As I stumbled around Facebook this morning, I saw a photo posted with comments that made no sense. I clicked around, only to find the terrible and sad news.
Dana Key, died in Memphis last night, from a ruptured blood clot. He was 56 years old. He leaves behind a wife of many years, Anita, and three children. He also leaves behind a congregation of people at a church in Memphis where he had been pastoring since 2001.
I first met Dana when he came to Denver on tour with DeGarmo & Key. I was working for a local promoter and showed up that morning to oversee the day. It was a tough day. Though their band bus made it right on time, the truck full of gear broke down in the Colorado mountains. The eager D&K fans had lined up outside the Denver theater when I arrived that morning, I knew I would have to face telling them. We were able to reschedule for 2 nights later with the venue and the band, but I had a few thousand people who were going to show up for a concert that wasn't going to happen. The band and crew headed off to their hotel. Dana decided to stay. Every 20 or thirty minutes I would go find him, and he would go outside with me, when I went to give the bad news to the fans outside. I could tell they were impressed at meeting him and getting a personal handshake. I never forgot that day.
Over the next years, Dana was always kind and gracious whenever our paths crossed. He did radio interviews longer than he needed to, once spending an hour talking about his "Part of the Mystery" album. (Gotta find that tape). He patiently sat through filming silly video footage for a music video show I was working on. He was an amazing guitarist and had a REALLY great voice for rock and roll. But I liked his solo stuff even more.
Here's Dana singing a Larry Norman tune.
I loved that voice. Facebook is filled with people talking about him being in heaven (which I believe)and saying that we should be rejoicing (I understand the sentiment). But can I just be real here and say that I am very, very sad to hear of his death? He was a wonderful man of God. I went to his church's website from time to time, to listen to his sermons. He loved teaching the Word. I liked hearing his voice.
This will take some time to sink in. I guess I always thought I'd eventually cross paths with him again. Something more than being a friend on Facebook.
This is a sad day.