For Dale

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Written by, Mike Deitzman

Hey guys. I know I talk a lot of shit, and bust your balls, whether you’re a band, or even just a fan. This, well, this is different. I want to open up the doors so to speak and let you in on some serious shit. My favorite era of doing shows was 2004-2007. I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing, (never did figure out what I was doing, haha) but, it was just more fun. There was a ton less stress, crowds were good, shows were cheaper to put on and for the most part, I wasn’t jaded yet so I still got along with almost every band and concert attendee.

There are 3 people who were monumental to even the little success I’ve ever had booking shows. Joe Cafarella (of STEMM), Shawn Richards (of 3 Minutes of Hate) and Dale Hinz (Of Thoughts Lost). Joe was instrumental in not only getting me started (getting a monthly gig at Palmeri’s in the Falls) but pushing me to grow, stand apart from the pack and be different. Shawn, there was a time when we were like the heel tag team in wrestling, we could easily piss you off, but we worked hard and in the end you had to respect us. I could write a whole book on the crazy adventures of Shawn and I, but to protect the innocent, I’ll just leave it alone and tell you, Shawn and I worked our asses off and put more hours than I care to remember structuring amazing shows at venues like Palmeri’s in the Falls, Showplace Theater, Xtreme Wheels Skatepark, Club Diablo and Broadway Joe’s. We sacrificed many hours of family time staring at each other trying to form the perfect line up.
This is where it gets difficult. Dale Hinz. I met Dale in 2003, when he handed me a demo of his band, Thoughts Lost at a show. We immediately kept in contact through MySpace, instant messenger and almost nightly phone calls which would last anywhere from 20 minutes to 5 hours. He wasn’t just a guy I knew that played in a band. He was a true friend, a guy I considered a brother. There was a period of close to 9 months where I booked Thoughts Lost to headline in Niagara Falls every month. I believe this was also the time STEMM were playing a gig every month there, and Displaced was too. There would be 3 weeks out of any given month back then with back to back metal shows that would be packed asshole to elbow. You can’t do that now, but this was commonplace back then.
Dale was tireless in his efforts to promote his band. At one show, STEMM was playing at Showplace and I needed help promoting a TL show the following week at Palmeri’s. Dale agreed to meet me at the show. What I didn’t realize until I saw him at the show, was that he walked there. . . from Springville. He left early in the morning and walked to Buffalo to promote a show. (New bands: Take notes. Dedication is still possible). He was relentless when it came to promoting. He was unselfish too. It was not uncommon for him to talk to one of his friends (he never called them fans, ever) at shows, online, or on the phone and push them to support other bands, like As Summer Dies, From This Day, ZeroPointOne, Kitchen Knife Conspiracy, STEMM, 3MH, The Red Silence, Fireborn, Dragonwind, Herod, Displaced, Syxsycsycos, Aniasin, I could go on forever, but I digress.
We kinda parted ways, but never for anything bad. Life just got in the way. TL went through some pretty big line up changes and eventually, dissolved completely. I went through various phases of “Okay, I’m booking shows again, never mind, no I’m not.” We grew up and grew apart, but I still thought about him a lot.
When his accident occurred a few years after that, I didn’t find out til later. I was scared my friend was going to die. I admit, I pushed away to an extent. I wasn’t ready to see him like he is now. I was wrong. A few more years went by and I saw his parents had a gofundme page up to help them raise money to move themselves into a house where he could be more comfortable. I knew then, it was time. Hell, it had been time for a friggin’ while, and I was just too blind to see. The time is now.
I’m ready to do this for Dale. He’s excited about the event. I hope you are too, but I can only do so much. There’s a great team helping this show run smoothly behind the scenes (JP, Kristen, Dale’s mama Sandy,  Mike and Vick at The Metal, Jesse Thiel, and Brian Platter and Matt Swistak who both have helped out with artwork for flyers) but we all need you guys. Donate if you can. Support the event if you can. If you’re a band playing, PLEASE PROMOTE THE EVENT.
You will not get more bang for your buck than you will at this event! I guarantee it! If you’re in a band who’s not playing, or you’re a business looking to donate, please reach out to us, we have some wild and fantastic ideas for baskets.
It would mean the world to me if you attended this show. But, really, go because it would mean something to Dale and his parents. This event is about them. #ForDale.
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