Brian Paone

Author // Musician

On this solemn 10th anniversary.... I miss you more than anything

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of one of my best friends, David Reilly. His death is also the sole reason of how I have a career as an author today. We were friends from 1995 until he died in 2005. After he died, I didn't know where to put my grief. I became pretty self-destructive and aimless. 3 months after his death, it was suggested to me that maybe I should write about my friendship with him and everything we went through together, since it is a unique story; he being a rock star, me starting out as just a rabid fan of his band, him struggling with drug abuse and depression, me never even having a drink of alcohol yet. We were like the perfect yin and yang. I tried everything I thought I could do in my power to save him, but sadly it wasn't enough.

I had been writing short stories for years, but I had never attempted a "novel" yet. I began writing my first full-length book in January, 2006, just to have a healthy outlet for my grief over David passing. What started off as a way to purge my emotions, became something so much greater. His fans from all over the world started contacting me, and his own family stood behind the book. I didn't realize it yet, but I was on the road to becoming an "author" faster than I could ever imagine. Writing the book was cathartic for me, but I could not possibly have any idea how well it would be received. I still, to this day, receive messages or emails from people all over the world thanking me for writing that book.

I would give anything to have David back, alive and healthy. I would give back my career as an author and all the books I've sold. But I also think that if he did come back, even for a day, and learned that my book had touched that many people after his death, he would give me his signature "thanks me-han" and be proud of me... just as I am so proud of him and what he accomplished getting clean before he died.

"Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts" is technically a memoir and non-fiction, but I will always refer to it as a novel. It is written as a narrative, and the relationship and struggles that I endured being friends with someone who struggled with addiction is so universal, and is so relatable to so many people, that I hate when the book gets pigeonholed into "memoir" status.

I can't believe it has been 10 years now... I can't believe the book has been published for 8 years now... it all seems so long ago, and yet almost like yesterday. This anniversary is, in the true sense of the word, bittersweet. His music will forever live on with the 4 albums his band released and the 2 solo album he released after they broke up... and his memory as a person and human being will hopefully live on through the pages of my book. David wasn't just some "cliché rock star junkie." If he was, his story wouldn't have touched as many people as it has. If he was, only diehard fans would have cared about his self destructive tendencies... he was so much more than a "junkie" or a "rock star."

And I hope that, even 10 years later, my book stays relevant and continues to open people's eyes about drug abuse, depression, and how rock stars are real people too...

I miss you David. I miss you more than anything.... 

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