Rick Salazar


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I remember the first time I met Conrad. It was in the hackey sack circle at La Quinta High School. I was just an awkward freshman and the first thing I did was complement Conrad on his hair and touch it. He looked at me with this annoyed look on his face and told me not to touch his hair. (I couldn't help it - it looked so nice) It would actually be some time before I would actually chill with Conrad again, but our paths would cross again when I was a junior. I was dating this really short chick at the time that we won’t talk about, when a future ex-girlfriend of mine, Jennifer, enrolled in our school. Jennifer was what I call a vision in black; she was very pretty. So I of course invited her to come chill with our group at lunch. (cause I'm so nice) So, I'm pretty sure that she caught Conrad’s eye. Conrad had this way of going from group to group and chatting it up with everyone and he then started making his way to us. At this time I was just getting into playing guitar, not bass yet, but guitar. So when he would come around we would of course talk about music. Conrad would talk about Ozzy and I would talk about Metallica and Pantera, but he could definitely talk about Ozzy for hours. I eventually broke up with the short chick and was free to do as I may. At around this time Conrad was throwing his birthday party, but his party landed on the same day as my ex-girlfriend’s party, and I remember him telling people to go to his party because it would be more fun. So of course me and my friends went to Conrad’s party instead, and it kicked ass.

Pretty soon after that it was graduation time and I gave Conrad my # so he could keep in touch. During summer I was just hanging around the house and Conrad gave me a call to see if I wanted to jam. I said sure come on over. So he came over to the house with his brand new guitar and an Ozzy DVD. I remember, and so does my mom, of how proud he was of that guitar and how he loved to show it off in its pretty case. Soon after that we were supposed to start a band with another guitarist but we never got together, so me and Conrad would jam out whenever we got the chance to.

The first half of my 12th grade year I went to Amistad and I met a lot of people who played guitar and rocked out, so I threw a jam party. It was me on bass, Conrad and three other people playing guitar and this crappy guy on drums. That night was so much fun if you can imagine 4 amps turned up to 11 and everyone playing to look better than the next guy, me on bass and crappy drums in the background. It was fucking chaos. I didn't tell my mom that so many people were going to be in the house playing, so when she got home from work she came into the house opened the door looked at all of us and just walked right back out. She had this look like ohh my god they have taken over my house. I looked over at Conrad and he was just smiling ear to ear. He was really kicking some ass on guitar that night. I was playing so hard that night that when me and Conrad tried to work on some songs again in the morning, that I just couldn't do it my hand hurt so bad.

After that you could say a ritual started that on Fridays; not all but most. Conrad would come over to the house and we would of course jam out on songs that we wrote. I remember one Friday I was having yet another surgery on my toe and Conrad called and asked what’s up. He asked me why I was groaning and I told him it was because the doctor (Quack) was ripping my toe apart. So he said something like, “So we're not going to jam tonight?” I very adamantly said, “Hell yeah!” and I insisted on it. So after I came out of my surgery I was all drugged up and in some pain. And of course Conrad came over to jam out that night. So we got the bright idea to record one of the songs that we had been working on. At that time the drugs were in full effect so of course the recording sucked, mostly cause my bass line was so sloppy and out of key. (Whenever I think about that night I laugh)

Pretty soon after that Conrad died. I remember going to school the next day, it felt like I constantly could not breathe. I had so much trouble looking my friends in the eye that day because it hurt so bad, but I know for sure that without my friends I wouldn't have been able to stay so strong. My friends gave me strength and courage to get through this and for that I am most grateful. Thank you all my brothers and sisters.

Conrad, I really miss you. I still feel your presence but it's not the same. I fully plan on making you proud of me some day. I still have the cigar that you bought me and I plan on smoking it right after my first sold out show, whenever that is. But till then know that I love you and I hope you're enjoying yourself wherever you are. I can't wait to see you again.

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