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  string(21) "Jeff Walls, 1956-2019"
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  string(7704) "Jeff Walls passed away about the same time this piece was first being written. Working on the upcoming edition of Creative Loafing’s Music Issue, I remembered what the guitarist for Guadalcanal Diary, Hillbilly Frankenstein, Blasting Cap, and The Woggles told me last year when we were discussing a then-just released Guadalcanal Diary live album. I thought his words rang true then and now, as good advice for any musician reading the issue, whether just starting out, or still playing the road that goes on forever.

I was struck by the sacrifices many local musicians make when first starting out, in order to create their art on their own terms, and thought about how Walls had done the same when he, Murray Attaway, Rhett Crowe, and John Poe first formed Guadalcanal Diary. They made the same sacrifices every musician wanting to be in a rock ’n’ roll band makes.

There are the obvious. Playing Tuesday nights at an empty club for no money, at least, not enough to cover the gas it took to get to the gig. Being late with rent (again). Choosing between creating music that expresses your inner feelings and playing songs that will get you booked into clubs that might pay you a decent wage, but never what you’re worth. Traveling long hours and too many miles to an out-of-town gig only to find out the promoter cancelled the show because of lack of ticket sales — and everyone in the van is hungry and tired. Getting the van stolen — with or without your gear in it.

Then there’s the not-so-obvious. Loss of benefits from what some would deem a “real” job: No taxes withheld on a regular basis. No health insurance. No retirement fund. All things of seemingly no consequence when you’re young, invincible, and ready to take on the world. But, if you’re lucky enough and determined enough to play music well past your 20s, into middle age and later, those things begin to add up. If you encounter a health crisis, you’re fucked.

But you keep on. You persist.

Walls not only learned how to live with the shortfalls of being a musician, he was able to overcome them, as well, leading a full, fruitful life, married, with children and grandchildren, family that was with him the afternoon he died at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Diagnosed with  “an extremely rare form of pulmonary hypertension know as PVOD: Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease, one so rare that it only affects one to two people out of ten million. It is caused by progressive blockages of the small capillaries in the lungs. This causes the heart to have to work harder, until eventual heart failure. There is no known cure or treatment,” other than possibly a double lung transplant, for which Walls was waiting.

With friends rallying to support him through a GoFundMe page, a series of benefit concerts, and other fundraising activities, I thought the Music Issue would be a good time to publish the unique perspective the Marietta native offered on what he learned being in bands, staying the course, and continuing to play long after others might have chosen to hang up the guitar and spend more time at home.

Though sage advice, what he learned in three decades of playing music was not included in the original article focused on the release of At your Birthday Party. His answer was forthright.

“The biggest lesson I learned was to follow my own muse and not take any bullshit off anybody,” the musician/producer told me. “I’ve never had any luck trying to second-guess public taste. The best work I’ve ever done, the only stuff that ever made much of an impression on anybody was the result of me trying to impress myself and no one else.

“I wouldn’t recognize a ‘hit’ if it walked up and bit me on the ass,” he continued, “But the music biz is full of self-appointed experts who think they have the magical ability to hear a hit 100 percent of the time. But because they aren’t creative visionaries, they can only relate to what sounds vaguely like a hit that they have already heard. If they could spot a hit every time, wouldn’t it stand to reason that everything they released would be a hit? It is important to remember that for every hit song, there was always some big-wig in charge who wanted to quash it. And for every horrible song that you can name, there was some idiot up the chain who was convinced it was a sure-fire hit. One should never underestimate the short-sighted fallacy of human thinking, especially when it comes down from people in high positions.

“The Woggles had an extremely strong work ethic when I joined the band as a card-carrying Woggle in 2003 (I had produced the bulk of The Woggles’ recordings beginning with their first single in 1990). But before I joined, they carried forth around the world in a ragtag operation, sleeping on floors, traveling in vans with no AC, and frequently resorting to using substitutes when a member’s personal commitments kept them from being able to make the gig.

“After eight years of touring worldwide with Guadalcanal Diary on a bigger level than The Woggles have ever done, Guadalcanal eventually arrived at a fairly civilized way of coping with the hardships of touring. I would like to think that my experience with touring has helped make life on the road a less stressful experience for The Woggles. I think that my influence has contributed to Woggles’ tours becoming more focused, streamlined operations. At the very least, since I joined, the audience could count on seeing the same four Woggles perform at every show.

“I also learned how important is to keep the label politics and music biz at arm’s distance. The Woggles are in the enviable position of being able to do exactly what we want to do. We are lucky to have very little outside interference, which allows us to focus on what we like about playing music for people. There is no pressure, no sense of being on a treadmill that is constantly in danger of spinning out of control. No one has any expectations of ever ‘making it big’; no one entertains any delusions of stardom. We do what we do only because we love it.”

Perhaps it’s the love Walls — also known as “Flesh Hammer,” his stage name in The Woggles — exuded onstage no matter who he played with that has caused such an outpouring of kindness from the friends, fans, and complete strangers who’ve pledged money on his GoFundMe page since his hospitalization over a month ago. According to Murray Attaway, Walls’ former Guadalcanal Diary bandmate and longtime friend, the response has been “overwhelming.”

Along with proceeds from the two “See My Friends” benefit concerts, now memorial concerts for the late guitarist, scheduled for June 7 at the Foundry in Athens and June 23 at the Earl, and the selling of “Flesh Hammer Strong” stickers, Attaway hopes a respectable dent will be made in the medical bills Walls incurred. Other benefits already planned, such as the “Night of Cocktails & Comedy” June 26 at the Old Fourth Ward Distillery, will continue to take place.

Once Attaway posted on his Facebook page Walls had passed, tributes from those the Athens musician knew or who he touched through his music began to fill the social media site. Those of us at Creative Loafing join them in extending our condolences to his wife Phyllis, his family, those he shared a stage with and those he guided in the studio. Everyone has a story about Jeff Walls. And they all have  something good to say about him. He was kind, considerate, funny, erudite. Everything you could ask for in a husband, father, friend and bandmate.

Who could ask for anything more?"
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I was struck by the sacrifices many local musicians make when first starting out, in order to create their art on their own terms, and thought about how Walls had done the same when he, Murray Attaway, Rhett Crowe, and John Poe first formed Guadalcanal Diary. They made the same sacrifices every musician wanting to be in a rock ’n’ roll band makes.

There are the obvious. Playing Tuesday nights at an empty club for no money, at least, not enough to cover the gas it took to get to the gig. Being late with rent (again). Choosing between creating music that expresses your inner feelings and playing songs that will get you booked into clubs that might pay you a decent wage, but never what you’re worth. Traveling long hours and too many miles to an out-of-town gig only to find out the promoter cancelled the show because of lack of ticket sales — and everyone in the van is hungry and tired. Getting the van stolen — with or without your gear in it.

Then there’s the not-so-obvious. Loss of benefits from what some would deem a “real” job: No taxes withheld on a regular basis. No health insurance. No retirement fund. All things of seemingly no consequence when you’re young, invincible, and ready to take on the world. But, if you’re lucky enough and determined enough to play music well past your 20s, into middle age and later, those things begin to add up. If you encounter a health crisis, you’re fucked.

But you keep on. You persist.

Walls not only learned how to live with the shortfalls of being a musician, he was able to overcome them, as well, leading a full, fruitful life, married, with children and grandchildren, family that was with him the afternoon he died at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Diagnosed with  “an extremely rare form of pulmonary hypertension know as PVOD: Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease, one so rare that it only affects one to two people out of ten million. It is caused by progressive blockages of the small capillaries in the lungs. This causes the heart to have to work harder, until eventual heart failure. There is no known cure or treatment,” other than possibly a double lung transplant, for which Walls was waiting.

With friends rallying to support him through a GoFundMe page, a series of benefit concerts, and other fundraising activities, I thought the Music Issue would be a good time to publish the unique perspective the Marietta native offered on what he learned being in bands, staying the course, and continuing to play long after others might have chosen to hang up the guitar and spend more time at home.

Though sage advice, what he learned in three decades of playing music was not included in the original article focused on the release of ''At your Birthday Party''. His answer was forthright.

“The biggest lesson I learned was to follow my own muse and not take any bullshit off anybody,” the musician/producer told me. “I’ve never had any luck trying to second-guess public taste. The best work I’ve ever done, the only stuff that ever made much of an impression on anybody was the result of me trying to impress myself and no one else.

“I wouldn’t recognize a ‘hit’ if it walked up and bit me on the ass,” he continued, “But the music biz is full of self-appointed experts who think they have the magical ability to hear a hit 100 percent of the time. But because they aren’t creative visionaries, they can only relate to what sounds vaguely like a hit that they have already heard. If they could spot a hit every time, wouldn’t it stand to reason that everything they released would be a hit? It is important to remember that for every hit song, there was always some big-wig in charge who wanted to quash it. And for every horrible song that you can name, there was some idiot up the chain who was convinced it was a sure-fire hit. One should never underestimate the short-sighted fallacy of human thinking, especially when it comes down from people in high positions.

“The Woggles had an extremely strong work ethic when I joined the band as a card-carrying Woggle in 2003 (I had produced the bulk of The Woggles’ recordings beginning with their first single in 1990). But before I joined, they carried forth around the world in a ragtag operation, sleeping on floors, traveling in vans with no AC, and frequently resorting to using substitutes when a member’s personal commitments kept them from being able to make the gig.

“After eight years of touring worldwide with Guadalcanal Diary on a bigger level than The Woggles have ever done, Guadalcanal eventually arrived at a fairly civilized way of coping with the hardships of touring. I would like to think that my experience with touring has helped make life on the road a less stressful experience for The Woggles. I think that my influence has contributed to Woggles’ tours becoming more focused, streamlined operations. At the very least, since I joined, the audience could count on seeing the same four Woggles perform at every show.

“I also learned how important is to keep the label politics and music biz at arm’s distance. The Woggles are in the enviable position of being able to do exactly what we want to do. We are lucky to have very little outside interference, which allows us to focus on what we like about playing music for people. There is no pressure, no sense of being on a treadmill that is constantly in danger of spinning out of control. No one has any expectations of ever ‘making it big’; no one entertains any delusions of stardom. We do what we do only because we love it.”

Perhaps it’s the love Walls — also known as “Flesh Hammer,” his stage name in The Woggles — exuded onstage no matter who he played with that has caused such an outpouring of kindness from the friends, fans, and complete strangers who’ve pledged money on his [https://www.gofundme.com/f/jeff-walls-medical-fund?fbclid=IwAR2GgDhKKK2McVbCrXQtVU4SE5CXn34Pz4O0dPEXVD-E-y_oHWXLClRoLjE|GoFundMe page] since his hospitalization over a month ago. According to Murray Attaway, Walls’ former Guadalcanal Diary bandmate and longtime friend, the response has been “overwhelming.”

Along with proceeds from the two “See My Friends” benefit concerts, now memorial concerts for the late guitarist, scheduled for [https://www.facebook.com/See-My-Friends-The-Campaign-for-Jeff-Walls-289308372022642/?eid=ARD0ZlL9JeVf-j34ApZrDiSEdklE8zo09IueWidIfco_zl2K7cTtzps9D4DQYzlIE_T4b4pAr7cTHYCG|June 7 at the Foundry] in Athens and [https://www.facebook.com/events/485297218882415/|June 23 at the Earl], and the selling of [https://fleshhammerstrong.bigcartel.com/product/flesh-hammer-4-sticker-pack-3|“Flesh Hammer Strong” stickers], Attaway hopes a respectable dent will be made in the medical bills Walls incurred. Other benefits already planned, such as the [https://www.facebook.com/finelycraftedcomedy/photos/gm.2436190969948796/2313827248838114/?type=3&theater|“Night of Cocktails & Comedy”] June 26 at the Old Fourth Ward Distillery, will continue to take place.

Once Attaway posted on his Facebook page Walls had passed, tributes from those the Athens musician knew or who he touched through his music began to fill the social media site. Those of us at ''Creative Loafing'' join them in extending our condolences to his wife Phyllis, his family, those he shared a stage with and those he guided in the studio. Everyone has a story about Jeff Walls. And they all have  something good to say about him. He was kind, considerate, funny, erudite. Everything you could ask for in a husband, father, friend and bandmate.

Who could ask for anything more?"
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  string(10231) " Woggles BoTH SF GregGutbezahl 02 2019 028  2019-05-30T20:30:04+00:00 Woggles-BoTH-SF-GregGutbezahl-02-2019-028.jpg   He will live forever through his recorded music. I was blessed to know him. I only knew Jeff from the records and the few shows I was lucky enough to see. (I've been exiled to Texas for the last few decades) He was everything you want a musician to be - warm, generous, all in, and talented as hell. Loved all his bands and all his playing. His passing leaves a hurt in my heart that's not going away anytime soon. Love and peace to everyone who knew him and played with him. Jeff was the consummate professional, always on time for a sound check or a showtime. And he was gracious to a fault. The world is a lesser place with him not in it.. Stellar piece, Tony. As to be expected. I was just a nobody in Marietta when Gualdalcanal started. Saw every show I could with Hillbilly Frankenstein and caught a few Woggle shows after moving far away. Even some shows in Boston and Chicago. Met Jeff through good friends of his in the early 80's hanging out at The Strand in Marietta. Jeff was always the most gracious nicest non-judgmental common sense person I have ever met. I would not say that about many people at all. Truly, Jeff made an impression on me from way back that I will never forget. His talent was amazing but his personality even out shined that. Many hearts are hurt and I understand why. It is a shame that artists who try to keep their principles have to struggle just to live.  Just one more reason why we need medicare for all. There is irony for me in this.  I went to see Guadalcanal Diary once in the late 80's.  I was blown away by them, 
having never heard any of their music before.  I bought 2 albums the next day.  They had a fill-in bass player at that show  
They said Rhett was away having a baby.  The irony is this show was at Duke Univ. outside on the quad.  The fact that Jeff 
died 30 years later just steps away from that spot where he blew my mind is a little emotional for me.  RIP guitar man. jeff walls guadalcanal diary the woggles The late guitarist had ‘the right stuff’ 18207  2019-05-30T20:25:47+00:00 Jeff Walls, 1956-2019 tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Tony Paris Tony Paris 2019-05-30T20:25:47+00:00  Jeff Walls passed away about the same time this piece was first being written. Working on the upcoming edition of Creative Loafing’s Music Issue, I remembered what the guitarist for Guadalcanal Diary, Hillbilly Frankenstein, Blasting Cap, and The Woggles told me last year when we were discussing a then-just released Guadalcanal Diary live album. I thought his words rang true then and now, as good advice for any musician reading the issue, whether just starting out, or still playing the road that goes on forever.

I was struck by the sacrifices many local musicians make when first starting out, in order to create their art on their own terms, and thought about how Walls had done the same when he, Murray Attaway, Rhett Crowe, and John Poe first formed Guadalcanal Diary. They made the same sacrifices every musician wanting to be in a rock ’n’ roll band makes.

There are the obvious. Playing Tuesday nights at an empty club for no money, at least, not enough to cover the gas it took to get to the gig. Being late with rent (again). Choosing between creating music that expresses your inner feelings and playing songs that will get you booked into clubs that might pay you a decent wage, but never what you’re worth. Traveling long hours and too many miles to an out-of-town gig only to find out the promoter cancelled the show because of lack of ticket sales — and everyone in the van is hungry and tired. Getting the van stolen — with or without your gear in it.

Then there’s the not-so-obvious. Loss of benefits from what some would deem a “real” job: No taxes withheld on a regular basis. No health insurance. No retirement fund. All things of seemingly no consequence when you’re young, invincible, and ready to take on the world. But, if you’re lucky enough and determined enough to play music well past your 20s, into middle age and later, those things begin to add up. If you encounter a health crisis, you’re fucked.

But you keep on. You persist.

Walls not only learned how to live with the shortfalls of being a musician, he was able to overcome them, as well, leading a full, fruitful life, married, with children and grandchildren, family that was with him the afternoon he died at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Diagnosed with  “an extremely rare form of pulmonary hypertension know as PVOD: Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease, one so rare that it only affects one to two people out of ten million. It is caused by progressive blockages of the small capillaries in the lungs. This causes the heart to have to work harder, until eventual heart failure. There is no known cure or treatment,” other than possibly a double lung transplant, for which Walls was waiting.

With friends rallying to support him through a GoFundMe page, a series of benefit concerts, and other fundraising activities, I thought the Music Issue would be a good time to publish the unique perspective the Marietta native offered on what he learned being in bands, staying the course, and continuing to play long after others might have chosen to hang up the guitar and spend more time at home.

Though sage advice, what he learned in three decades of playing music was not included in the original article focused on the release of At your Birthday Party. His answer was forthright.

“The biggest lesson I learned was to follow my own muse and not take any bullshit off anybody,” the musician/producer told me. “I’ve never had any luck trying to second-guess public taste. The best work I’ve ever done, the only stuff that ever made much of an impression on anybody was the result of me trying to impress myself and no one else.

“I wouldn’t recognize a ‘hit’ if it walked up and bit me on the ass,” he continued, “But the music biz is full of self-appointed experts who think they have the magical ability to hear a hit 100 percent of the time. But because they aren’t creative visionaries, they can only relate to what sounds vaguely like a hit that they have already heard. If they could spot a hit every time, wouldn’t it stand to reason that everything they released would be a hit? It is important to remember that for every hit song, there was always some big-wig in charge who wanted to quash it. And for every horrible song that you can name, there was some idiot up the chain who was convinced it was a sure-fire hit. One should never underestimate the short-sighted fallacy of human thinking, especially when it comes down from people in high positions.

“The Woggles had an extremely strong work ethic when I joined the band as a card-carrying Woggle in 2003 (I had produced the bulk of The Woggles’ recordings beginning with their first single in 1990). But before I joined, they carried forth around the world in a ragtag operation, sleeping on floors, traveling in vans with no AC, and frequently resorting to using substitutes when a member’s personal commitments kept them from being able to make the gig.

“After eight years of touring worldwide with Guadalcanal Diary on a bigger level than The Woggles have ever done, Guadalcanal eventually arrived at a fairly civilized way of coping with the hardships of touring. I would like to think that my experience with touring has helped make life on the road a less stressful experience for The Woggles. I think that my influence has contributed to Woggles’ tours becoming more focused, streamlined operations. At the very least, since I joined, the audience could count on seeing the same four Woggles perform at every show.

“I also learned how important is to keep the label politics and music biz at arm’s distance. The Woggles are in the enviable position of being able to do exactly what we want to do. We are lucky to have very little outside interference, which allows us to focus on what we like about playing music for people. There is no pressure, no sense of being on a treadmill that is constantly in danger of spinning out of control. No one has any expectations of ever ‘making it big’; no one entertains any delusions of stardom. We do what we do only because we love it.”

Perhaps it’s the love Walls — also known as “Flesh Hammer,” his stage name in The Woggles — exuded onstage no matter who he played with that has caused such an outpouring of kindness from the friends, fans, and complete strangers who’ve pledged money on his GoFundMe page since his hospitalization over a month ago. According to Murray Attaway, Walls’ former Guadalcanal Diary bandmate and longtime friend, the response has been “overwhelming.”

Along with proceeds from the two “See My Friends” benefit concerts, now memorial concerts for the late guitarist, scheduled for June 7 at the Foundry in Athens and June 23 at the Earl, and the selling of “Flesh Hammer Strong” stickers, Attaway hopes a respectable dent will be made in the medical bills Walls incurred. Other benefits already planned, such as the “Night of Cocktails & Comedy” June 26 at the Old Fourth Ward Distillery, will continue to take place.

Once Attaway posted on his Facebook page Walls had passed, tributes from those the Athens musician knew or who he touched through his music began to fill the social media site. Those of us at Creative Loafing join them in extending our condolences to his wife Phyllis, his family, those he shared a stage with and those he guided in the studio. Everyone has a story about Jeff Walls. And they all have  something good to say about him. He was kind, considerate, funny, erudite. Everything you could ask for in a husband, father, friend and bandmate.

Who could ask for anything more?    ©2019 Greg Gutbezahl / Studio 680 FEBRUARY 5, 2019: Jeff Walls with The Woggles at Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California.  0,0,1    "Jeff Walls" "Guadalcanal Diary" "The Woggles"                             Jeff Walls, 1956-2019 "
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Thursday May 30, 2019 04:25 pm EDT
The late guitarist had ‘the right stuff’ | more...
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The Burbridge brothers reunited once again in the Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring former members of the Derek Trucks Band and the backing band of blues singer Susan Tedeschi (also wife of Derek Trucks). In 2011, the group won a Grammy Award for Best Blues album for its debut full-length, Revelator (Sony Masterworks).

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Homepage, Obituaries

Friday March 1, 2019 09:07 am EST
Atlanta mourns the loss of a musical legend | more...
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Kim May Craig, 54, of Atlanta, GA, passed away on December 11, 2018. A bohemian gypsy in the purest form, Kim had been a long-standing fixture in Atlanta’s music, arts, and entertainment scene. Known for her beauty inside and out, her warm personality, and her incredible wit, Kim lived with passion and loved with all of her being. She touched and enriched the lives of others through her contagious enthusiasm for art, music, literature, theatre, and God. She was a loyal patron of almost every entertainment venue in Atlanta. In her teens and early 20s, she attended music shows at the Metroplex and 688. She worked at Oxford Books in the Peachtree Battle store and at the Theatre League of Atlanta. In her 30s, she served as the VIP bar staff at the legendary Club 112. Today, the majority of Southeast Atlanta residents in their 30s and 40s could easily play a game of “six degrees to Kimi.” She enlightened and inspired a whole new generation of young creatives in the local community. Although she struggled with opioid addiction throughout her adult life, she found stability in medication-assisted treatment and viewed Methadone as a lifesaver. Through her success with treatment, she became a strong advocate of seeking help for mental health and substance use, and wanted to break the stigma of medication-assisted treatment. A fighter, a leader, and a lover in every sense of her being, Kim led her life with her heart. She treated all human beings as friends and valued everyone’s journey without judgment, facilitating others suffering with substance addiction to seek treatment, including providing transportation, meals, and support. Kim’s compassionate assistance to others inspired her daughter to pursue a career as a licensed mental health counselor for a nonprofit organization. Her brilliance, warmth, charm, and humor will be greatly missed by all who knew her and will inspire any who had the privilege to come in contact with her."
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Kim May Craig, 54, of Atlanta, GA, passed away on December 11, 2018. A bohemian gypsy in the purest form, Kim had been a long-standing fixture in Atlanta’s music, arts, and entertainment scene. Known for her beauty inside and out, her warm personality, and her incredible wit, Kim lived with passion and loved with all of her being. She touched and enriched the lives of others through her contagious enthusiasm for art, music, literature, theatre, and God. She was a loyal patron of almost every entertainment venue in Atlanta. In her teens and early 20s, she attended music shows at the Metroplex and 688. She worked at Oxford Books in the Peachtree Battle store and at the Theatre League of Atlanta. In her 30s, she served as the VIP bar staff at the legendary Club 112. Today, the majority of Southeast Atlanta residents in their 30s and 40s could easily play a game of “six degrees to Kimi.” She enlightened and inspired a whole new generation of young creatives in the local community. Although she struggled with opioid addiction throughout her adult life, she found stability in medication-assisted treatment and viewed Methadone as a lifesaver. Through her success with treatment, she became a strong advocate of seeking help for mental health and substance use, and wanted to break the stigma of medication-assisted treatment. A fighter, a leader, and a lover in every sense of her being, Kim led her life with her heart. She treated all human beings as friends and valued everyone’s journey without judgment, facilitating others suffering with substance addiction to seek treatment, including providing transportation, meals, and support. Kim’s compassionate assistance to others inspired her daughter to pursue a career as a licensed mental health counselor for a nonprofit organization. Her brilliance, warmth, charm, and humor will be greatly missed by all who knew her and will inspire any who had the privilege to come in contact with her.                                        Kim May Craig         1964 — 2018 "
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Music, News, Obituaries

Monday January 14, 2019 11:02 am EST


Kim May Craig, 54, of Atlanta, GA, passed away on December 11, 2018. A bohemian gypsy in the purest form, Kim had been a long-standing fixture in Atlanta’s music, arts, and entertainment scene. Known for her beauty inside and out, her warm personality, and her incredible wit, Kim lived with passion and loved with all of her being. She touched and enriched the lives of others through her...

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