Of everything I have ever written, this is likely to be among the most meaningful to me. In early January, we said good-bye to Dave Franklin of Vision, aka DaVish, a guy who welcomed me deeper into New Jersey punk/hardcore 20 years ago, as he did for so many over the years that I now count as friends.
On Sunday, April 2, we will celebrate Dave’s life and character in the best way we know how – with a raucous hardcore show at Convention Hall in Asbury Park. I’ll be the first to admit that it will be an emotional day.
“On the stage, Franklin had full control of the room. He was the guy who could bring the skinheads, the punk weirdos, the skaters, and the nail bangers together in a pile on the stage.
“We literally would stuff people in the basement of his mother’s house, set up seven bands and a quarter pipe for kids to skate. I still don’t know how it all happened. Our old friend recently pointed out that we’d have 200 hardcore punk kids tearing up the basement all afternoon and evening, and there would be another group of kids upstairs partying, dressed in Benneton,” laughs Tabbot. “I think that’s kind of emblematic of Dave’s natural ability to attract all sorts of people and to maintain varied and interesting friendships.”
Franklin was simply, a badass. He snowboarded through the coldest of Northeast winters and was part of the NYHC inner circle.
“20 or so years ago, we played a show in Newark with a band we all admired, absolute heroes of Dave’s. He was invited on stage to sing a song. Dave had shoulder length hair at the time, and an angry baldy in the audience took offense and let Dave know in an aggressive way. Dave confronted the individual outside and wound up on the wrong end of a broken bottle. A melee ensued involving all of us, and I made my way inside a few minutes later to see how he was. He’s sitting on a bar stool with blood-soaked clothing and a wound deep into his shoulder, looks at me and says, deadpan, ‘Well, Pete, there goes my modeling career.’”
When not recording or touring, Dave was a carpenter. He was constantly renovating a kitchen, replacing a roof for some friend in the punk scene, or building stuff with former Vision member Tim Glomb and the Jackass crew.
His voice was deep and he was louder than any human should be, his Irish face turning red when he got excited, an energy that couldn’t be thwarted—borderline obnoxious if he hadn’t been so charming.
Franklin was best known for a demeanor that diffused tensions. From the most aggressive boot boys to the nerdiest kid, he simply made everyone feel like they belonged. He was also the guy with a fondness for abused animals and a loving family life behind it all.”
That said, I am honored to have be given the opportunity to write this piece for The Aquarian on the Doing It For Dave show and weave in some of the many stories of our brother. Thanks to Pete Tabbot and Derek Rinaldi who gave me some gold, and photos that span decades from “The Pope,” himself, Ken Salerno. You can find the hard copy of the Aquarian at your favorite convenience store. I’ll be saving this issue.
We miss you, Dave.