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Dave Van Ronk seriously ill

27 Oct 01 - 12:37 AM (#580769)
Subject: Dave ven Ronk seriously ill
From: simon-pierre

Hi folks, I hope I don't duplicate something that has been post here earlier. I had this through a mailing list. I hesistate to send it, as I don't like to bring bas news, but I must say that I'm very shocked by the news.

"Dear friends and colleagues in the folk radio world: Our good friend Dave Van Ronk was recently diagnosed with malignant colon cancer, and will undergo surgery this coming Wednesday. Please hold him in your thoughts and prayers. More concretely, anyone who is able to assist him financially, or to ask their listeners to send contributions, is encouraged to do so, Dave does have medical insurance to pay for the surgery itself. However, the hardest hit is in loss of income. He has had to cancel all his gigs through the end of the year and the loss of that income and the accompanying CD sales at gigs has left him strapped. Please feel free to announce the following address to which donations may be sent. Checks should be made payable to Dave Van Ronk and ailed to
Dave Van Ronk c/o Folklore Productions
1671 Appian Way
Santa Monica CS 90401`"

27 Oct 01 - 12:38 AM (#580771)
Subject: RE: Dave ven Ronk seriously ill
From: simon-pierre

A mistake, as usual... hope someone can correct the name of the thread.

--- Thread title corrected. ---
---Jeff (PA)---

27 Oct 01 - 03:17 AM (#580791)
Subject: RE: Dave ven Ronk seriously ill
From: JudyR

What do you mean, "a mistake as usual?"

I did a little gasp when I saw this. I haven't seen Dave since some time in the 80's, but I knew him rather well in the late 60's and all through the 70's in New York. He's just a great, great person and this is simply horrible that he would be strapped after working so hard all his life and influencing so many people.

27 Oct 01 - 07:49 AM (#580840)
Subject: RE: Dave ven Ronk seriously ill
From: Dharmabum

He was one of the first folk musicians I saw in a live performance,probably in 69,70. I was just getting interested in playing folk / blues. When I saw him play I knew immediately,"That's how I want to play the guitar".

I've had the pleasure of seeing him 20 or so times over the years,as recent as last Saturday night in the little town of Wellsboro PA. As usual,he put on an excellent performance.

I wish him a full & speedy recovery.


BTW. I still can't play as good as he does.

27 Oct 01 - 08:03 AM (#580842)
Subject: RE: Dave ven Ronk seriously ill
From: Jerry Rasmussen

If every student of Dave's responds to this thread, it will take all the memory of our computers. I first heard Dave in December of 1964 at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village. I got to know him better when I took lessons from him for three months, and those three months are still bearing fruit in my life. I also had the pleasure of booking him at a folk concert series I ran for many years. The thing that amazed me about Dave is that I went to hear him, not having seen him in twenty years, and he still remembered me, and many details about my life. I don't know who got the most joy out of the lessons... the students, or Dave. He also introduced me to Anthology of American Folk Music when I first came to New York.. the well-spring of so much traditional music. I'll keep him in my prayers.

27 Oct 01 - 01:59 PM (#580974)
Subject: RE: Dave von Ronk seriously ill
From: wysiwyg

JudyR, The "mistake" was in the spelling of Van Ronk's name, that's all. Simon-Pierre always worries about his spelling in English, if I recall right.

I'll send the URL to this thread out to the prayer chain.


27 Oct 01 - 03:57 PM (#581020)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: JudyR

I have my feelers out, and if I hear anything I will let everyone know, and please if anyone else hears anything, do the same. Thank you.

27 Oct 01 - 05:52 PM (#581056)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Tiger

Get well, Big Guy. You're the greatest!

27 Oct 01 - 08:23 PM (#581113)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Big Mick

This just floors me. He has been an influence on me for more years than I care to admit. He is in the prayers immediately.


28 Oct 01 - 12:51 AM (#581218)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Art Thieme

So very sorry to hear this. Keep in mind folks, the man is a real survivor. He's been a shining example to so many of us for so long. If past performance is any indication, he's bound to get a handle on this too. From the tasteful, amazing picking to trad jazz singing to jug band to interpriting Joni M. and so many others---his Peter And The Wolf done jug band style is just beautiful. And he has continued to do all of it with ultimate acoustic taste with adherance to what is the best of this strange folk subculture we are all a part of. Damn it, life sure is unfair during these too numerous dips in our various pursuits of happiness.

All my hearfelt best thoughts go out to you, Dave, and thanks for all the songs I've stole from you over the years.

Art Thieme

28 Oct 01 - 01:29 AM (#581249)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Ebbie

Found on the internet: Throughout his 40+ year career as a performing artist, Dave has continued to offer guitar lessons. Bob Dylan is his best-known student. We asked him the importance of teaching to his development as a performer.

"You can't teach without learning. The first thing you have to do when you start teaching is to organize what you know. In the course of organizing what you know into a cohesive body, you discover that you know alot more than you thought you thought you did.

"Also, you discover gaps and holes which you can set about filling. So, in systematizing what you've picked up here and there and in fragmented ways - incorporating it into a coherent whole - you learn a great deal.

"And students are a stimulus. I've had students sort of gang up on me, and get me to work out this or that or the other piece, pieces I wouldn't have done. And in one or two cases, things have subsequently become mainstays of my repertoire.

For example, the Entertainer - the classic rag, which I was just reviewing with a student this week. Much more than just a useful performance piece, as it turned out, it became a seminal piece in learning more and more about how to play guitar in drop-D-tuning.

"In terms of spinoffs, that led to possibly ten or fifteen different arrangements. And that was because 2 or 3 students wanted to learn how to play the piece. Initially, I didn't want to work that out - it seemed to me like a great deal of work for a very, very small gain. I was wrong. Things like that are constantly happening."

Sounds like quite a guy. My best to you, Dave. Have you ever toured Alaska? (Incidentally, you know who else this sounds like? Rick F.)

28 Oct 01 - 01:59 AM (#581253)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: georgeward

Dave has been a friend to Caffe Lena (and was to Lena Sppencer herself) for many years. I will pass this on to Sara Craig, the Caffe's manager, and see what we can do.

Simon-Pierre, if it is not too nosy, is the surgery to be in Santa Monica (where there are some awfully good people dealing with this stuff) or is that your address only ?

Prayers and best wishes to an extraordinary man, who deserves all the support we can give.

-George ::-.--O

28 Oct 01 - 02:42 AM (#581258)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: JudyR

The Santa Monica address is that of Dave's manager, Mitch Greenhill's Folklore Productions. They also manage Doc Watson, Mike Seeger, Mary McCaslin, Rosalie Sorrells, Geoff Muldaur (Didn't mean to get off the subject, but I was surprised to see some of the names myself on their website at www.folkloreproductions.com).

If I'm not incorrect, Dave would probably be having his operation in NYC, where he's had an apartment for years in the West Village.

28 Oct 01 - 09:58 AM (#581340)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Rick Fielding

Ebbie, years ago Dave sat in for a few tunes at a gig I was doing in Yorkville (Toronto). He agreed with me that the audience were not paying attention, so instead of some nice fingerpicking tunes he did the loudest most bawdy sea chanteys he could think of.....got their attention real quick!

Our thoughts are with him.

Rick and heather

28 Oct 01 - 08:39 PM (#581638)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: BH

Dave, graciously, sat with me for an interview at his apartment in NYC a number of years ago. One of our best and a delight to spend time with him.

I hope our little effort on the air today (WFDU TRADITIONS) helps his spirit and his recovery.

I hope the best for him---and may he soon be back to regale us with his great persona in addition to his music.

Bill Hahn

28 Oct 01 - 09:51 PM (#581671)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: DancingMom

please keep us posted on his progress. He's in my thoughts. Sharon

28 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM (#581690)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: simon-pierre

These last years, I've been listening to Dave most of the time, and now my repertoire is like a tribute to this great guy. He is an encyclopedia of folk music, and most of folk songs I know were those he sung. I've always had the vague project to go to the USA, not for the MOMA or the Smithsonian or anything, but to find him in a little club, hear his powerful voice, his fingerpicking, and see what the hell are the chords for Jivin' man! I really hope he'll get well, and of course, my thoughts are with him.

I wrote to Folklore productions to confirm the news and know what is happening. I linked the thread in the mail.


29 Oct 01 - 12:47 AM (#581732)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: georgeward

JudyR, you're right, of course. I should have recognized the address.

I hope someone can keep us posted on Dave's progress. It is thus with so many artists: in the end it is incumbent upon those of us whom they've entertained, taught and inspired to remember them when they need us to. It is up to us to remember each other. -George ::-.--O

29 Oct 01 - 08:39 AM (#581839)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: Whistle Stop

'Tis a shame. I never had the pleasure to meet him, but I've listened over the years, and finally managed to catch him when he came to a nearby coffee house just a few years back. A great musician, and one of those people who you instinctively know has a heart of gold. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

29 Oct 01 - 01:20 PM (#582047)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: simon-pierre

Mitch Greenhill, from Folklore productions, replied today to my mail with these few lines:

"Dave Van Ronk does have colon cancer and will undergo surgery within a few days. His doctors are optimistic that they have caught it early. It is of course a challenging time for Dave, including financially. Those interested in contributing can send checks, made out to Dave Van Ronk, to the address below."

29 Oct 01 - 02:50 PM (#582119)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: dwditty

I do more Dave Van Ronk songs than I probably should. People always want to know how I developed my style. I tell them I didn't...it's a poor imitation. They say that imitation is the sincerest for of flattery. Dave Van Ronk is my own personal musical hero.

I spoke with him a year or so ago prior to one of his gigs. I asked about THIS SITE, and the guy who put it together. His response was typical Dave. "Nice fellow."

God bless you Dave for all you have brought to this world. Speedy recovery.


30 Oct 01 - 05:45 AM (#582491)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: dwditty



31 Oct 01 - 03:36 PM (#583328)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill

Has there been any word about Dave's surgery? Can anyone provide an update? Thanks to a local DJ during a broadcast reminding me, friends and I are doing a little something to help. If each of us who feels so inclined can get just one more person to help Dave, that would surely be huge.


31 Oct 01 - 04:12 PM (#583363)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: GUEST,AKRick


DVR played in Alaska 'bout a year or so ago ... wonderful performance. It was the second time I saw him. The first time I saw him, he lead off a bill with Archie Fisher and John Renbourn ... oh what a night.

Here's wishing him the best and a speedy recovery.


09 Nov 01 - 12:24 PM (#589041)
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk seriously ill
From: simon-pierre

Mary Katherine (don't know her) keeps us informed of Dave's health on the FOLKDJ mailing list. I didn't post that earlier cause I was waiting for the news to be really good (...) but here it is:

on the 11/5:

Our good friend Dave Van Ronk had his colon cancer surgery this morning, and Andrea just gave me this update on his condition:
He had the surgery, and is now in the recovery room. Andrea has not yet been allowed to see him but expects to do so shortly.
They removed a large tumor, and part of the wall of his abdomen (to which the tumor was attached). They won't have a pathology report on the tumor for several days. He did not have to have a colostomy; they did have to remove his spleen.
I'll be able to give more information after Andrea has spoken to the surgeon and seen Dave. Both of them send their grateful thanks to those of you who have sent along personal donations to assist them in this extremely difficult time.

On 11/7:
Friends: Andrea just called. Dave sat up in a chair for a few hours this morning!! Pathology report, which will dictate the chemotherapy strategy, is not due back until Friday at the earliest. He may be staying in the hospital somewhat longer than first thought, because the doctors want him to undergo pulmonary rehab. That's still under discussion. More soon.

PS (from SP): Is there a problem to post in a forum something that was sent in a mailing list?