R.I.P “James Blackthorn Bentley” September 5th 1976 – July 22nd 2013 : My Eulogy to Jim

Image    It is with great sadness in my heart as I write this. It still hasn’t fully come down on me that Jim, Jim! Is dead…I am completely shocked. I heard the news on the morning of July 23rd. The skies here in Arkansas were darkening. I couldn’t believe it. As the news and details came in,

“The sky became cloaked in the darkest grey clouds I have seen.                                                                                                  The storms rolled in. It  became the longest day of lighting and thunder rolling off the deep woods into the late night. One point in the day the clouds opened up and with a tiny light shining through, the light was filtered muddy as if all things lay inside a dream. The sky grey and red, all that was reflected  soft and grey. I thought Jim must have been there. I can’t express the emptiness and guilt that came with that day.”

Jim was funny, loving, nuturing, crazy, inspiring, brilliant, an engineering genius and weirdo –  and we all loved him so much. He was one of the most geniuine and sincere as a person could be. He had something so special – he truly was himself and could see right through every person to find their real self.    He was    –   selfless and cared so much about other people he would always go out of the way to do what was right for them. He showed me and Rabbits  great kindness.. .

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Martini glass stuck in the wall at XPO. .
photo: Andy Mecca

It was only last summer that our XPO crew was melting away in the Fort, planning the events and business challenges at XPO with Game of Thrones playing on  loop in the background at the Fort. These past 2 years we worked hard, partied hard, struggled and built together with Jim and the crew. One solid group of friends/misfits/freaks- Jonny Aquadora, Jim Bentley, Johnny Madison (Rabbits), Lulu Cipher, and myself Embry Blue (the Blue Witch), and later on Michael Ban or as Jim called him “Chimmey Chow!.” Last summer we’d party with Jim, laugh at his crazy stunts and work side by side with him. Like the  many times he broke glasses at the bar. The martini glass in the wall- Of course – Only Jim. He had a sincere gentle heart, he loved and cared for people – I can’t say that enough. A true rarity in today’s world. He hurt and felt the pain of others, had a sense of justice & truth. He worked hard and had pride in accomplishing the impossible. Night after night daybreak after daybreak. We’d be in the basement climbing through rumble and grime and always felt a sense of duty. 

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Jim on top of the bar that he built with Jonny Aquadora & Rabbits. With the silver mannequins I lugged over from Queens that day for the bar. photo: Embry Blue

My experience with Jim was through Party Xpo. I know a lot of people have a love hate relationship with this place, as do I. But this is the place all of us really became a supernatural pirate ship, —————sailing away night after night.

we played this song night after night. before the xpo shows. gearing up for the bands after working together all day to get the space ready for them…

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Jim had put in a tremendous amount of work at Xpo. Building constantly, improving the sound quality, making sure all the bands were taken care of loading them in hanging out with the bands downstairs. Just truly loving the community. I’m sure all can attest to his sincerity and lust for life just to be with you at that moment. I’m sorry Jim! I’m Sorry Jim! I’m Sorry Jim. I”m sorry I’m Sorry. I”m sorry  im sorry im sorry.  . I wished we would have stayed . …….

this song we play almost every night at XPO while beat, warped, and heading out . singing along with each other every night. No matter what , it always felt like we where there for each other.  . . no matter what all the dramas where… we where all still glad to be with each other. . . 

My heart beats out of my chest as I write this, and can’t help to break down and cry every time I continue to write this. I know I must say something, I was not able to say anything at his funeral memorial – I just couldn’t bear it – but I  need to say something  – his life was precious – and I know – he was precious – I know – I know . Time is still not enough to make this any easier.  His Birthday was yesterday, . I was in NY with the ones who where with him the last days., this is and was the worst thing to deal with. How does one prepare to face such a tragic and guilty circumstance. If If If IF If iF if fifiififiifififi.

is all we are able to think about.  he needed us and didn’t want to say because selfish is just not jim. and we know it.

I lived with him and he was the best person to live with. He felt others before he could feel himself. He hated the world and what it did to people. I loved how he just wanted to “hang out” just to be with you. He wanted to work and make others happy.  I loved Jim, you can never know a person like him .  I wish I would have expressed my appreciation of him. I know Rabbits did, I ‘m just not the sort of person to say things like that. —-Through this I realize how important it is to tell people how much you love and appreciate them. You never know what they are going through. They will never tell you. Just tell them you love them. 😦

They will never tell you. they will never tell you . . .

this is still hard to understand and deal with  😦