It was sad for my boys and I to hear of your passing. It was the highlight of our vacation to be with you and Kristen and Graham. What a great Father and Husband. You are missed.
Brent was likely the most gracious person I will ever know. We were friends during the 80's in Austin, in love with music, young and energetic. None of it was lost on us. Brent has had a huge impact on my life, though I haven't seen him in recent years. I will never forget him. Sincere condolences go out to his family and his family of friends.
Brent was a friend from the early days of The Chronicle. He was more into music and I was more into film but that never stopped us from having long and very funny discussions about just about everything. I would like his son to know especially that your father was universally loved and respected. He was, as we say up here in the great Northeast, a real mensch. Everyone who had the good luck of knowing him was devasted by the news and yet thankful that we had the chance to know and befriend him.
Sincere condolences to the Grulke family. Our prayers are with you. Simone Giblin Duffy
Rest in peace my friend.
You will be missed.
May his memory be a blessing.
This won't sink in for a while for me. Brent will be missed by many for far longer than the 51 short years he spent on this planet, and his influence will last even longer. I know I miss him already, even though it's been a year or two since I've seen him. My best to his family.
Thanks for that SXSW wristband out of the trunk of your car in the parking lot of dog and duck. It was truly appreciated, as was your always warm welcome hug at any event. You were a genuine gentleman. Rest in Peace dear. Peace be with your family.
Brent, you will be missed so very much. Thank you for your HUGE work on behalf of musicians worldwide. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with you. Peace, my friend and fellow traveler.
He never met a soul he didn't encourage in some way...
A wonderful person.
Had so much fun playing in the nextel orchestra at the Hyatt with you!
Brent will be missed by many.
I will miss Brent a lot. Kristen and Graham, I send you my thoughts and prayers.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Brent was such a natural guy to hang out with and an expert conversationalist. And so damn modest he just let you in to his world with no pretence. I will miss the hell out of that . Jim Stockbauer, Longbranch
He had a way of making everyone around him feel special. Rest in Peace Brent.
He always made me feel special when we talked and so full of music love. Miss you always, NJ
Heaven has another angel. Rest in peace dear Brent.
Never met a man who loved so much or that was so loved by others. I left Austin many years ago now and last saw Brent at a party in Portland Oregon in the late 90's, but boy did he stick to your ribs. I never had the pleasure of meeting his wife and son, but heard that Kristen matched him toe to toe in intellect and witt. He did love a challenge. I am sure that Brent never loved anything harder than his beautiful boy, Graham. What a foundation he gave him, to be someone's most favorite thing. My deepest sympathies.
There's so much I don't remember, can't recall, faded over decades gone past. But I do remember the first time I encountered you. And I remember you helping me get over someone. And I remember you advising me about a career decision. And I remember you trying to get me a job. And I remember working long hours in the office with you. And I remember some crazy long nights in New York and Seattle and Portland and Austin. And I remember you talking me out of doing something that would've been really stupid. And I remember you making sure there was a slot for a band that I championed. And I remember the consideration and context you passed along when I called you a few weeks ago, the last time I ever spoke with you.
As Steve Chaney put it, we weren't even close to done. But I'm so thankful for the time we did have; without your presence, all those years just would not have been as enjoyable or meaningful.
May you find your way, now, to the place that Cindy Walker envisioned in song:
"Where wild wings fly above the peaceful valleys,
And the Pedernales flows lazily beneath the Texas skies."
I can tell you that Brent was his own man before he even was a man. A thought thinker and a life liver. RIP friend.
Adios mi amigo... buen viaje...
We asked Brent to manage our band, and he agreed. He never arranged a practice, or actually booked us a gig. In fact, he almost immediately went on tour with a different group as their road manager and returned to Austin months later with a very expensive acoustic guitar. "When are you going to get us a show?" we asked him. "You can get your own shows," he replied. "What's the deal with the guitar?" we asked. "It's mine," he replied, "you can get your own guitars." "So what do we do now?" "You'll figure it out yourselves," he replied, "if I didn't believe in you, I never would have become your manager." He always believed in us, as musicians, as music fans, as friends, as fellow Austinites. He did what he loved, and had that rare gift that allowed him to pass along that passion to the rest of us. If you know him, you'll miss him. If you didn't know him, find the person who was always there for you and tell them thanks.
Oh, Brent, you are missed! My heart goes out to your family.
I'm so very sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family.
Brent the office will never be the same without you, will miss your presence this year, be it the staff suite, the after party or the Sat. meetings, your humor & your laughter. Thanks for the memories and good times. My condolences to the Grulke family.
Thanks, Brent, for being a friend. I'm going to miss hearing you laugh at my corny jokes and toasting to the greatness of homemade Mexican food. You were one hell of nice guy and I'm still amazed that I was lucky enough to call you a friend. Rock on, brother!
Wonderful tribute and profile. Brent was loved. Man, was he loved. Glad I got to know him well for the brief time I did. Glad he was in my wedding. Glad he made Austin a place I wanted to come to. Sad I'll never see him again.
I knew Brent a little because his brother Brad was my college roommate in the mid 80's and is still a good friend. Being in Austin during that time was amazing and having some kind of connection to Brent and watching the different permutations of his life and career was fascinating and rewarding. He was able to identify his passion, follow it, and make a life immersed in it. That is a life well lived.
But well beyond the self satisfaction I'm sure Brent got from his life is the affect it had on others. If someone has a desire to have an impact and leave a legacy - to be remembered when you are gone - well, Brent succeeded wildly. From reading all the articles, tributes, and notes that have already come out it's obvious that Brent touched many people in so many ways.
I know this is little comfort right now to his family and friends, but ultimately I hope they will take some solace in the knowledge that although his life was way too short, Brent truly "lived" while he was here. I especially hope that his son, who might be too young to understand all this right now, will come to learn and appreciate the type of person Brent was and the positive impact he had on the world - and that's not exaggerating as witnessed by the tributes coming in from all over the globe.
Sincere condolences to Kristen, Graham, Brian, Brad, and all of Brent's friends. Brent will be missed, but I know he will also be remembered and celebrated.
Thanks Brent for your smile, kindness and joy in life. You are missed.
GOD BLESS YOU BRENT. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE GREAT TIMES IN THE 80'S & 90'S. YOUR GREAT SMILE AND LOVING PASSION OF THE MUSIC AND YOUR FRIENDS. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS. MAY YOUR WIFE AND SON BE STRENGHENED & LIFTED WITH GOD'S LOVING ARMS DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME. WE WILL MISS YOU VERY MUCH BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
One late night, long after all the bars had closed, I found myself at an after hours party without my friends. Suddenly out of the crowd came Brent. When I told him I was stranded he said "Come on, I'll take you home." True to Brent's nature, the car ride home was full of laugher and music. I was lucky to call him my friend. All my prayers to his wife, son, family and many friends.
what shall we discuss in Heaven? is the music good? can you see the games from there? do they pull a guinness right?
I ran the Listening Center for the SXSW music tradeshow under Brent for a couple of years in the late '90s. Sorry he's gone, glad it was quick. Rock on Brent ...
Trina Shore Sims
Canada. Mustard. Wine. Beer. Music. Books. Politics. Opal's. Dog and Duck. These are just a few of the places and things that will remind me of Brent for many many years to come. You will be missed, friend. Sending love and light to Kristen, Graham and the Grulke family in these dark days.
I first met Brent at least 25 years ago, but was never a particularly close friend of his. However, you didn't necessarily need to know him all that well for him to have touched your life in a meaningful way. He was always nice to me and remembered me even though gaps of several years may have passed since we had last seen each other. Plenty of other people not half as important as him would not give you the time of day, I'll say that much. But Brent always did. He, and the few people like him, make the world a better place, and he will be sorely missed--and not just here in Austin.
I first met Brent at least 25 years ago, but we were never particularly close friends. However, you didn't necessarily need to know him all that well for him to have touched your life in a meaningful way. He was always nice to me and remembered me even though gaps of several years may have passed since we had last seen each other. Plenty of other people not half as important as him would not have given you the time of day, I'll say that much. But Brent always did. He, and the few people like him, make the world a better place, and he will be sorely missed--and not just here in Austin.
We never got to drink that bottle of wine that I've been hanging onto for the last 10 years. I'll drink it with your friends and to you. I'll miss your face in the crowd.
I was lucky to have known him and had one or two of those amazing conversations with him as a SXSW volunteer. My heart goes out to all of his many, many close friends and family members. Brent, you have been an inspiration and you are gone too soon.
Brent. What a great guy. We talked about southern women authors, how chugging wine was a bad idea and how quiet it was sometimes even when you live in a flight pattern by the airport. Always smart, always sweet. A true romantic about music. A good friend to me and Ron. Good times with Cayce too. I won't forget you Brent.
I did not know Brent well. But I was fortunate enough to experience firsthand his wit, intelligence, sense of humor, and of course his commitment to helping great music get heard. I send my condolences and prayers to his loved ones and colleagues. His passing will leave a gaping hole way beyond Austin. I imagine him now, listening to all the great bands that preceded him, and booking the best music festival heaven has ever seen.
I worked with Brent during the DIRECTV shows at SxSW for 3 years. What a wonderfully creative professional and thoroughly nice man. I can't believe he is gone. My sincere condolences.
Brent was the Captain of the ship that is SXSW. He just always knew that adventure was out there. You just had to take a leap of faith. See ya next life brother.
i went to school with Brent, I enjoyed our time together in high school, what a great friend and teammate. I will miss him. My thoughts and prays are with your family.
Tim May, Tomball, TX
Dear Graham, I am so very sad to hear of your loss. Hugs to you and your mom. I will keep your family in my prayers. Love, Ms. Dyer
I don't really know how I first met Brent Grulke, though I guess I'm not the only one who would say that. Austin was a much different place in the '80's. In my mind, it seems that I met a few of the Chronicle staff (Louis Black, Roland Swnson, Margaret Moser, and Brent) all around the same time. The earliest recollection I have, is walking into a very cluttered, and cramped, tiny office, which I think was at 28th and Neches, probably the first office of The Chronicle.
At that time, in Austin, if you were involved in music, film, theatre, dance, or art, you would inevitably run into the same people wherever you went, and I guess that's what happened with Brent. I knew that he liked music, and I'm sure I ran into him at one show or another, on occassion.
When I began hosting Trendsetters on KUT, I tried to keep in touch with various people at The Chronicle. I believe that in order to keep any kind of "scene" alive, and to have it thrive, all media has to be involved. Periodically, if I was doing an interview with someone, or playing something special on the show, I would contact The Chonicle. In a relatively short time, Austin's free, weekly paper became the only thing to read if your world revolved around contemporary, or alternative, pop culture. Brent Grulke was a large part of making that happen.
The strongest memory that I have of Brent is during a benefit at Liberty Lunch. I had been badgering the KUT management for several years to let me host a live show as part of our pledge drive. Eventually, they said OK. Of course, then I had to find bands that were willing to play for free.
I also planned to record the show.
Tim Kerr, of The Big Boys, was willing to loan me a Tascam Portastudio, an early 4 track cassette recorder. I was setting it up just before the show, and Brent came over to see if I knew what I was doing (which I clearly did not). I didn't know, until Brent told me, that although this was a 4 track machine, it would only record on TWO tracks at the same time. Brent knew this immediately. He was clearly unhappy, and frustrated, by my igorance.
After a few minutes of considering the options, Brent took matters into his own hands, and came up with a workable solution (one that I would have never thought of); he ran one line off the PA system on stage to one channel of the Portastudio, then hung a mic above the audience, about half way between us and the stage into the other channel. It wouldn't be in stereo, but it would be live.
Somehow, I had managed to convince 5 (or was it 6?) bands to play for free:The Vertibeads, Black Spring (Melissa Cobb and Barry Shank's band, who were among the first to cover songs by Daniel Johnston), Doctor's Mob (who were particularly hot that night), THE Texas Instruments, who had already received a cease and desist letter from the attorney of a particular tech company that was unhappy about their name, and Scratch Acid, in what became the only benefit they ever played, and the only time they did a cover song (Judas' song from Jesus Christ Superstar).
Later, I was able to take that tape into a studio, and use a different EQ on each channel, making it "fake stereo". Moneywise, the show was a flop - no one wanted to pay the $5.00 fee to get in, and Liberty Lunch looked pretty sparse on that Sunday night. But thanks to Brent, I was able to make up for that when I aired the tapes on my show. We raised a fair amount of money that year. I still have those tapes, and I cherish them dearly.
I think the last time I talked to Brent was after I started volunteering for SXSW. I needed to get some discs that were in his office, because I was helping to create the MP3's of the musicians that were playing. His office was stacked with literally thousands of cd's, cassettes, and vinyl. Later, we got to talk for a brief moment, and he was giddy over the 10 - cd set of The Stooges that he got - the complete recording sessions for their first album, .
Brent Grulke's passion was music, and that is something I can certainly relate to. Like so many other people who helped create the Austin music scene, he was able to accomplish things that I have only dreamed of. To lose someone so dedicated, so rigorous in following his muse, is a great blow to Austin music. We will never be the same. There are not many people like Brent Grulke around any more.
I know I am not alone in saying that he will be missed, and my heart goes out to his son Graham, his wife Kristin, and his family at The Chronicle, at SXSW, and in the world of music
Host and Producer of Trendsetters
KUT Austin ('81 - '86), KCRW Santa Monica ('89 - '91)
How surreal. The Grulkes lived just down the street from my family growing up. Our parents were close friends and used to square dance together every week. He and his brother Brian were a bit older and Brad was a year younger than me, but I have fond memories of my older siblings hanging out together, and occasionally getting into normal "teenage trouble" :-). Brent's mother was like a second mom to me. My heart goes out to his family and friends.....he will be sorely missed.
I went to school with Brent and he was indeed a kind soul. All of the Spring gang is mourning his passing. Thoughts and prayers go to his family. Find peace knowing that God has his loving arms wrapped around him. RIP
As a volunteer for SXSW, I worked with Brent for 20 years. His musical bookings never failed to deliver, and because of his insight I can count many musicians who had been unknowns among my favorites today. He'll surely be missed at our next Conference.
Of all the music industry people I've ever met, Brent was the most genuine and down-to-earth. He was a true gentleman who was more interested in who you are rather than what you do. Brent, you were a breath of fresh air in a crazy world. I'll miss our conversations. Thank you for your support and the opportunities you've given me with regard to my music. Austin will never be Austin without you.
Sending love and condolences to the Grulke family and all the lives he has touched. Being a few years younger than Brent at Spring High School, I just remember him as one of the nice Grulke boys. He was so cool...without trying. Then I moved to Austin, to The University of Texas (also in College of Communications), and have followed this 'cool Grulke guy' from the sidelines in Austin, watching his career and his influence in the music industry grow. Damn. I had always hoped to run into him one day and tell him how he's done SHS and UT proud with his creative energy. Of course, I was just a neighborhood kid in Westador, and he would not have remembered me. But I remembered him. And he not only did Spring High and UT proud, but the entire city of Austin and, ultimately, the international music community. I'll miss seeing what he does next. Pray that he rests in eternity with an endless playlist of new bands.
Brent has been in my circle of friends for as long as I can remember.... in fact its tough even remembering a time without him in my adult life. This has truly been a shock and stun to our entire community... and many of us are left numb by the news of his passing. Kristen, Graham and the rest of his family..... our hearts go out to you all. He was a great man, a kind soul, and a dear friend to many. Brent - you will be missed, but you will always be with us.
You once said to me, "In the end, there is only really good music or really bad music." I hope where ever you are, you're only listening to the really good stuff.
Our love and condolences to the SXSW family and the Grulkes. may RIP
I met Brent back in the 1980's,when Mike Lee introduced us to the rest of Room City. I always enjoyed his sense of humor an honesty. While life took a different direction for me, I was glad to know that his love for music was able to bloom for him as it did. I am so sorry for his wife and son. 52 is too young. Brent you will be in my thoughts and prayers always.
a most heartfelt sympathy to Brent's family. He will always remain with us through every note played at Sxsw. He brought the world to our door, and sometimes we complained, but we meant to say thanks!
I echo Matt Harris' comments. Brent and I were in many courses together at Spring High and as RTF majors at UT. He was and remained passionate about his music. He was curious about people, literature, life, ... the world. He was extremely intelligent and funny. He was gentle, but he also had guts; guts to follow his passion and build a wonderful career out of it that brought so much to so many. Thanks Brent.
"The exultation of our heart has ceased. Our dancing has been changed into mere mourning."
Take comfort in the "God of comfort".
I hadn't seen Brent for years. We were classmates at Spring High School and at UT. Hearing this news delivered a gut shot that left me breathless. He was a kind, gentle soul when he was 15 years old and that stayed with him throughout his life. I remember smiling every time I saw him all those years ago. It is heartening that his love of music remained central in his life and that he was able to share that love with so many other people.
A friend sent me the news that Brent was gone. Thank you Brent for the memories and talk and being such an elegant and gracious man of music. My prayers to family and friends.
It is impossible to state how much music Brent was responsible for introducing to everyone in any way connected with SxSW, but that's just one aspect of how much he'll be missed. My heart goes out to everyone who knew him and especially to his family. He was my friend and I was so very fortunate to know him.
Rest in peace my friend. You are sure going to be missed!
My heart aches for you, Kristen and Graham. Brent was a wonderful man. He was a mentor and friend to me, always. He gave me wonderful and occasional terrible advice, sometimes in the same hand. But no one has meant more to me as an adult-growing-up as Brent. Always encouraging and honest, he was someone whose opinion always mattered to me. He is so loved, always. Love and condolences to his family. You are in my thoughts.
A terrible and sad loss for musicians and music lovers everywhere. Deepest condolences to your family Brent. You will be missed...
Oh, Brent. You were so remarkable and made a huge difference in so many people's lives. One thing is certain: heaven just became a lot more entertaining.
Brent, your legacy will continue in the hearts of your family & friends. With great appreciation & respect I say thank you for all you have done for Austin & for music worldwide.
I only know of Brent through his work on SXSW but that is enough to know he was a force for good in Austin and in music and that he improved my life and many others. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
my deepest and sincerest condolences. brent was an amazing soul and will be sorely missed.
We are sad for ourselves, we lost a bright candle in this big dark world. We are sad for your family, for they lost more than we can imagine.
So sad to hear this. Many prayers to friends and family.
We lost a good one today. You will be missed. Save travels Brent.
Brent - thanks for the memories and the conversations and animated 'discussions' about everything. I'll always be grateful you weren't seriously hurt at my last BBQ (the one where you used heptane to start the fire) and managed to laugh about it later. Ah - good times.
I hope that all your friends and family find some comfort in knowing your spirit touched so many and we will always cherish our memories of you. How's that for a run-on sentence. I know you'd laugh with me! RIP my friend.
You changed the face of music forever for the better. RIP
Like the eternal flame you will burn on. Austin, its music, and fans will sorely miss your contribution.
SxSW has never had, nor never will have, an equal. It has done more to bring attention to new, developing, and established artists than anything of it's kind. Period.
Thank you Brent for your fortitude and passion. There are millions of music lovers who's lives are richer because of the platform you provided in Austin.
Rest In Peace
May the love of all that know him bring you some comfort..
I will miss you so much Brent, going back to the Chronicle, your early days at Spindletop Records in L.A. and all the way up to today. You were a brother.