Sunday, February 5, 2012

In Loving Memory of Marty Bilecki

We'd like to ask you to take a moment today to lift up in prayer the family of our longtime friend, and Chicago sound engineer, Martin (Marty) Bilecki, who collapsed while mixing at the sound board at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville last evening. He was taken quickly to a nearby hospital, where he passed away. We’d just finished our set, in our 15th year for the Salute to the 60s concert there, a very special night, together with our friends Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, and the Grass Roots. Marty’s passing leaves us solemn and missing a man we considered an important part of our musical family.

We'd just spent the previous week together with Marty, as he ran sound for all of us on the Concerts at Sea tour aboard the Grand Princess. Of his many wonderful qualities, he was a man who cherished his family. Poignantly, his parents were also aboard the cruise ship, and they were so happy to be there to see their son doing his great job mixing each group, for all the shows. It’s an unforgettable joy when your parents can see you in your workplace, having them know you among your peers as respected, beloved and the best in your field.

In 1991, Marty founded his own company, Performance Recording and Sound, in Chicago. For all these years, we’ve had the pleasure of being at so many shows where Marty mixed our sound, coordinated our stage lighting and essentially made everything just perfect for us. We have long regarded him as the ultimate professional, a warm and gracious man. Personally, he was our good friend. He was one of the hardest-working men we’d ever met, and we always knew we could count on him.

It’s surreal and shocking to have been with him two weeks ago on the ship, all week long, enjoying the work that he did for everyone, sharing some great times and personal memories together, and then realize that last evening’s show, which felt like musical magic onstage last night, would be his final work here on earth.

We appreciate the love and support you showed to us all evening long, during our show and afterwards. We share that love with Marty’s family and ask for you to pray for their comfort and peace.

It takes a full team of professionals to bring music to the crowds who gather to hear the songs they love, and Marty Bilecki was a gentleman who did his job well, and was so well liked by all of us in the music business. We are better for having known him, and may God bless his family at this time of loss.

Thank you for your prayers,

Carl Giammarese, Nick Fortuna, Bruce Soboroff, Dave Zane, Rocky Penn, Carlo Isabelli, Charles Morgan, Rich Moore and Susan Rakis

Cross posted on Facebook here.