Neal Pollack,

Thanks for a witty, honest, and endearing portrait of my friend–and most everyone’s, as you’ve mentioned–Thax Douglas [August 13].

It took me a while to warm up to this older fellow who was at every rock show or party that I attended in the early 90s Wicker Park community. He shook my hand sort of funny (by pressing his thumb between my thumb and forefinger) and he was always wearing sweaters that Bill Cosby wouldn’t even puke up, let alone wear, and he had a weird cartoony voice that I’d try to imitate when drunk, stumbling home.

I was wary of Mr. Douglas in those early days.

It wasn’t until I started attending Thax After Dark events that I came to understand and respect Thax very much. It seemed that it was a small group of people, but they were tight and Thax brought them together. No matter how bad the poet, or how annoying the voice, or how awful the tale being told, people would listen and give their support. It was a special situation, something to see in those days, something warm that we all felt in the audience and onstage at Lounge Ax.

Thanks to Thax, some of my bands got to play in front of people who never would’ve seen us, I met at least one interesting person at every Thax After Dark show I went to, and I got the opportunity to see people storm stages, own them for a short while, and leave with Cheshire grins on their faces as they walked to the bar for a beer.

Thanks to Thax and Neal for believing in the underdog.

Geoff Greenberg