A few years ago, I wrote this for Double Cross Webzine. Tim & Gordo ended up never doing anything with it, so I have done some editing and reproduced what I wrote here.
So, my senior year of high school I was working on a new fanzine. This would be my first full length, pretty serious effort, fanzine after a couple of false starts. I really wanted to interview War Zone, so a friend (Dan Skebra?) gave me their voicemail number and I called it up. After leaving a very nervous message, I didn’t hear anything for about a week and crossed them off the list of bands to interview. One day after school I was getting ready for work and my mother hands me the phone. I asked her who it was and she said “Ray.” I figured it was my friend Ray, who I worked with and also went to shows (although his friends were more into pop-punk and bands like 25 Ta Life). Turned out it was another Ray: Raybeez!
He apologized for taking so long to get back to me and asked me about my fanzine. I told him I named it after a Mouthpiece song and we talked about how great Mouthpiece had been (they’d broken up the previous summer). We set up a time to do the interview at an upcoming War Zone show somewhere down the shore. Raybeez promised to keep in touch and I hung up totally psyched.
A few weeks go by the show happens, but do to some circumstances out of our control my friends and I couldn’t make it. I spoke to Raybeez a few days later and he said to not worry about it, we’d catch up soon. He called one more time like a month or so later to see how I was doing. He even remembered I was finishing up high school soon. How fucking cool is that?
School ends and that summer War Zone played at Manville with, I think, Uprise and No Contest. I introduced myself to Raybeez, apologized in person for missing the earlier show, and again he was so cool about it. He asked me what song I wanted to hear and four words snapped to the front of my brain: “Escape From Your Society.” You bet they played it along with a ton of old songs.
I hoped to find him after the show to thank him again, but my ride wanted to take off right away so I didn’t get to see him. About two months later he was dead.