Iron Chic’s Rob McAllister to Be Remembered at WILD FEST!
It's been almost a year since the passing of Rob McAllister, Iron Chic's guitarist and a key member of numerous bands (Secret Lives, Capital, the Reformation). A pioneering member of Long Island's punk scene, McAllister — who died January 9, 2016 at 36 from unspecified causes — leaves behind a rich musical legacy: one that his former band will celebrate later this month in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, following a benefit in Amityville, N.Y., earlier this year.
Iron Chic recently announced WILD FEST!, a massive concert taking place at Brooklyn Bazaar on November 26. The Long Island outfit will be joined by a slew of friends: Laura Stevenson, Worriers, Nude Beach, Big Eyes, Weed Hounds, Shellshag and Outskirts. All proceeds will benefit the McAllister Family Memorial Fund and provide support for the family he left behind: his partner Marisa, his daughter Ramona and six month old son Robert Jr. (You can also donate to the Fund here.)
Ahead of the event, we reached out to all of the artists on the bill for their reflections on their fallen friend, and the legacy he leaves behind. (Big Eyes and Shellshag could not be reached for comment.) Buy tickets to the event here.
MIKE BRUNO (IRON CHIC, WILD FEST! ORGANIZER)
WILD FEST! is about a community coming together to help our own, and to honor the life of our late friend, Rob McAllister. It started on Long Island last spring and now has become an annual event. Now, we've decided to do a Brooklyn edition, hence WILD FEST BROOKLYN! Being [that] so many of our friends from Brooklyn come from — or have ties to — the Long Island punk community, it made perfect sense and came together pretty naturally. We miss Rob a lot, and this is the best way we know how to honor his life and help his amazing family he left behind too soon. Please join us.
LAURA STEVENSON & MIKE CAMPBELL
We are very proud to be a part of a community that supports each other in times of loss like this. Rob was a big, warm, loving part of that community, and we are honored to be able to celebrate his life with the people that loved him most.
LOU HANMAN (WORRIERS)
One of my fondest memories of Rob was when my other band played with Iron Chic in Bristol [U.K.] when I lived there. It was a sold-out show at the much-loved Croft; this was the last time many of us were going to be there because it was closing.
Before the Iron Chic set, Rob asked me if I would sing with him at the end of "Time Keeps on Slipping Into the (Cosmic) Future." I wasn't sure if I should — I don't make a habit of learning lyrics in order to sing along with my favorite tunes (I make them up from what I think I hear). So, I said maybe, but I really wanted to do it and I thought that perhaps he'd forget or maybe was just trying to be nice.
As the set went on, I found myself down [in] the front pointing and singing along with my best friends to a band that we all loved, and which represented the best of a particular kind of niche punk rock we felt we belonged to. Sure enough, Rob crouched down and asked me again — pleaded with me, in fact — to come up and sing with him on his mic. I think I said something like, "I'm really not sure if I remember the lyrics right." He said to me, "It's okay. I've seen you singing along to it at all our shows, and I'll be singing with you, and the lyrics are ... " He proceeded to recite them as if they were the most important thing he could be saying to anyone, like the secret to the meaning of life, with his arm around my shoulder making sure I heard.
So, I got up and sang, side by side with Rob. To a room full of friends all singing along in my hometown at a loved venue we would never experience again. Everything that music and life meant to me, summed up in a single memory. It marked a very special time in my life — whether or not Rob was aware about how special it was to me, I will never know. Thanks, Rob. Love you forever.
RYAN NAIDEAU (NUDE BEACH)
I met Rob at an Iron Chic show back in the day. Even though we hadn't previously met, he greeted me with warmth and a big hug like an old friend. You could tell he loved playing in the band every time you watched them, whether he was rocking out in his own world with his eyes closed or shouting the words passionately at the audience. A great guy who will be sorely missed.
NICK RICE (WEED HOUNDS)
Rob was someone who we met in the Long Island DIY community and one of the most genuinely encouraging and inclusive people you could ever come across. You'd always seem to walk into a show or a party and find him with a big smile on his face — in his element and there to welcome you with enthusiasm (and probably also hand you a beer). He had a special kind of energy and positivity that you don't encounter very often. We love and miss him very much, and are so honored to be asked to be a part of this show.
A HAIKU FROM ANNA SGHERZI (OUTSKIRTS)
FEELIN’ WEIRD/ MISS YOU LOTS
PRANK CALLS, FAT 4 LYFE, DUCK WALK
SIXTEEN YEARS MY FRIEND, THANK YOU