Mark Bava – Lament for an Unsung Hero
It is with incredible sadness and grief that I share this terrible news. In the early morning of Saturday Oct. 20th 2012, tragedy struck. One that will be felt by many for a long time. Below are two messages that I posted to my Facebook page regarding the loss of our great friend Mark Bava, his brother Chris and Chris’s wife Cat.
I’m still too grief-stricken to write anything more. Until such a time that I have recovered enough to pool my thoughts, I am reposting what I have been able to write as of this time.
Facebook has its limitations, one of which is that your important postings just end up going deeper into the past, soon to be forgotten. Mark Bava, Chris and Cat deserve something more permanent, so I’m putting this little memorial up on my website, where it will remain until I am no longer around to tend to it.
The first message is something I posted upon hearing about their untimely passing.
The second message was written the next day after an extraordinary experience I had, which in some way tied into the passing of the great Mark Bava. Please read it and feel free to leave comments below.
Mark Bava, Chris and Cat continue to live in the hearts of many
Posted on Facebook Oct. 20
For those who have not heard, our incredible community of friends, artists, performers, lovers, and fun-loving acquaintances have just suffered a terrible loss. Times three. Beloved friend Mark Bava, his wonderful brother Chris, and Chris’s wife Cat all perished early this morning in a traffic accident in San Jose.
Mark Bava was a humble visionary, who rarely took the credit for the wonderful things that flowed so easily and naturally from his unique being. He had a positive impact on just about everyone in his midst. A one of a kind individual. Always with good vibes and kindness. Never harsh nor judgmental. A gem of a human being. A shining example of how to be. Possibility incarnate. Truly, the good die young. And no, life is not fair.
When I was the head of the L.A. Burning Man region in 2003, I thought that the time was right to create an official Burning Man Decompression event in L.A. Bava was the first person I approached to discuss the possibilities. He was the first person on the team. Others whom eventually joined the team are still running the Decompression today, which just celebrated it’s 10th successful event last week. Mark, Chris, and Cat owned Little Pedro’s Cafe, affectionately known as The Blue Bongo, in the downtown L.A. arts district. The Blue Bongo became our headquarters and the first Decompression was centered on the streets around it. And so it was for the first 4 years. Mark was instrumental in shaping and merging the Burner and artists communities in L.A. He was a quietly powerful force of nature. Mark is missed, and he always will be. Deeply.
Thank you for listening… I just felt the need to say a few words as I process my incredible sadness. And I know I am not alone.
All that’s left to do is grieve this terrible loss and carry on. And carry on I intend to do, starting tonight, with the bright light of inspiration that was and always will be Mark Bava burning deeply in my heart.
I’m heading down to Little Pedro’s right now. 1st & Vignes. Downtown.
Rest in peace, my friends.
Mark Bava and the Owl
As posted to Facebook Oct. 21, one day later
An extraordinary thing happened this evening when I arrived home from work. I was on the phone talking to my girlfriend Brooke as I parked my car. As I walked down the narrow walkway that leads to my house, I looked up and saw perched on a telephone wire some sort of creature. I could not make out what it was. As I got closer, I started to describe what I was seeing to Brooke. It looked like a cat. But how can it be that a cat would be perched on a telephone wire in the middle of two telephone poles 50 yards apart? Quite unlikely.
It had pointy ears, like a cat. And it appeared to have fur rather than feathers. Brooke asked if it had a tail, which it did not. I went into the alley directly behind my house to where the animal was perched, (which happened to be right outside my bedroom window). I stood directly underneath the creature for some time. I finally saw that it was an owl, as I watched it turn its head back and forth 270 degrees. An owl with great big beautiful eyes.
Now, I have lived my entire life in this city and I can only recall two occasions where I had seen an owl within city limits, and both times the sighting was brief, and the owl was in flight with its massive wingspan in the dark of night. And yet, here I was, now standing in the alley behind my house directly underneath this amazing creature 20 feet above me. It was totally exposed, no trees for cover. Out in the open. Unusual for an owl.
This owl calmly gazed at me with its huge eyes. Unafraid. Unconcerned. Which is strange because owls are shy and they keep themselves pretty well hidden from sight. I stood there taking it all in, all the while describing to Brooke what I was seeing.
Brooke thought it was an interesting occurrence, given that Mark Bava had departed this plane of existence just yesterday. She then began to explain to me the symbolism of the owl in Native American cultures.
Here is an excerpt:
The most prevalent Native American symbolism of the Owl is one that is associated with death and spirits. Many Native American tribes viewed the owls as spirits of the dead, or the souls of the recently deceased. Some tribes also believe that the owl was a messenger of the underworld and carried spirits to the afterlife. Owls were also viewed as powerful spirit protectors and their feathers held great meaning and value.
Native American Belief
While Brooke was explaining, I was standing directly under this beautiful creature. As she finished telling me these Native American beliefs, and her words were sinking into my consciousness, the owl looked down at me again, paused… and then gently spread his/her majestic 6 foot wide wingspan and gracefully took flight, silently disappearing into the night.
Now, I’m not a religious person, if anything I’m more anti-religious, and I don’t necessarily believe in a spirit realm. And please don’t try to convince me otherwise. I find it to be boring, pretentious, and brutish. I try to keep my beliefs or lack thereof private, as I would hope others would do, too. However, this unusual situation would have been amazing on any given day, but taken in the context of Mark Bava’s untimely passing, the experience became remarkable. Having experienced this cosmic coincidence has brought some modicum of peace and calm to my mind and my heart in regards to our dear lost friend. And anything that brings you some modicum of peace in getting through this life is a good thing.
The timing was perfect. It was truly extraordinary. I was moved and soothed.
Be well my friends. Thanks for letting me share.
“I Am Vegetable”
“An Interactive Theatrical Dance Party”
Sat. Oct. 8th 2011
BUY TICKETS NOW LIMITED $20 ON SALE!!!
Dream Circus Theatre Presents…
I AM VEGETABLE
A costume party which merges theatre, story telling, music, performance art and dancing with interactive stage sets that integrate the audience as if they are part of the actual performance.
“Enter the Party and Live in the World of the Story”
Audience members become one with the story and turn into living theatrical characters of the event.
Back from a Deep Hi-Bear-Nation, Fud-gee Bear & Electric GrassHopper have awoken and climbed out from the underground city of Zion . Rising up like a phoenix, bringing magic, mystery & fantasy back into our world again..
SAT. OCT. 8th 2011
9:00 PM – 3:30 AM
(Dubstep / Electro Breaks)
- “BROCCOLI, I AM” (Dream Circus Theatre)
- Costumes designed by MKO (MKOCostumes.com)
- John Kelly (Ball of Wax / Moontribe)
- Shayn (Intetech / Deep LA)
- Bartek (Quade / Ball of Wax)
- SuneviL LovechiLd (Sunevil com)
- Petey (Technique)
(House /Tech House)
- Starring FADE DRA
- Mikey + Eddie (HAWT Music)
- Frank Fader (Dogtown DJ’s)
- Ben Annand (Moontribe / Tropical)
- DJ Xian Fayette (I Am)
- DJ M*Linss (Dogtown DJ’s)
THE MUSHROOM GARDEN:
- Imagika (ImagikaOm com)
- Trevor + Travis Wise (Green Sector)
- Maggie (Moontribe)
- Kevin Chills (See Thru Sound)
FLYING MUSHROOM HEAVEN:
- Special Live Performances
THE REFRIDGERATOR: (UPSTAIRS)
- Chill Zone
VEGGIE VOYEURISM MUSEUM:
Peep into the “green light’ district world of veggies….Watch and tantalize your taste buds.
“VEG JAH TAB BUL” Costume Contest:
- Hosted by FADE DRA
Visual Dreams & Imagination Scape:
- Video Projections by Michael Allen
Multi Media Artist Visual Dreams:
- Mobile Projections by Justin Hammond MCThis
Please bring your Favorite Organic Vegetable to participate in the Soup Ritual served all Night
Come in Costume as your favorite Vegetable
Date: Sat. 10.8.11
Time: 9:00 PM – 3:30 AM
FULL BAR 21+
Advanced online Tickets: www.groovetickets.com
- $20 1st Tier (Limited)
- $25 2nd Tier (Limited)
At the Door-Day of Event:
$30 With Vegetable Costume & bring Organic Vegetable for door discount.
$40 Just Plain Jane
Free Street Parking
$10 Secured Valet Parking
Text & Info Line: 310.853.3075
Show starts at 9:00pm
The Return of Flammable Liquid
L.A.’s Original After Hours Party
Saturday, September 24th, 2011
This Saturday night, September 24th, is the 20 year regathering of the legendary Flammable Liquid, which was the first of its kind L.A. underground after hours party during the early 1990s. Read more about my personal experiences from those early years below.
A little history about Flammable Liquid:
Flam was born in early 1991 during the nascent L.A. underground party scene. Being an insider from the starting gate, I was fortunate to have been able to contribute to the formation of the local underground scene in some small way (which ultimately ended up leading me to become the L.A. Burning Man regional director years later). The experience was extraordinary and changed my life forever.
The Underground as Secret Society:
In those early years, being part of the underground was kind of like being a member of a secret society. Not many people knew about it, but enough to ensure that there were enough bodies to make it fantastic. The underground was the only place where you could find the kind of electronic dance and house music which is now ubiquitous and seemingly inescapable. There was no electronic dance music available at the record stores. You couldn’t find it on any radio station. It’s as though it didn’t exist. Except it did. Big time. But only within this hidden, secret world. If felt incredibly special and unique to be involved in this vibrant, exciting, hedonistic underworld, raging right under the noses of an unsuspecting mainstream, commercialized world. In discovering this world, I had found my people…
Dance Floor Catharsis:
Of all the events in those early years that I was either directly or indirectly involved with, or simply a party-goer, Flammable Liquid was one of the most memorable. Flam was the first of its kind after hours party in Los Angeles. It started at 3:00am on Sunday morning and went until people left, sometimes well into Sunday afternoon. It was epic. People were tribal dancing with streams of tears running down their faces. Total catharsis on the dance floor and good, good vibes. Always held in a new location almost every Sunday. Usually totally illegal (almost all underground parties in the early years were illegal). No permits. No authorization. Complete renegade party production. Living on the edge and living large. It was an exciting way to live. Without Flammable Liquid’s early influence on things to come, the Los Angeles After Hours Party Scene might not have been as cool as it was.
Flammable Liquid went on from early in 1991, and ended in September 1992. Years that I will never forget.
Now… flash-forward 20 years…. Baba Lou (who is the founder of Flammable, who was only 20 years old when he started it) and co-founder DJ Doc Martin, have gotten back together with their old colleagues to have one more raging one-off. The 20 year regathering of Flammable Liquid.
Kick Ass DJ Line Up!
The same ones who rocked it back in the early 90’s
The same DJs who tore up the dance floor back then will be doing it again this Saturday, Sept. 24:
- Doc Martin
- Mark Lewis
- Sean Perry
- Barry Weaver
- Steve Loria
- Eli Star
- Electric Skychurch (live performance)
- Fido ReyRey
- and more.
Trust me. You will be shaking your ass, fo sho!
Get in for Half Price by leaving a comment on this blog posting!!
If you’d like to get on the 1/2 price list, write a comment in the space below this posting. I will then get in touch with you to add your name to the list. I have a limited amount of half price tickets to give out and this blog is not the only method I’m using for this special offer. So act quickly! You’ll get in for $30, which isn’t bad considering that pre-sales tickets are $50, which goes up to $60 on the day of the event. Please leave me a comment below and let’s get this party started!
The price of admission includes an open no-cost bar, which will continue serving drinks until 1:30am.
There will be NO tickets sold at the door. Presale tickets only. Get yours now before it’s too late!
I hope to see you there!
Flam Facebook Group:
Flammable Liquid website:
I just found this on the excellent KickStarter website, which helps people get the funding for their creative projects.
Visit the Kickstarter website and help fund this worthy project. And while you’re at it, why not come up with a project of your own and use the Kickstarter website to help raise funds to make it real!
The “People of Burning Man Coffee Table Book” project in particular resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt from the Kickstarter website that describes a little bit about the project:
Whether or not you’ve ever been to that thing in the desert, this book is designed to be your counter culture spirit guide.
We spent about a decade documenting the people and culture of Burning Man. We got a grant from the Internet Archive to print the photos, and we hand bound them into books. Those 100 copies are long gone. Chances are that you will never acquire one. There were never enough to go around. So, here is your chance. Actually, here is our chance, as a community, because if we don’t publish it now, we probably never will.
People of Burning Man Coffee Table Book
This project will only be funded if at least $25,000 is pledged by Friday Mar 18, 7:30pm PDT. They’re almost there! Your contribution will help. Not only will you feel great that you helped something so cool to become real in our world, but you’ll also receive a reward of some sort, such as a free book, a signed copy of the book, and more, depending on the amount of your contribution. Check the Kickstarter.com page for this project for all the details.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 14th, 2010:
DAVID STARFIRE AND EL PAPACHANGO IN DA HOUSE!!
The Do LaB Presents:
David Starfire, El Papachango and SaQi
Join us on Thursday October 14th for a night of body-and-soul-moving-music featuring David Starfire, El Papachango and SaQi! Prepare for a sonic journey around the world, as we’ll leave no genre unexplored, fusing eclectic world rhythms and sounds with electro, ragga, hiphop, dubstep, breaks, and all sorts delicious bass frequencies!
Thursday, Oct 14 9:00pm-2:00am
6555 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
$15 in advance / $20 at the door 21+
To purchase advanced tickets visit: http://beticketing.com/starfire
* DAVID STARFIRE *
David Starfire is a producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His production style is eclectic, fusing world music with dance and hip hop and everything in between. He’s signed to Six Degrees records (The Orb, Michael Franti) and has performed at major festivals across North America. He’s developed quite a following and his unique sound is catching the ears of music fans across the globe.
This will be a special show with visuals by VJ Culture, live performers and a rockin DJ set as well! Performers featured are iCatching, Sherri Wheately, Dvine1 and more special guests to be added!
* EL PAPACHANGO *
Half papa, half monkey, really means Universe! Diego Novoa aka El Papachango grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he began his career as sound engineer and dj, tinkering around with speakers and amps at the ripe age of fifteen.
They call him El Papachango because he mixes from a diverse palette of electro, ragga, breaks, and hip-hop, creating a musical journey that has Universal appeal: sassy, playful, suave, and sometimes downright naughty, but always with a spicy Latin flavor.
* SAQI *
The Portland-based artist saQi is a classically trained composer, producer and trumpet player. Drawing his name from the Sufi title for a mystic muse, saQi creates eclectic electronica that maintains a balance between organic and synthesized sound. His live sets rock the dance floor while maintaining a grace and musical depth to engage the listener. The music is never limited by genre, tempo or any other stylistic elements. Allegiance to the creative flow and its truest expression thereof is saQi’s manifesto.
Vendors & Supplies Suitable for Black Rock City
Goggles, Camping, and Burning Man Gear
US Outdoors is an excellent source for gear suitable for the Playa at Black Rock City.
Fast shipping (in some cases free shipping and no sales taxes!)
Put your order in now and get the gear in plenty of time for your journey to Black Rock City.
Burning Man Tickets
Click on either the StubHub or Razorgator images and do a quick search. You might get lucky and find a ticket at a price you’re willing to pay. You’re best bet, however, is to just go to the event and pay full price at the gate.
I have used Interstate Batteries many times over the years in my Playa preparations. If you have a need of batteries of any kind, they have it. I know from experience how lame it can be when you realize that you’ve run out of juice on the Playa. Prepare yourself. Less than one month left to get your act together. Plenty of time to stock up on your batteries. Fast, free shipping, reliable service.
Why travel alone? Bring a date to Burning Man. Over the years, I have had many friends who have found great partners to bring to Black Rock City by using various online dating sites. I’ve never tried this myself, but I’m certainly not opposed. If you have a membership to one one of these sites (or any dating site, really), just do a profile search with the words “Burning Man”, or an appropriate synonym, and see what pops up. Or add Black Rock City related words into your own profile, if you’ve got one. You just may end up with the perfect Playa playmate. And how perfect is that..?
A few sites that my friends have used are listed below. In most cases, the sign up is free. It’s worth a try.
All Sexual Orientations:
- Alt.com – (of a more adult nature)
- Adult Friend Finder – (of a more adult nature)
- Friend Finder
- Passion.com – (of a more adult nature)
Helpful Resources for Burning Man participants
Here’s a link to the resources page on the Burning Man website:
The Burning Man 2010 Survival Guide is now live. Mandatory reading for all participants!:
- !! Twan's Newsletter Subscribe
- Absolute Online Poker
- Awareness Network
- Bill Hicks
- Burning Man Book Store
- Burning Man Opera
- Cirque Berzerk
- Drug Policy Alliance
- Gemini Manor
- Horse Racing Australia
- Loft Blog v3.0
- Lucent Dossier
- Marijuana Policy Project
- Online Casino Reviews
- Sensible Drug Policy
- The Do LaB
- Water Woman Project
- Watt from Pedro Show