Amoeba Remembers: Anthony "Big Ant" Marin

Amoeba Remembers: Anthony "Big Ant" Marin

"Big Ant" Marin

1/1972 - 6/2008


We recently lost a great
friend, Anthony Marin.


Anthony "Big Ant" Marin and his great, beard-engulfed smile was a fixture at Amoeba San Francisco for many years. He was an unintentional musical legend, an accidental charmer of all life forms, but a deliberately good man. Everyone he encountered considered him a friend.

Below some of his friends and family at Amoeba remember Big Ant:

Anthony Marin was a huge mexican genius


i swear it's a good thing he wasn't a con man because we'd all be broke and naked


if there was ever a mythical character manifested in real life it was Ant, he was like Tom Sawyer, always finding a way to make someone else paint the fence


Three things we all know Tony loved:


1.He loved to hug pretty girls, really, really, really......loved to hug pretty girls


2. He loved to piss off Tony Green, you couldn't write a better rivalry (in strict confidence, Ant told me he thought Tony was an okay guy, I hope he doesn't haunt me for giving that away).


3. He loved music. Ant was an intense scholar of sound, his knowledge of GREAT music knew no genres or boundaries. We'd go to his dirty little studio apartment after work, move some beer cans out of the way, crack open a few more, maybe expand our minds a bit and then he'd play me the greatest records I'd never heard. I have no idea where they all came from but he just kept pulling them out, every week, for over 5 years


Ant taught me a lot of things about my own self worth, not to sell myself short but mainly about humility.


He knew I was a know-it-all, he'd keep baiting me into self righteous lectures about things I assumed he didn't know about and then would crack a smile and laugh, what a jerk, what an awesome jerk, eventually I learned, I learned many valuable lessons from him.


We'd have lunch everyday and dream out loud about making music for a living instead of working dead end jobs, running the treadmill...


He was my best friend and I'm really going to miss him.


The best lesson he taught me is the lesson that every loved one that passes teaches us, that we are all still alive and we need to live, love and find our purpose and passions for ourselves and our passed loved ones who are watching us and guiding us towards our destinies.


Everyone stay up, he'd want us to.


- Jason Chavez [who worked with Big Ant in the store and on numerous outside musical projects, commemorates the very special life and energy of Big Ant]

I met Anthony is 1999. about a year after the store opened on haight street. he was looking for a job and more than one person referred him to me as a fountain of knowledge. he had worked at tower records and a little cd store in palo alto. he was also the record pool director at Que's record pool and a pretty well known DJ and music aficionado.

I met him and the first thing i saw was this giant person with a giant smile. the biggest smile i think i had ever seen. quietly unassuming. with a serenity and a sort of all-knowing quality. and, as it turned out, he DID know all. almost ALL there was to know about music---ALL kinds of music. every genre, every era, everything. he came on to work on the hip-hop floor at amoeba, and then he became a vinyl and 12" pricer. if there was EVER ANY question from any customer that none of us could figure out---we went straight to BIG ANT. 'cause he would know.

At our first meeting, we had a "music test" that potential amoebites would take. and he aced it. i was amazed that someone so young knew SO much about so many types of music. it was his quiet passion. he just absorbed music and information about music. but unlike so many of us, he wasn't limited to any one sound or focus--he was open to it all. he seemed to understand it all.

We talked for a long time that day, and i remember falling in love with his sweet spirit. and from then on whenever i would see BIG ANT, i would feel that same comfort and reassurance. later, after i moved down to LA and i would come back to the store on occasion or see him at events, i would cherish the giant hug he would so generously give me. always a big smile and a bear hug. something i could count on. he was generous with everyone. and everyone felt it.

He was one of the most sincere, genuinely sweet people i have ever met.

- Karen Pearson

I originally met Anthony "Big Ant" Marin through DJ'ing and hip-hop music over at Cues in Daly City. And over the years I would always run into him at hip-hop music places: clubs, DJ events, and of course at Amoeba. He was one of these guys who was always really nice but shy and quiet until you got to know him. And then he would let you see his humor, his wit. He was always happiest when he was surrounded by music. And like most Amoebites he didn't just love his music, he knew his music, inside and out - especially his hip-hop. But in the true tradition of being a real hip-hop DJ (musically open-minded) he thought beyond the preverbal box or crate - always seeking out new sounds and styles. As his fellow Amoebite Robert Haines so accurately noted in his tribute to Ant: "He knew as much about Nurse With Wound as Mac Dre." I remember one time a good few years ago he broke me off this mix-CD he had been working on. It was Radiohead. And I was like, What? Is this a hip-hop remix? "Just check it out" he said. I did and it was nothing like I thought it would be. It was a totally transformed & reinterpreted, sweetly glitched out version Thom Yorke & Co. In life Big Ant was many things; a DJ, a producer, and a multi-instrumentalist. In Black Fiction - the band he was in with fellow SF Amoebites Tim Cohen and Jason Chavez - he played guitar, keyboards, and percussion. But more than all that: he was just a really good person. RIP BIG ANT.

- Billy Jam (Amoeblog & Hip Hop Slam)

I am gonna miss him a ridiculous amount. He was both a good friend and an awesome person. In terms of musical knowledge, he knew everything about vinyl and hip-hop. But it was amazing because it went well beyond simply hip-hop. He knew all music and he helped me a great deal with titles and what to look for. I always told him how important he was to me and to the store, and now I am glad I did. Big Ant's presence was awesome to be around. He was hilarious, always quick with the one-liners. The best would be when he would make a joke that was so funny that he sometimes would laugh as much himself. He had this great laugh or giggle. Everybody loved being around him and everybody is gonna miss been around him everyday.

- Luis (Amoeba SF - Hip-Hop)

He and I had a bunch of mutual friends down in South Bay from before we even met. So we kinda felt like we always knew each other. He is the funniest and quickest witted muthafucka I ever met in my life. You could say something funny to him and before it was even fully out of your mouth he would have a retort ready to go - one that was probably way funnier than whatever you said. He was a classic shit talker. It was fun to throw shit around at each other. If you were his friend and you happened to be a pretty girl - then he hated your boyfriend. He was the most musical generalist. He found things to like in almost every type of music. And he really knew it. Like he knew as much about Nurse With Wound as Mac Dre and was great at blending different styles. I remember he took an Aaliyah vocal for "Try Again" and put it over a Suicide's "Cheree" and it worked perfectly.

- Robert Haines (Amoeba SF)