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TRIBUTE

Area musicians remember their longtime friend

July 9, 2011
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - There will be a McGoostock again this month in Big Bay, but this one, by necessity, will be different than those in the past.

The first few editions were in honor of Marquette resident Timothy McGee as he valiantly battled cancer. This one, though, will be in his memory as he passed away this past Dec. 16.

McGoostock '11: We Remember Tim will take place July 29-30 at the Lumberjack Tavern in Big Bay featuring a number of musicians who were McGee's close friends.

That includes Randy Tessier.

Tessier, now a professor at the University of Michigan, said he first met McGee in about 1960.

"Our family, the Tessiers, had moved from what was then French Morroco in North Africa to Marquette," Tessier wrote in a blog he shared with The Mining Journal.

Fact Box

Who is The Walrus?

The Walrus was the name given a group started by Mike McKelvy and Bill Etten, soon joined by Kim French and Don Kuhli and later Randy Tessier.

The late Tim McGee was among the band's biggest fans and most devoted friends both in Marquette and when the band moved to Ann Arbor.

St. John's School attendee Tessier became friends with neighbor Gary Martin who went to St. Peter's School. Also at St. Peter's was Timothy McGee and that's the connection that brought the guys together.

"It was at the Bishop Baraga Roller Rink that Gary introduced Tim and I, and that began a lifelong friendship that saw us move from our boyhood days of peanut butter-mustard sandwiches and 'Suicides' (a Coke-7UP-orange pop mix) to our 20s and 30s, those headier times of entrepreneurial schemes, sports, and music, bachelor basketball and golf, into our 40s and beyond, a time of family and watching our children grow up," Tessier blogged. "And finally to this."

Tessier was part of the immensely popular local band The Walrus and McGee often served as chauffeur, roadie and booster - even as a songwriter, on occasion, Tessier said. McGee moved to Ann Arbor when the members of Walrus did.

"I always marveled at Tim's athleticism, innovative ideas, and devotion to his friends," Tessier blogged. "His skill at cards, magic, pool, and working with his hands in general, never failed to fascinate me and intrigue me and whoever else was around."

Eventually, McGee returned to Marquette, making crafted original furniture. Then he became a realtor. His obituary stated he liked pool, poker and sports, but the most important aspect of his life was his family.

And so his friends are putting together the 2011 edition of McGoostock to help benefit an education fund for McGee's children.

On Friday, July 29, starting at 8:30 p.m., the Lumberjack will be filled with the music of The Lumberjack 5 - Andy Adamson, Dave Cavender, Kim French, Don "Cashmere Phunck" Kuhli and Tessier, all longtime McGee fans and cronies.

Other musicians will sit in during the evening of music.

Then on Saturday, July 30, Bill Etten will be the main entertainer starting at 8:30 p.m., accompanied by the group Toivo Shankar and other local musicians.

A $5 cover/donation will be asked at the door, with a portion of the proceeds going to the McGee family.

"(Tim's) capacity to adapt to whatever circumstance confronted him, his upbeat attitude in the face of the worst, these qualities are emblematic of the indefatigable spirit he's engendered in all of us who knew him," Tessier blogged.

To learn more about McGoostock 2011, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook. com/pages/ We-Remember-Tim-McGoostock-11/134134606605713 ?ref=ts.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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