Today is a sad day in our world. Our old bass player, brother-in-law, brother of the road, Mark Novak was laid to rest. He died way too young. He played hard and lived a little bit too hard, but as a traveling companion… he was hard to beat.
Mark joined us shortly after our third album release in 1982, and stayed with us right up until he graduated third in his class as a Physicians Assistant. I always carried with me a tinge of guilt when after playing a gig in Albany or Boston, we’d pull up to Upstate Medical and drop him off in time to join his team in the Operating Room early the next morning. It was not uncommon for us to play, then drive all night to the next town or home. His dedication to music and medicine were extraordinary.
He became part of our family. Yes, I know… we’re all “family” on this bus, but Mark actually married my sister-in-law’s sister. Shawn remembers some wonderful times back then, raising all those kids, the backyard parties, school concerts, and so much more. We, in the band will always cherish his renditions of the Three Stooges. I swear he memorized every scene from every movie. He had a brilliant, photographic memory.
The last year’s of Mark’s life were tough. Not gonna lie. His liver failed to sustain him into his twilight years. And that is the saddest part. One of the great ones in my life is gone. Faded from view, but not forgotten.
“It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.
The king is gone, but he’s not forgotten
Hey hey, my my… Rock and Roll can never die.
There’s more to the picture than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my….
- Neil Young
That’s Doug Moncrieff on the left, Todd Hobin up front, and Shawn Hobin on the right. Mark Novak is the third from the left. We think that this photo was taken in 1983.