Dexter


Dexter is dead. Long live Dexter in the hearts of those who knew him. I heard the news two days ago that Dexter had gone the way of all flesh and now a tribute is in order.

Dexter was the truest, most loyal, and most courageous of all the gang up at Shangri La. He did his job with a minimum of supervision and I never once heard him complain. He was the first to arrive in the morning and usually the last to bed at night. I can say without question, that he was probably the only motherfucker in that studio who never, ever pushed his ideas just to get some writing credit on a song. And Dexter had manners. He only pissed in one corner of the yard…which was not at all in keeping with the habits of the rest of us.

I guess you could say that Dexter was a bouncer of sorts. He was cool about it though. He didn’t flex his muscles or show off. I don’t think he ever threw a punch. He had a unique way of dealing with interlopers and unwanted visitors to the studio. He would watch as they stepped out of their car, and then he would sprint at them, usually on all fours, put his nose an inch away from their balls and bark…really loud! Nobody, but nobody ever got past Dexter.

Dexter was a German Shepherd/ Labrador mix and he looked just like a dog. But when he stared you down with those deep brown eyes, there was the distinct feeling that someone was in there. Fourteen years ago, Jim Nipar called me from his Jeep while he was driving home from a ski trip. He had stopped at the animal shelter in Mammoth because someone had told him that there was a batch of good dogs here and he was looking for a dog for his daughter. Some years before, Jim had lost a good friend when his Irish Setter had died. I was surprised when he called to tell me that he had adopted a new puppy after swearing never to have another dog.

Dexter grew up around horses…horses and the teen-aged girls who rode them. Jim’s daughter went away to college soon after we moved the Beejtar operation from the Bunker out to Malibu, so Dexter graduated from horses to musicians.

On one occasion, we busted Dexter trying to act like a dog. He wasn’t very good at it. Our pal, guitarist Jamie Shane had given him a giant butcher bone. When we took a break from recording, Dexter met us at the back door with mud all over his muzzle. In the planter behind him was the bone half-covered with dirt. He had an embarrassed look on his face but we couldn’t help laughing out loud. He tried to hide that bone over and over. Sometimes he would half-bury it, lie in front of it, and if anyone looked, he would look off into the distance vacantly as if to say, ” there is nothing here to look at, human.”

Good old Dexter. He was a true bro. All of us will miss him.