Last Sunday marked a profound anniversary for former Amoeba staffer/talented Bay Area musician Dax Pierson since on that very same date eight years earlier (February 24th, 2005) Pierson's life would forever change following a serious auto accident. The well-liked Dax, who used to work at the Berkeley Amoeba store along with fellow members of his band Subtle, was out on the road on the band's first US tour traveling Interstate 80 in Iowa in a van along with six others. Without warning, the Subtle tour van (plus trailer in tow) hit a nasty patch of black ice causing the van to skid out of control and completely roll over. Inside the upside down vehicle, the seat-belted Dax's seat broke free from its hinges (Ford Motors were later held responsible), causing him to come crashing down on his head. The devastating accident severely paralyzed Dax, leaving him quadriplegic.
On the accident's anniversary, Dax took to his Facebook page to reflect on that fateful day in a moving status update that struck a chord with his extended circle of friends, bringing some to tears.
In the honest, heartfelt update Dax expressed how the accident had forever altered his life everyday - including the continual myriad of health issues he encounters. "My physical and emotional challenges have been many," he shared noting, despite the love and support of his mom and a core group of good friends, how he often is overwhelmed with feelings of being, "isolated and alien socially and creatively." As for what Dax sees for his future, he wrote, "Dialysis. Kidney transplant? A new home/neighborhood. Better music technology. Making music with people in the same room after 8 years of not."
Dax's heartfelt words ignited an instant wave of comments from his friends who posted sincere words of support and love for the man. "You stand out as a true hero & a great artist, Dax, such an inspiration to many, even if they cannot adequately express how much they appreciate you. I wish you many many great times ahead, as you ever-so-gradually work out all the mighty hassles associated with went went down that awful day," wrote Amoeba co-owner Marc Weinstein who was one of about 100 friends to post comments. Another was fellow Subtle member Adam Kidd Drucker, aka Dose One, who similarly heralded Dax as a "hero" and one who inspired him to be a better musician, friend, and human being.
When I caught up later that same day, via email, with Dose One he was clearly still shaken from his friend's outpouring of emotions. "Yeah, that post made me cry in my coffee this morning. There is so much to say, so much to be sad for, and so much to be utterly inspired by," said the former Amoeba Berkeley employee. "Dax is amazing and has shown me what strong is made of."
"It was a surprising amount of outpouring of love and support from family and friends from all points in my life," Dax told the Amoeblog via online message a couple of days ago. Meanwhile, he wrote this follow-up post to his friends on his Facebook page: "It helped make my “rebirth (?)” day a bit easier." In his original post, Dax had admitted "I'm in uncharted territory, the only quadriplegic electronic musician that I know of-still after 8 years. I know few queer quadriplegics-still after 8 years. I'm self-conscious about the realities of my financial status and freedom/restraints within that construct-how it's perceived and how it really is." On a positive note he mentioned how, "The good news is that I have a man that is wholly supportive. Being in his arms feel like home. I have a mother who was been with me every single step of the way since my injury. I have a handful of friends, old and new, that are very supportive. I do not take these things for granted."