Family and friends remembered Jason Moody as a talented musician, a diehard metalhead, and a devoted and caring friend.
Moody, a Rockland native who had lived in Bangor since 2013, died on Tuesday at the age of 40, allegedly beaten to death in an altercation that occurred Sunday night in Bangor. Donald Galleck, 29, was arrested and charged with Moody’s murder on Friday.
Moody was a lifelong musician and lover of heavy metal. His death tore a hole into the tight-knit Maine metal scene, a far-flung group hailing from nearly every corner of the state, which is bonded not just by the love of music, but also by a fierce loyalty to one another.
Jorma Spaziano was friends with Moody for years and played with him in the Rockland-based metal band A Constant Battle, alongside singer TJ Daigle and drummer Joe Ronco, until Spaziano moved to Oregon five years ago.
“We are a tight-knit community. Despite being in Oregon for five years, I still converse regularly with all my Maine metal family. … Guess who rode with me across the country the whole way and helped me get settled? Jason Moody,” Spaziano said.
Growing up in Rockland — the son of Brenda Kurr, and raised by Kurr and her husband, Frank Kurr — Moody was part of a large, extended family of siblings, half-siblings and step siblings. Moody and his younger sister, Desiree, developed distinctly different personalities while growing up together.
Desiree Lampada, who now lives in Wisconsin, said despite the different lives they lived, they were incredibly close.
“He lived a different lifestyle. In some ways I was the older sibling because he lived a carefree, kind of vagabond life, and I was always the more responsible one,” Lampada said. “But he was so smart. He was just naturally intelligent. He could play just about any instrument that you put in front of him.”
One of his childhood best friends, Jeremy Willey of Owl’s Head, said that in their teen years, they would play music together after school almost every day. Willey said his friend was the kind of guy who was the first to stand up for anybody who was being picked on or bullied.
“He had a pretty infallible moral compass. He really believed very strongly in right and wrong,” Willey said. “He was the least judgmental person I know. If you were going to judge someone or pick on them around Jason, he would never stand for it.”
Moody worked as a painter, and after moving to Bangor, when he would go to Knox County to work, he would stay in Warren with his friend Michael Hall. Hall and Moody became close friends quickly, after meeting for the first time about five years ago — something Hall said was par for the course for Moody, who made friends everywhere he went.
“You meet him, and you’re like ‘Where have you been all my life?’” Hall said. “He just had a helping nature. If he caught on that you were in a bad mood, he went out of his way to make sure you were all right.”
In 2013 Moody joined metal band Seize the Vatican, with guitarists Scott Stetson and Pat Sawyer, drummer Ronco of A Constant Battle, and lead singer Dustin Faloon. Both his old and new bands played regularly at The Kave, a Bucksport metal and hardcore venue.
The Kave, currently on hiatus from hosting shows while owner and den mother Kathy Findlay battles leukemia, has since 2000 brought bands from all over Maine — and all over the U.S. and the world — to its stage. Findlay met Moody back in 2001, when he was a short-haired 23-year-old. The last time she saw him was at a show in Bangor in August, held to raise money to help her pay her massive medical bills.
“It was all hardcore bands, not his preferred metal, but he was right up front singing along with only gladness in his heart,” Findlay said. “This memory, my last hug, the last time I heard his voice saying ‘I love you,’ will remain with me forever.”
Findlay said metal and hardcore fans are generally people of enormous goodwill and acceptance, and that the Kave naturally had that kind of vibe. The music may be loud and brutal, but the attitude is relentlessly positive and kind.
“I feel like this building absorbed the embodiment of each person’s heart and goodwill, creating an environment of acceptance, warmth and love,” she said. “It’s this bond that will help all of us find the strength to deal with this huge hole left in our hearts. Jason would want us to heal.”
Music wasn’t Moody’s only passion. According to Hall, he liked to build remote control cars from scratch, and had recently bought a small drone to play with. He loved his dog, a terrier mix named Maggie May. He loved to fish. He liked video games and was in the middle of completing “Red Dead Redemption 2” when he died. And he loved to cook, and eat, and enjoy food.
Cooking with Seize the Vatican…
Posted by Seize The Vatican on Sunday, 18 October 2015
An informal memorial for Moody is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Trackside Station in Rockland. A full memorial service will be set for the Rockland area sometime in December, according to Willey. Members of the Maine Death Militia, the Maine chapter of a nationwide underground metal club, are also organizing a metal show benefiting Moody’s family, set for Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Downunder Club at Seasons in Bangor.