Friday 7 June 2024

RIP Scott Cornish

I was driving to Birmingham - that’s Birmingham in the middle of England, not in Alabama. I stopped for a rest, got some bad coffee, clicked up Facebook on my phone. A post from Lindsay Hutton: RIP Scott Cornish. My first thought was that this was not possible, but that was wrong, because with Scott anything was possible. I was swept up in a jumble of thoughts and emotions. One clear thought shone through: Scott would not be showing up at the gig tonight.

I can’t remember when or where I first met Scott. It was at a show, probably one that Amy and I were playing. He just slowly became a part of our scene. He came to our house concerts in Catskill, the legendary Homemade Aeroplane. After we played, and people were leaving, someone said this guy was asking for walking directions to the Thruway entrance where he was going to catch a Trailways bus. We couldn’t let this happen  - it was midnight on a Saturday night and it it was a three and a half mile walk. Someone found him and we organised a ride. He was grateful, though he would have been happy to walk - he’d walked to our house from he Trailways bus stop earlier that evening after an afternoon show in Troy - and he was quite happy to walk back because the bus wasn’t scheduled until sometime after two in the morning.

We found out that Scott did this kind of thing all the time. He knew all the bus and train timetables, all the bus and railroad stations. We’d drop him off in the middle of the night at some far-flung terminus.

‘Will you be okay here Scott?’

‘Oh don’t worry about me, it’s a fine night - and I’ve got a sandwich from your rider.’

His planning was meticulous: he’d catch a bus to catch a train and enjoy breakfast in an all-night cafe while he waited for the first bus of the day that would take him the rest of the way home.

He was like a cartoon character come to life, square-built with chunky spectacles, stolid, with something intrepid in his demeanour. I don’t know if it was years of taking public transport on a grand scale that had made Scott into the calm presence that he was, or if he’d always been that way, and that’s how he managed to endure the rigours of the public transport system.

Calm, philosophical, with a hint of stoicism. I worried about him out there in the night, but really no need. Thugs, psychopaths, dangerous nutters, they’d be no match for that measured calm. I’m sure Scott could talk someone down off a ledge just by being there.

Going to see bands was what Scott did. He had a girlfriend for a short while but it didn’t last. He once brought her to a show I did in London. He spoke about the relationship with no bitterness - it just didn’t work out. Scott had a lot of friends but he was a loner He used to be the manager of a hardware store but the place went out of business. He fell into depression and suffered that the drugs that are foisted on to people who suffer that illness. I know these things because I enjoyed a number of long drives with him. He was easy-going, and had good stories. A great traveling companion. He amazed me with the bands he’d seen, his understanding of rock n roll music and its peripheries. 

On one drive he related his experiences as an official merchandise sales vendor at the disastrous Woodstock II Festival which happened around the corner from his house in Rome, New York. He jumped ship just before the dance tent was pumped full of raw sewage during Fat Boy Slim’s set. He said the organisers wanted to make it appear to be as much like the original Woodstock as possible so they’d even arranged a mudslide. He looked thoughtful, shook his head:

‘That mudslide - it wasn’t mud…’

He never got paid for the final day.

And of course, he didn’t show up last night in Birmingham, though perhaps he was there in spirit. I know I was thinking about him while I was playing. I’m unclear about how he died - complications of Covid apparently. I hope it was easy and painless, and he wasn’t alone. 

And I hope he got the bus alright.


  1. I am still getting my head around a world without a Scott in it. But reading the line "perhaps he was there in spirit" did cheer me a bit, and got me thinking he can now be at every show everywhere. Scott is everywhere, everywhere is Scott. More everywhere than Elvis IMHO.

  2. Insane really. I didn't "know" Scott Cornish personally but I knew him via his work on classic wrestling podcasts. An incredibly funny gentleman and a huge music and wrestling fan. And I just saw you at your Coventry gig this past Sunday, six degrees of separation and all that.

  3. Joanna Palladino10 June 2024 at 15:02

    Thank you for this tribute to Scott. He was such a dedicated supporter of live music. He loved you and Amy and our band as well and was proud when he could introduce us on stage. And I will forever cherish having humongous sandwiches with him at Slick’s in Schenectady - one of his favorite cafes he’d eat in while waiting for the train.

  4. Fantastic tribute to a fantastic person. Besides music, Scott was a huge part of a pretty big pro wrestling podcast that has a pretty big following. I like to think he got a kick out of being "internet famous" in the wrestling world. He'll be forever missed on the podcast, and forever remembered by the listeners and the online groups he was a part of. Long Live Scott Cornish.

  5. Thank you for your kind words Eric. Scott was really one of a kind and I still can't believe he's gone. I am grateful for the time I spent with him at shows. And driving him there of course ❤️

  6. When asked why he didn't drive, Scott would simply answer "never really needed to." His first real job was down the street from his home, so why bother, right? One of the best concert buddies of all time. Get to (wherever) to see (whoever) with enough time to grab some well recommended local food, crack wise on the world out the windows the whole way, go to show, shut the eff up and enjoy the show, head home smiling. I will miss him so much. I was close to his brother Brian, too, who we lost a few years ago.

  7. I never met Scott or could even claim to know him, but I listened to him when was a guest on the various pro wrestling podcasts. He seemed like a friendly person and had an uncanny sense of humor. He was always a good story teller. RIP Scott!