I first met LD when I was a 20-something journalist for the Village Voice’s doomed “Long Island Voice” newspaper and he was the Art Director. I still wonder how the hell he used to get to that office in Mineola. After 5 issues he told them to “shove it” and that impressed me greatly. In the years that followed My Favorite were fortunate enough to be asked to join the Magnetic Fields on a few bills, and I became friends with Claudia and got to know LD. One time I took a road trip with two amazing people to Memphis and who should greet us at a pub called ‘Poor & Hungry’ but Mr. Beghtol. He was talented in so many art forms, witty, warm, precocious, and generous with his praise when I was still finding my footing. He changed the art he touched as much as it changed him, and that’s what’s made him so great on Stephin’s songs. We were the sort of friends who followed each other’s work, and always exchanged a hug and a joke when we ran into each other at some bar where I only half-belonged, even when the years piled up between occurrences. He was an artist when that could still be said without irony or cynicism. We won’t see his sort again very often I fear. I’ve only heard of his passing from others and have no information. But he (as we all do) deserves to be remembered, and thanked for what he gave us. And this is just me—doing that.
Photo by Gail O’Hara