It was 10 years ago today that New York punk band Bayside was involved in a van accident while traveling between Boulder, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, as a part of the Never Sleep Again tour alongside Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein and Aiden. The band’s van hit a patch of ice and flipped somewhere outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the early hours of October 31, 2005, with the resulting impact breaking the back of bassist Nick Ghanbarian and taking the life of drummer John “Beatz” Holohan. He was 31.
Holohan’s only recorded contribution in Bayside’s catalog is the band’s self-titled album, which features such fan favorites as “Devotion And Desire” and “Blame It On Bad Luck.” His tragic death inspired the song “Winter,” a track Bayside has never performed live. Now, a decade after his passing, Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri has opened up about Beatz.
“The truth is that we don’t look back at John and get sad,” Raneri commented via Facebook. “We talk about him amongst ourselves daily and it’s always with smiles. We tell stories about him, not in the way that you would eulogize someone, but in the way you talk about a friend that you can’t wait to see again. John’s family lost an amazing husband, brother and son and we lost a great friend. To us, that is what the world lost when John Beatz passed away. Bayside losing a drummer has always just seemed trivial to mention in that list. He would have told you that he was a husband, a brother, a son and a friend first and that’s who he will always be to the people that loved him.”
You can read Raneri’s entire post below. While the memorial fund for Holohan was closed many years ago, if you are interested in carrying on his memory, consider donating in his name to St. John’s University, the school he graduated from in 1997 and later served as their pep band director.