by Television Ted
Life has a tendency to meander in Cambodia. A lot like the meandering thoughts that permeate your mind on a Saturday or Sunday morning – after a great night of live music has you relaxed,happy and satisfied. You might be gazing at the shapes on the top of your coffee or at the patterns a boat makes as it glides down the Tonle Sap or even looking onto all the crazy Phnom Penh traffic from a high vantage point – but meander your thoughts will. As your thoughts meander they may move across many things – politics, work, friends, family, home. My thoughts meandered as usual this week……. until, each time, they would suddenly stop. They would come to a point of remembering. My heart would sink and my mind would tell me to adjust to the new reality. Big Mike has passed on.
to rely on Mike. He occupied a place in my working life that no-one else could fulfill. He was somebody I could talk to about things of which I could talk to no-one else. He was someone who made me feel important and made me feel so special that he called me his friend. I could always rely on him when it came to the the buzz of the live music scene. I could learn things from him because he had a sharp mind, an amazing history, a large, diverse and loyal network of friends and a unique vantage point on the rock & roll lifestyle that circled around him. A Chinese-born, American citizen with a history in the Hell’s Angels, CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City and international financial dealings, he would spend part of his time in New York City but always loved to return to his rock & roll lifestyle in Cambodia. You can read more about the Mike and the history of Sharky’s (the bar of which he has been principal owner for most of it’s existence) in our article written by one-time manager David Rabie back in March 2013.
|Artist and musician Conrad Keely drew this portrait of Mike|
Keely) of him also lays testament to his influence and magnanimity as does the fact that local musicians have arranged 3-days of tribute to him later this month. It will definitely be the end of a very amazing, tumultuous and unique era in the Cambodian nightlife and live music scene.He was a huge figure in the local music scene and did everything he could to foster a vibrant, happening and creative live music environment. He has a huge swag of friends throughout that scene and will be missed widely and sorely. He face will always be remembered for that big smile, with the loving, happy, moon-sliver eyes, that big heart and that air of total respect he permeated to all those around him. He was on a great rock & roll freight train that eventually and inevitably came to it’s final destination.