he was in remission for much of the last decade. He fought like a trooper. He was one of the most positive people I've ever met. Not only was he a great drummer but he was a sweet friend to everyone he came across. He was always out at shows either playing drums with his long time girlfriend Sara Petite or just attending and ALWAYS giving some sort of enthusiastic support. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sara. He loved playing music and being around music and hanging out until late chatting about songs and life. Talk about warm big hearted smiles, John had the warmest and the brightest of them all. I never heard him complain once when he was sick from treatment. He also played drums in Brawley and The Nards. My heart goes out to both of those bands. I can only imagine what they're feeling. Man he was busy. He played on stage with me several times over the last 20 years and I remember him at The Belly Up jumping up on stage and pounding the drums alongside Stinky during Kilkenny Man while the crowd went nuts.
I was lucky enough to once get to drive with him to The City Of Hope in Pasadena for some sort of treatment he was receiving. The whole drive up he was so goofy and happy and positive. He made any problems I may have had seem so small. I met him through Tony Locster Lillard years ago and when I spoke with Tony this morning I felt like I got punched in the gut. Just hearing the sadness in Tony's voice crushed me. John Kuhlken was flat out amazing and a great human being. I'm glad I had the chance to laugh with him. I'll never forget him. He'll be greatly missed. Prayers and wishes to all his friends and family. Love, Steve