Although he never appeared on any of the recordings, Bill Rieflin, that extraordinary drummer and musician from Seattle who died yesterday, will be familiar to many fans of The Vicar. I have always loved his (untrue) quote as used on the homepage : “The Vicar is a genius. He didn’t pay me to play on his record, but he paid me to say that.”
As is evident from the other tributes that have poured in, Bill was quite simply one of those people who enriches your life. Not that he was perfect! Perfection would have been boring, and he loved to be the grit in the oyster. I recall coming into the green room after a show, and he said, not really in jest, “Are you meant to be in here?!” As it was posed as a question, I replied with an equally firm “Yes!”. If a group of people have made a collective decision to head in one direction, Bill would reliably wonder why they were not embracing the alternative. “Would you like to come to my room and discuss…”
He was wonderfully present and sensitive – both musically and personally. Oh boy! He will be missed!