Gary Skala R.I.P



Gary Skala R.I.P

Postby bailbath » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:18 am

From Frankie Jean on facebook.


With sadness we report the passing of Gary Skala. Gary was a longtime fan of my brother's and also the fan club representative for many years. Gary was found dead at his home in Long Island. We have no more details right now. Please keep Gary in your prayers. Much love, Frankie Jean & Marion
bailbath

User avatar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2649
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:49 am
Location: Bath, uk

Re: Gary Skala

Postby wolfgangguhl » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:17 am

Gone too soon.
wolfgangguhl

 
Posts: 3926
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Munich, Germany

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Piet » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:07 am

Met the man once, a very, very strange man. May he rest in peace.
My life will never be the same.
Piet

User avatar
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:19 pm
Location: Rosmalen, The Netherlands

Re: Gary Skala

Postby wolfgangguhl » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:15 am

He certainly did not contribute anything of relevance to the fan scene in at least 15 years. However I think he was not that old and it is always sad when people cannot live their life in full.
wolfgangguhl

 
Posts: 3926
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Munich, Germany

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Piet » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:26 am

I guess he was about 70 years old, maybe some more. It's 20 years ago I met him but you're right, it's always to young to die.
My life will never be the same.
Piet

User avatar
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:19 pm
Location: Rosmalen, The Netherlands

Re: Gary Skala

Postby PeterC » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:03 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:He certainly did not contribute anything of relevance to the fan scene in at least 15 years.


No, but he more than made up for it before that. He was especially active throughout the 60s (when even Kay wasn't promoting Jerry), and for many years during the 60s, 70s & 80s it was only Gary and Paul who were giving us in Europe any stateside news.

I met him when he came over for Jerry's two London shows in November 1993, and found him chatty and friendly.

He probably went to more JLL concerts than any other person (Peter Hayman doesn't even come close)... he made me laugh in 1993 when he said "Last year (1992) I went to more Jerry Lee Lewis concerts than Jerry Lee Lewis", almost certainly true!
Last edited by PeterC on Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PeterC

User avatar
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Tony Papard » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:18 pm

I think I only met him once, in Memphis at the 2002 Birthday gig. However remember his name going back to the 1960s.

As I understand it, according to Kay Martin, he was at his mother's house clearing up after Sandy. He was on his own when he died. Nobody seems to have the details of what actually happened yet.
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

My blog: http://www.tonypapard.info/

My Jerry Lee Lewis page:
http://www.btinternet.com/~tony.papard/JERRYLEELEWIS.HTM
Tony Papard

User avatar
 
Posts: 1435
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 4:01 pm
Location: London, England, EU

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Rocky » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:36 pm

I met Gary for the first time at a show in New Jersey in 1962. He had been writing me since 1960. In September 1965 I visited him at his parents house in Bay Shore, Long Island, NY. I met his younger sister that day, and his mom and dad. We had dinner there (hamburgers). Gary was working at the time as an usher in a local theatre. He had a cardboard cutout of Jerry Lee lifesize in the living room next to a piano. Gary would be 70. He gave me a lot of rare photos that day of Jerry. He also mentioned that Jerry's new record would be "Green, Green Grass of Home" and it would be country. The last word I got from Gary was about 3 months ago when he sent me clippings from a newspaper on Jerry. Gary was in Florida at the time. He never married and was an accountant. We talked by phone a lot in the 60s. I remember he called me in September of 1963 and said that Jerry had recorded an Otis Blackwell song titled "I Get the Jitters" at his last Sun recording session. Of course, this later turned out not to be true. Two weeks later I received a white label Sun 45 "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia / I Know What It Means" as Jerry's new Sun disc from Tom Phillips. As it turned out, the 45 was not officially released until 1 1/2 years later. I had sold the original with a set of Jerry's 45s a year previous, not realizing the single was never released. Gary was different. However, he was a top Jerry Lee fan. He spent many years working in Chicago.
Rocky

 
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:51 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby PeterC » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Tony Papard wrote:However remember his name going back to the 1960s.


He was a regular contributer to 'Shaking Keyboard' magazine in the 60s, and then 'Lewis Scene' throughout the 70s, 80s and early 90s (he also contributed to Fire-Ball Mail occasionally, certainly at least up until around 2003 when he posted details of the early LMS sessions).
PeterC

User avatar
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby PeterC » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:43 pm

Rocky wrote:He never married.


He was gay. I'm not sure how open he was about it, but it was always well known amongst fans and Lewis family members (I recall Kerrie mentioning it to me back in the 80s).
PeterC

User avatar
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Perk » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:40 pm

Sorry to hear this. It seems someone is dying every week, recently BB Cunningham and now Gary! I met him only once in Memphis 2000 at Jerry´s birthday party. He told me he had approximately seen 4000 shows with Jerry.

Rock in peace!
Perk

 
Posts: 1628
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 1:49 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby Rocky » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:21 pm

Gary never did bother with women. I always suspected he was gay. He was a closet gay to the end. One thing I do remember...he had bad eyesight. His eyeglasses were as thick as Coke bottle bottoms.
Rocky

 
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:51 pm

Re: Gary Skala

Postby martin bates » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:53 pm

Rocky wrote:Gary never did bother with women. I always suspected he was gay. He was a closet gay to the end. One thing I do remember...he had bad eyesight. His eyeglasses were as thick as Coke bottle bottoms.


I agree with Peter that everyone knew he was gay; I don't think it's fair to call him closet -that's kind of an insult,as if he were hiding it. He didn't make it a big deal, so what ?

Gary came over for the postponed Hammersmith show in 89; some of us who went ahead anyway,had a night on the town and along with Neil Turner ,Gary played piano & entertained the whole restaurant with everyone singing along. That weekend was the only time I met him, but as Peter has said he contributed to numerous fan magazines & his name was well known among all the fans back in those days. I think it's sad if the lack of power/heat contributed to his death-although it has been attributed to natural causes.

Kay has posted on facebook.

"Kay Martin
Just spoke with the man who is Gary's executor, an old friend of his from LA. The medical examiner confirmed that Gary died of natural causes, in his sleep. Can't ask for anything better. Painless for him... but not for those left behind. When I hear of memorial/funeral arrangements, I will let everyone know. Please remember that he would NOT want flowers; he probably has a favorite charity that should get whatever you would have spent on flowers. I'll get that info as soon as I learn it."

Martin
martin bates

 
Posts: 1116
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:13 pm

Re: Gary Skala R.I.P

Postby lucio » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:00 am

Not that it matters to him now, but I wanted to correct a few points about Gary made here on the forum. I've known Gary since 1987 when he first introduced me to Jerry Lee in Merriville Indiana and he's been a good friend ever since (and to my wife since 2002 when I got married)
First of all, Gary studied Engineering, not Accounting but ended up working as a Consultant to nuclear plants in the USA saving companies millions of dollars with his ideas.
I can tell you with all surety that he was NOT gay. I've met some of the girls that he had dated and since he had this penchant for much younger women, I've often been impressed at how well he was able to charm them (yes, I was a little jealous here and there until I married my much younger wife)
He had always been active in providing people like myself with the latest Jerry lee news but as the internet became a more powerful form of communication, the news would spread to everyone on the web before Gary was able to write it all for the Fireball Mail as he used to in the past. This is one of the reasons we saw less and less of his contributions to the fan club mags.
The most important thing I remember about Gary is that he was a person that always attempted to stay in touch with friends. I used to get weekly calls from him and never did an Anniversary or Birthday pass by without a card in the mailbox. He was a loyal friend that never betrayed a trust, the most important of which was with Jerry Lee where he was allowed to film shows as long as copies were never made for others. This was a frustration for us fans who have never and may never get to see the rare clips from the 80s-90s but he kept his promise to Jerry Lee. If we're lucky, the videos may have been willed to Jerry and Judith and perhaps with their permission, the rest of us may get a chance to see it all someday.
Gary introduced me to Jerry Lee when I was still in school, he gave my first cd player as a graduation present, he drove me to many shows when I did not have a car and in essence was about the best friend one could have. Janet and I last met him this past summer in Long Island and he was in better shape than ever having lost about 75lbs. It's very sad to lose another member of the Jerry lee Lewis community but if he did die in his sleep, then I'm thankful that he did not suffer.
Lucio
lucio

 
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:16 pm

Re: Gary Skala R.I.P

Postby PeterC » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:24 am

I guess he was bisexual then, not that it's important (not to me anyway).

If his collection goes to JLL then there's no chance of us ever seeing it...
PeterC

User avatar
 
Posts: 3427
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Next

Return to Manager, fan's and assorted topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest