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I’ve always loved this photo of Riley singing with Franz. Franz gave it to me as a gift and I’ve had it on my wall for years. It’s a genuine moment where he couldn’t control his excitement at seeing his friends winning. He had to run up and take the mic. He loved this shit. While some people I’ve met through music treat you like competition, Riley wanted to see you win. If he didn’t, you knew it for certain. One of a kind. I’ll miss you
Riley Gale from Power Trip passed away yesterday. All my social media accounts are flooded with love for him. Zach says that he was "a living legend, a folk hero." And he truly was. Anyone that spent even just a few minutes with Riley would immediately know he was the real deal living life in a way we dreamt of as kids. Who didn't imagine being in the coolest, heaviest band of your generation while partying with your friends all the time and getting to record a song with Ice-T/Body Count?
I'll never forget crashing this weird party in 2011 of someone I didn't know. When I got there, there were only a handful of people walking around, taking sips of beer. Then all at once, the door opens up and what seemed to be a cloud of weed smoke appeared and this group of people barged in making tons of noise. One of the girls in the group ran over to the stereo and put on Big Freedia and a bunch of them started twerking. Then Riley stepped out of the smoke, followed by the rest of Power Trip, and they made their way to the kitchen to pass multiple blunts around. It was some total Ric Flair shit, but it wasn't ironic or intentionally baller; that was just how they rolled. They were playing a show the next day at Mango's with Guilt Party and they somehow got word of this party. Someone ended up stealing the empty keg at the end of the night and the hosts couldn't get their deposit back. On top of that, they had no idea who any of us were since we were all party crashers so they weren't able to track anybody down.
There's a country bar in Brooklyn named after Skinny Dennis, the famous 7-foot-tall country bass player who died when he was only 28 and was immortalized in the Guy Clark song "LA Freeway." The bar runs an Instagram account called "Fingerbang Alley", the nickname of a corner near the end of the bar where people like to lean against the wall and makeout. They posted a photo a couple years ago of a couple making out and one of them was wearing a backwards hat with an illegible band logo on it. They asked if anyone knew what the hat said, so I chimed in.
Yeah, it was a Power Trip hat. I thought it was hilarious.
So many people have stories about hanging with Riley and it's a testament to how people aren't exaggerating when they say he was a living legend. The secretary in Ferris Bueller's Day Off said this about Ferris: "The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude." Ferris Bueller seemed too cool to be real, but Riley Gale was the realest and that description fit him perfectly.
Listen to Manifest Decimation.