Drew Glackin, bass player with the Silos, dies at 44


By Randi Hoffman

Drew Glackin, 44, a bass player with the Silos, the Crash Test Dummies and Graham Parker, died suddenly on Jan. 3 from cardiac arrest due to complications of an undiagnosed thyroid condition.

“He was a musician’s musician and an incredibly great guy,” said Walter Salas-Humara, lead singer of the Silos, an alternative country-rock band that Glackin joined in 1998. “He had a melodic, unique, dangerous way of playing. He had a great groove, but he never sounded flashy or like he was overplaying.”

Born Andrew Glackin, the bass player also performed with the Jack Grace Band, Susan Tedeschi, Maynard & the Musties, the Oxygen Ponies and many other bands and artists. He was also proficient with guitar, mandolin, steel guitar and piano.

“He played rock, country, Americana, but he could also create quite an atmosphere with that lap steel, so he could do ambient,” said Joe Maynard, a rare-books seller, a roommate of Glackin’s in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and founder of Maynard & the Musties. Glackin played with Maynard’s band on New Year’s Eve, his last gig before he died.

“He was a kind and creative spirit who just loved music and playing, who connected with and affected lots of people, lots of lives,” said Merry Fortune, a poet and another resident of Glackin’s Fort Greene building. “He told me about all these gigs he was playing right around the holidays and how great it was to be a musician.”

Glackin studied music at the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford in the early ’80s. He stayed on in Hartford until about 1997 performing with many Hartford area bands, including The Monster Band, Mr. Right, The Commuters and the Zywacks. He booked bands at a Hartford club called Scarlett O’Hara’s and supported himself as a stagehand, according to Butch Oefer, a friend, former roommate and co-worker of Glackin’s. Oefer, currently a stagehand for the Broadway musical “Hairspray,” helped Glackin join Local One, the stage crews union. Glackin also worked at Foxwoods Resort and Casino as a carpenter for five years. He worked more recently as the stage manager/production coordinator for Summerstage in Central Park.

Glackin married Jen Pearson, then a waitress, in 1992 in Hartford. They lived together for five years before Glackin left for New York City.

Glackin grew up in Phillipsburg, N.J., the oldest of four children. His father, Joseph Michael Glackin, a high school English, Spanish and Latin teacher, was hit by a train and killed when Drew was 3. Margaret Glackin, his mother, was a school nurse for 30 years.

“He figured out ‘Dueling Banjos’ by himself on the piano in the first or second grade,” said Margaret Glackin. “He learned the trumpet and the French horn in elementary school. Then in middle school he learned guitar.

“When we would go tent camping in the mountains, he always used music as a way to meet people,” his mother said. “If they didn’t talk back to him, he just kept playing.”

Eileen Ledwith, a financial publicist, was Glackin’s girlfriend for five years, although estranged this past year. She said she met him at the Rodeo Bar, at 27th St. and Third Ave., and they began dating and soon moved in together.

“He was a great cook; he always made dinner,” she said. “He was a voracious reader and he loved ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘American Idol’ and eBay. I thought it was some kind of intestinal ailment. Nobody knew it was the thyroid until he checked himself into the hospital. He thought it was food poisoning.”

Like many musicians and artists, Glackin lacked health insurance.

A memorial concert for Glackin, featuring the Silos, will be held at Southpaw in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Sun., Feb. 17.

A fund has been established to help with Drew Glackin’s funeral costs. To contribute, send a check to: The Andrew Glackin Memorial Fund, Skylands Community Bank, Lopatcong Township, 201 Strykers Road, Suite 20,

Attention: Sherri Abel, Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865. Send PayPal donations to: theandrewglackinmemorialfund@yahoo.com.