R.I.P. Barry Fey

Long-time Colorado concert promoter Barry Fey has died. He was a local legend. From Ebbets Field to Mile High Stadium to Red Rocks, Barry Fey defined Colorado concerts. No one came close to matching his three decades of bringing the biggest groups to Denver. He was also quite a colorful character.

The past few years weren't great for him, health-wise or financially. He was recovering from a difficult hip replacement surgery last month. Sources say he took his own life.

Hunter Thompson also couldn't get past difficult hip replacement surgery. In his last note, written to his wife Anita four days before he took his own life, he wrote:

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt."

R.I.P. Barry Fey. Your legacy in Denver lives on.

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    Not just Colorado (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by bmaz on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:27:44 PM EST
    But huge in Phoenix for a long tome too. In fact, there was one huge spring training baseball facility that was renamed "Feyline Fields most of the year and some of the biggest stadium sized rock acts in history played there. Often in concerts in which 4-5 big bands would play most of the day. Met him only once, briefly, that I recall; seemed like a nice chap. Sorry to hear this.

    Ironic post to me for a couple of reasons (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:04:50 PM EST
    First, I was living in Boulder during the summer of 1970, and Barry Fey was already putting on shows, some of which I went to.  For 42 years (1968-2010) I was a roadie for a band called Sons of Champlin, and no doubt we did some of his shows.

    Second, Hunter Thompson took his own life at the same age I am today.  I was a big fan of Mr. Thompson's writing, but not his lifestyle.  He felt that he was used up at 67, but I am not.  I survived 42 years as a roadie precisely because I didn't do what so many like Mr Thompson did.  I rode my bicycle to the extent that I am now a moderately famous cyclist, and eschewed the tobacco, alcohol and nose candy that once passed for a normal rock band diet and which have collectively killed so many of my friends.

    Hunter was 67 in number only (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:46:41 PM EST
    His body had a lot more miles on it than that. Congrats to you on surviving and prospering where too many have burned out the bad way.

    Yes, I was there at Red Rocks (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:12:39 PM EST
    for that concert.  After living 40 years in Aspen we went down to many shows regularly.  Hunter Thompson was also in our caravan over Independence Pass for the U2 concert but thankfully he was not in my car.  He was a wonderful friend but bad to the bone and very destructive on road trips.  He always had guns, drugs, booze, and other weird miscellaneous stuff with him at all times.  He was famous for hiding things in your car and forgetting about them.  When I cleaned my car after he rode in it even for a short trip to town there were pipes, baggies, pills and all sorts of things stuffed down into the seats.  But still he was a kind and wonderful friend.  We all miss him.

    Great story (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:16:07 PM EST
    Thanks for it. It's kind of amazing he made it to 67, if you think about it. Peace.

    I was thinking about him a (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sj on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:40:04 PM EST
    ...few weeks ago.  I was thinking about a Halloween show Black Sabbath did where I could have sworn that Heart was the opening act.  The dates don't add up, though.  The internet: more reliable than memory.

    Anyway Barry Fey and Feyline made my youth much more exciting than it would have been otherwise.  I never met him, but I/we got to know quite a few of his regular security people because we went to so many of his shows. Now I see he has a book.  Hmmm... kindle edition or hard cover?

    RIP Barry Fey, and thanks for the memories. Peace you and your family.

    I'm very sorry, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:53:06 PM EST
    It sounds like you knew him personally and that he was a really great guy -- and given everything I've just read about him, what a life he led!

    Many older people I've known who've been Type-A driven personalities have often endured a very difficult time when trying to cope with life-altering health conditions. I don't know why, because I'd otherwise think that the opposite would be the case, that they'd take charge and not let anything stand in their way to recovery.

    My former boss at the legislature just gave up last summer after she fell and broke her hip three days after turning 80 and had surgery. It was sad, but she was a feisty and independent woman who apparently decided that she was not going to live out her remaining years as a semi-invalid or worse. She stopped eating, and was gone in a few weeks.

    We can only console ourselves with the thought that they're not suffering in pain any more and are now in a better place, and we celebrate the time they had on this earth.


    My dad shattered his knee... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:45:34 PM EST
    ...like a cheap wine glass at almost 80, and somehow, I would personally attribute it to his ridiculously positive mental outlook on life, he healed up, never needed a cast or surgery, which, to put it mildly, seemed to his doctor to be all but humanly impossible. But others, as you've noted, just cannot handle a physical injury and its ramifications. As for myself, I've had so many injuries and wounds, I gimp around on a dead leg, I think I'm more accustomed to it as an old jock, a history I know you share. Mahalo.

    I just got his book autographed by him (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:55:37 PM EST
    Christmas 2011.

    My dad and father in law just had hip surgeries, and I, thinking they were fairly routine these days was not overly worried. Fortunately each rehabilitated to a point better than before the surgery. Unfortunately Mr. Fey did not have that same result. May he find some peace.

    There are several new procedures (none / 0) (#7)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:18:09 PM EST
    available for hip surgery these days.  Now they can resurface the upper thigh bone and do it with a very small incision in the front.  I had a total hip replacement in 2001 and they actually cut the end off the thigh bone and inserted a $19 K titanium and ceramic prosthesis down into the bone with another titanium socket in the pelvis.  We elected not to use bone cement at the time since I was still quite active and, if necessary, it could be replaced.  It was a truly hideous recovery period and I would never go through that again.  Not sure what actually caused Barry's demise but it is very easy to get infected which can lead to sepsis which usually results in death.  Very sad to hear of his passing.  I had many wonderful experiences at Red Rocks concerts.

    U2 Live at Red Rocks (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:52:20 PM EST
    I wasn't there (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by sj on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:43:59 PM EST
    but my brother was.  Really.  I know a lot of people say they were, but he really was.

    Not quite that cool... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by bmaz on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:51:21 PM EST
    ...but I did see the original Blues Brothers (with Belushi), Santana and Jimmy Buffet at Red rocks all within like a couple of weeks of each other back in 1980

    saw those very concerts too (none / 0) (#16)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:04:34 PM EST
    bmaz...maybe we sat next to each other.  Jimmy Buffett lived in Aspen for about ten years so when any of his band members came to town he would put on impromptu shows at different joints in town.  When on tour he was Jimmie Buffett and the Coral Reefers but the abbreviated group was called Freddie and the Fish Sticks.  We had plenty of fun back in the day.  BTW terrific post on the true truth of the law and the Constitution regarding the Boston bombing.  Forget which amendment it is about housing troops but I would love to have a couple of Navy Seals upstairs in the guest bedroom.

    I wore the grooves... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 06:25:01 AM EST
    off the cassette of that live record.  Columbia House...I think I owe them money, they shoulda damn well known better than to take orders from a 13 year old;)

    "I know a girl, a girl called Party, Party Girl!"


    Alright, here you go (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:22:34 AM EST
    And I forgot, no sound in the cube (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:25:14 AM EST
    You'll have to take a listen later, the quality is good.

    Nice one mate... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 11:56:58 AM EST
    will do.

    First concert I ever saw, U2 Zoo TV Giants Stadium August '92.  My sister took me, I was 15.  If I'm not mistaken it was on the stadium leg of that tour when they started playing the old stuff from the "War" era again...when they played the opening notes to "New Years Day" the place f*ckin' erupted.  May be the most memorable rite of passage in my life...rock-n-roll grabbed my arse and never let go.


    I hate quoting Ted Nugent (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 12:18:15 PM EST
    But I remember one smart thing he said about rock n' roll, which was along the paraphrased lines of, "You know, I think rock has progressed to the point, and I hate to say progress because it's so basic, progress might actually kill rock n' roll..."

    I always have that inkling whenever I listen to old stuff by any great band. But that's just nostalgia, really. Everything moves on. But that's by old video is God.


    that's WHY old video (none / 0) (#23)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 12:19:30 PM EST

    nostalgia.. (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 04:14:12 PM EST
    John Fahey used to say cosmic sentimentalism..

    On the other hand, the next new thing is often a marketing ploy for people with short attention spans. People may've heard all of U2, but how many have heard all of who influenced them, and who influenced them..?

    Are we all expected to adhere to a certain set time limit to absorb art before we're all required to move on?


    The way I look at it... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed May 01, 2013 at 10:37:46 AM EST
    whether recorded/written/originally performed in 2013 or 1933, it's all new the first time you hear it.

    And it's all derivative...and there's nothing wrong with that.  Carry the torch and forever let it burn.


    back in the mid-80's. I assume Fey promoted them, although I've never heard his name before.