(Originally published in Music Monthly Magazine, June 2005)
George Bold gave his soul to music and in return music blessed George manyfold. He had the gift of being able to create music which was intensely personal, yet which resonated deeply with so many people. While his songs reprensented everything which was good and joyful about music, at times his personal life exemplified the darker side which so often accompanies creativity. George's music was his catharsis. Those of us who got to create and perform with him became instruments of evangelism as George exposed every fiber of his being on stage. Though George will be remembered by most as the leader of Rebel Amish Radio, he was previously at the helm of the bands Zoe and Julius Bloom. It was his time in Honor Among Thieves though which set the stage for all his later successes. George would frequently site various "Mitch-isms", little tenets of wisdom which he had learned under Mitch Allan's tutelage. Though George's position in Baltimore's rock heirarchy was well-established, he never appeared to be aware of it. He was high enough on the food chain to have been a snob and he probably could have got away with it, but that would have run in complete contrast to his nature. My first memory of George is also my most fond - turning around and seeing his smiling face as he carried the amp head which I was too encumbered to carry. He didn't know me then, but it didn't matter. He just wanted to help. While some people say things which we'll never forget, with George it will be his laugh which I'll remember most. It was strong, forceful and contagious, much like his music. When he laughed it was as if for those brief moments, all the pain was gone and his soul was celebrating a moment's worth of pure, child-like joy. Sometimes our rehearsals produced more laughs than music and I distinctly remember being able to hear George's laugh over the band playing at full volume. When George laughed, he never laughed alone.
George didn't wear his emotions on his sleeve, rather he wore them on his face. Smiling or not, his face bore the evidence of a life spent in pursuit of an elusive goal. The music of King's X had much to do with the shaping of that goal. In fact, George often told people that the only reason RAR exisited was to show the world how great King's X is. Long before being his bandmate, I would see George at King's X shows, trademark smile in place and head nodding to the music. I'll always remember the time he came up to me at a show, smiled and put his arm around me. King's X shows were George's church and he wanted to worship with a fellow parishoner. The George which I knew was very complex. The opposing factions of creativity and destruction were constantly waging warfare inside of him, each side taking turns claiming victory. Often, it seemed as if his creative side was able to flourish because he fed his destructive side. Sadly, though we are still coming to grips with this loss, news of George's passing surprised few in his inner circle. It is tragically ironic that his passing comes at a time when he had overcome a profound hurdle in his life. In addition to his family and friends, he leaves behind countless fans and musicians whom he touched with his spirit, his soul and his music. Writing this today on what would have been George's 36th birthday, I am bombarded with so many memories. George's legacy will live on through his music and in all our memories. For now, we can take solace in the knowledge that our friend no longer has any struggles left to embrace.
- Dave DeMarco
May 23, 2005