Cover Me: Photos from the Dave Gage tribute show at Will’s Pub

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On October 26, local musician and much-loved punk rocker Dave Gage (Disco Biscuit, Alabama Man Whore, Rosy Crucifixion) succumbed to cancer, devastating friends and family and the local music community with the loss of a talent and friend. On Sunday, Dec. 7, musicians honored Gage with a benefit show called Cover Me: A Musical Tribute to Dave Gage, with proceeds donated to his daughter Ivey Gage's college fund and the Melanoma Research Foundation. Below is Gage's full obituary, including information on his history as a local musician and details on how folks can contribute to the Melanoma Research Foundation and/or to his family fund.

Dave Gage, a writer, singer, guitar player, skater, surfer, thinker, drinker, hard worker, joker, questioner and all-around good guy, left us all wondering what the hell happened on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Diagnosed with melanoma two years earlier, no one thought a 49-year-old man could succumb to “skin cancer” so soon and despite such a hard fight.

David Paul Gage was born on May 8th, 1965 to Paul and Carol Gage in Newport Beach, CA. He lived with his family in Costa Mesa, CA, where he fell in love with the sand and ocean. They then moved to Ohio and lived in Centerville and Pickerington. The family moved to Longwood, FL, in 1978. Dave attended Teague Middle School and Lake Brantley High School (class of 1983) where he played varsity soccer and was in the National Honor Society. He attended (occasionally) Flagler College in St. Augustine and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in business. He paid the bills with a long and respected career as a manager in the construction industry.

As a youngster, Dave developed a love of punk rock music and began writing songs and playing drums and guitar. He soon began forming bands with like-minded non-conformists and rabble-rousers, thus beginning a life-long dedication to all things rock & roll. He was a popular and respected fixture on the Central Florida music scene in bands including the Rosy Crucifixion, Bloody Mary, DOPE, Disco Biscuit, and most recently, Alabama Man Whore, a duo with long-time friend and drummer, Ed Schumann. He wrote very serious songs (“The A Train,” “Corporate Rock Anthem,” “Man in Distress”) and very funny songs (“Flowers,” “Oh, Oh My Head,” “Hillbilly Jim”) and some that were both (“It’s a Mad, Mad World,” “Baseball” and “Head of a Clown,” a love song written for his future wife). He downplayed his considerable talent as a guitar player and singer and would have rather lived out a life-long dream to play the drums as fast as Buddy Rich and Bill Stevenson.

In 1991, Dave met Jeannine Loiacono, and eight months later, in March, 1992, they got married the day after the “storm of the century,” which freakishly rained hail the size of golf balls down on Central Florida. They took that as a sign that their marriage might get stormy, but because they were so madly in love, they could get through anything together. For the next 23 years, they were proven right. In 1995, the couple welcomed daughter Ivey, the physical clone of her mother, but the spitting image of her dad in every other way – intelligence, sharp wit, sometimes sullenness and overall bad ass-ed-ness. Never was a dad prouder.

In 2001, the family left their beloved friends and family to move to Ormond Beach because of a big promotion for Dave at Rinker Materials. He ran two concrete plants for the company until he realized the corporate life was not for him. He then took on a position as project manager with a local concrete contractor, Truant Construction. Respected and well-liked among other contractors, and yes, even subs, he worked bravely through his illness until just last month. His loyalty and work ethic made his family very proud.

Over the last 13 years in Ormond Beach, Dave made many great friends on local golf courses and at his beloved home away from home, Babe’s Blue Room. There, he was loved for his quick wit and the ability to make friends with anyone lucky enough to take the stool next to him. Dave continued to play shows in Orlando as Alabama Man Whore and a few rollicking reunions of Disco Biscuit. These were wonderful times for Dave to be able to reconnect with all those friends he didn’t get to see as often as he would have liked. Plus, he always got to have a meal at Tako Cheena, his favorite joint to eat.

Dave is survived by his wife Jeannine and daughter Ivey; parents Paul and Carol Gage; two sisters, Karin Calloway (husband Bond and children Tripp and C.C.) and Leslie Marcus (husband Cory and children Gage and Graham); and brothers-in-law Steve Loiacono (wife Mandee and son Evan) and Tony Loiacono (wife Hanne and son Nick). Also, his best friend for more than 30 years, Tim Hobson, who has been a constant and loving source of support for Dave and his family since the beginning, but especially since Dave’s diagnosis two years ago. The family asks that any donations in Dave’s honor be made to the Melanoma Research Fund at melanoma.org. There is also a family fund to help with expenses at gofund.me/fn5yh0.

Dave Gage
May 8, 1965-October 26, 2014

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12/07/2014 | Photos by Darin Back