I read in the Portland Press Herald this morning that Matthew Robinson died unexpectedly last Sunday.
It sounds like Robinson started a successful painting company over the past decade and that those who knew him personally and professionally have nothing but love and respect for him. I do not recall having seen him much over the past ten years. I know, though, that I used to see Robinson a lot throughout our teenage, as he was a member of the band The Taxis.
The Taxis were a Portland pop punk (with a helping of ska) band that was very popular in the late nineties and into the beginning of the new millennium. From my perspective at the time, they were one of the greatest bands on the planet. I wanted nothing but to go to all of their shows, and it was by doing so that I found Portland a hometown away from my actual hometown. The music of that band provided for the soundtrack of my teenage; it reminds me of my first loves. If I spend more than 30 seconds remembering singing along with their anemic song “Attack” at a show, recalling punching my fist in the air along with the band, I get seriously misty. Until the post-vegetarian, boozy fattening that came upon my in my early 20s, I wore my Taxis shirt at least once a week for well into a decade. Every time I did so, people—most often vaguely recognizable strangers, would approach me to share their favorite Taxis related memories.
I can’t speak to who Matt was when he died, or what sort of person he became after entering adulthood. His friends, family and professional contacts have already spoken eloquently to that. I can, though, speak to the impact of the music he played in clubs and hole in the wall punk venues, to my love for the music he helped to record. I appreciate what Matt helped to contribute to my life, as it was a significant part of what I would eventually become.
Rest well, Matt. Thanks for everything.
PHOTO CREDIT: Josh Malia