In 2004 the Rogues lost a dear friend when he was shot and killed trying to save his friends in the band Damageplan.  He protected us, he performed with us, he laughed with us.  He was our brother.  His name was Jeff Thompson.  To us, however, he was Mayhem and he will never be forgotten. 

A hero is a rare thing. People define the term hero in different ways, but a true, honest to goodness, larger than life guardian who proves he is willing to lay down his life for somebody does not come along very often. We've all read about them or heard stories about them on the news but in reality a person can go their whole life without meeting a hero. I met a hero... and he became my friend.

One day, not long after joining the Rogues, I was preparing to perform in Texas. I had heard near-legends about a giant of a man... a colossus whose chariot was a Honda Goldwing and who spoke with the voice of God. I was both eager and a little afraid to meet this giant... what if he didn't like me? After all I was the new guy and I didn't know if I was going to fit in. While I was contemplating this the sun became eclipsed and I -- standing at 6'1" -- looked way, way up into the eyes of a titan. He was massive... my only frame of reference was the NFL or the WWF.

"My name is Mayhem... how are you doing?" he rumbled.

Observing the flowers in his braided goatee I thought for a second and replied, "Oh, you're Mayhem. I've been looking forward to meeting you. I was thinking, if you're Mayhem do you think I could maybe be Apocalypse or Armageddon?"

"Are you Jonesin' on my name?" he responded.


"Okay, let's have a tickle fight!" he yelled, picking me up and tickling me until I couldn't breathe. With that our friendship began.

That is just one of my favourite Mayhemories. Anybody that has ever met Mayhem can only have good feelings about him... God had to give Jeff the body of a giant because that was the only one large enough to hold his heart. As my friend Vicki pointed out in one of her photos he was probably the world's biggest teddy bear.

Since Wednesday I've had a lot of time to go over my many good memories of Mayhem. I've been telling my friends about the time that a man got a little too close to me while the Rogues were signing autographs and talking to people after a show. Mayhem, who had quietly been keeping an eye on Randy, Jimmy, Lars and I, immediately stepped in between us and told the man to back off. When I heard about Wednesday's tragedy I immediately knew that the slain security guard was Mayhem... that's the kind of man he was and that's why he's a hero. A hero, they say, is the kind of person who runs towards danger while everybody else is headed in the opposite direction. On Wednesday, December 8, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, you just know that while everybody else in the room was trying to get away from the horror unfolding before them, Jeff Thompson was going straight at the man with the gun. I'm sure that Mayhem didn't even pause to think about the danger... his only concern would be the safety of his friends. Loyalty, courage, kindness, selflessness... if these qualities don't make a hero I don't know what does.

We are all facing rough times ahead. For many Scarborough Faire will never be the same. For me, performing will never be the same... I simply had too many good times onstage with my buddy to not be changed by this. For all of us who knew Jeff there is no question that our lives will never be the same... to have such a great man ripped from us is simply not fair. I personally take some solace in the belief that Jeff is now with another person for whom I have great admiration and who ironically perished on the same day at the same age... John Lennon. Indeed, if Jeff had been there all those years ago perhaps John would be with us still. Seek out whatever source of strength you can. We still have each other and the Rogues family is large and caring. One more thing... I think if you close your eyes and look inside your hearts you will hear Jeff whispering, "It's okay... I'm fine, really. Go out and live life." There is no doubt that Mayhem is in a better place for if he is not in heaven then heaven does not exist. If you do anything today and in the difficult days to come, grab hold of one of the many wonderful memories you have of Jeff that you have stored away... he gave them to you for times such as these. Make people understand. Get together, listen to music, and share your memories. Laugh together, cry together, sing together. Weave the living fabric that is Mayhem's tapestry and in the process make him legendary.

December, 2004