Dan Lardner: the sad poetic kid who broke my heart on Valentine’s Day
It was around 6:30 pm on Monday, June 12th, Valentine’s Day in Brazil, when I closed my shift, thinking about what to order for another romantic dinner for two. I thought of oven-roasted shrimp, steaks with jabuticaba sauce, dry wine and everything else. At least that’s what was in my head when I got the message from “My” Antonia (For those who still don’t know, Evan’s other half).
– Dude, Dan died can you believe it?
I think I’ve read the term “mind punch” around, but until then I had never felt it. Even more so coming from Antonia, a succinct person who takes care to bring me only good and kind news. My only reaction to her phrase was “Fucking hell.” And I was absorbed for minutes in the dark, looking at the ceiling. I just couldn’t believe it. I thought about Evan, on how that loss could affect such a sensitive guy. It was some sort of a God’s sick joke with a man that not long ago, was ready to release more music with The Lemonheads and maybe visit Brazil along with his mom.
“I’ve never had enough money to really travel anywhere but, man, I would really love to see the world“. How can I read this Dan’s line again without bursting into tears? In the short time that Dan and I exchanged ideas for our interview (the one that I didn’t know it would turned out to be his last), the feeling was as if I had found a stray dog on the street that at the slightest sign of affection followed me home. Soon I already had him as my best friend. And God knows I miss him more than I think I would now that he’s gone.
Getting back at 12/Jun, as a journalist, my second reaction was to check the facts. What I did with Chloe, the photographer/best friend who even accompanied Dan throughout the tour with Evan. “Tell me it isn’t true“, I texted her right on. To which she responded with “I’m sorry“, and I was sure we had lost Dan for good. Actually, he had just passed that same day. I told Chloe that even though I had forgotten how to pray, I would pray that night for Dan. And she said she would do the same. And I keep thinking about this guy every day, no matter what I’m doing.
So, my third and only reaction was to anticipate dinner by cracking a beer and obsessively checking Instagram. Rereading the article I did with Dan, over and over. Why, God? A humble, sweet guy, so full of life and talent. My wife would arrive shortly after, with a fresh salmon and some capers. “Are you ready for tonight?”, she lewdly asked. At the same time she looked at my face and noticed the teary eyes. Needless to say, for me at least, there was no Valentine’s Day. On my Valentine’s Day, who knew, this 32-year-old kid really broke my heart.
—-> tbc there will be a lot more of Daniel Lardner on this site. If you wanna contribute with your own memories of Dan, just send them at “firstname.lastname@example.org”
*the beautiful photo of this article was taken from Dan’s Instagram private account. I kindly ask the family for permission to publish them, they help us to understand a little bit more of this great artist.