Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Red" And "Stormin'" Pass On

R.I.P. Johnny "Red" Kerr and "Stormin'" Norm Van Lier. Both passed away within the last two days.

I had the chance to work with Van Lier at the Morris Napa store many years ago. He was making an appearance, and I was hosting a remote broadcast from the event.

I got to sit next to Van Lier for two hours, interview him during our on-air segments, and converse with him off the air.

It was a lot of fun, and it was great to see how enthusiastic he was to just be out and about, meeting fans, talking hoops and just having a good time.

He kept trying to persuade me to play more Led Zeppelin on WJDK. He loved his rock 'n' roll.

Eerie how both Van Lier and Kerr were in the news a bit the last few weeks. Kerr was honored at halftime of a Bulls game earlier this month -- something that should have been done a long time ago, and reeked of "let's do this before he passes away" -- but Van Lier was strangely absent.

Seems he was never invited, for whatever reason, and he was deeply hurt by the snub.

Less than three weeks later, Van Lier -- who had been suffering with some unreported bad health the last few months -- passes away, and Kerr, who had prostate cancer, went just a few hours later.

I'm not a Bulls fan, but I certainly recognize what these two men meant to the city and to a large fan base over the years. They'll be missed. A lot.

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