A day after Marques Bovre lost his battle with brain cancer, fans and friends of the Madison music legend have reached out online, posting heartfelt condolences and affectionate remembrances.
The Internet is also a treasure trove of archived music and videos from Bovre's long career; from rare tracks dating back to the mid-1990s to video recorded just last October at a radio station in-studio performance.
Bovre, 50, played music in Madison for more than 25 years, starting with his band the Evil Twins. Marques Bovre and the Evil Twins put out a dozen albums, and although they never got a major-label recording contract or hit it big, Bovre's weathered and wry folk-rock sound was an essential ingredient of the '90s music scene in Madison.
The Evil Twins officially disbanded in 2003, although they reunited in the last couple of years for special projects, including benefit shows to help raise money for Bovre's medical bills. In recent years, Bovre started a second band, the eclectic SoDangYang.
The SoDangYang Facebook page was filled Tuesday with testimonials by fans and resonant lyrics from Bovre's long career, such as this one from the song "Make My World":
"On the other side of everything/I will meet the one who writes/And when I think about that day/It does not frighten me."
Fans celebrated Bovre's sense of humor as well as his gift for unvarnished, introspective songwriting. WMMM/FM 105.5 Triple M program director Pat Gallagher went on Facebook to swap Bovre stories with fans, remembering his first meeting with Bovre in the '80s at the long-defunct Nar Bar.
"I was there to introduce the show," Gallagher recalled. "I asked Marques if there was anything in particular he wanted me to say in the introduction - he replied 'Ask them if they remember the episode of "Gilligan's Island" when they almost got off the island?'"
On Twitter, Butch Vig of Garbage wrote: "Marques Bovre RIP: This world will miss you!"
For newcomers to Madison who aren't as familiar with Bovre's music, or longtime residents who want to revisit memories, his music is everywhere online. At marquesbovre.com, fans can hear five rare tracks from across his career, including a 1996 live version of "Flyover Land" recorded at the Memorial Union Terrace, and an alternate take of "Jennifer" off his last album with the Evil Twins, 2012's "The Soul You Save."
Fans can also buy Bovre's music directly from the site and post their own memories and thoughts of the musician.
On YouTube, fans can hear the song "I" off Bovre's 1994 album "Ghost Stories From Lonesome County."
There's also an entire concert that Bovre and SoDangYang performed at the High Noon Saloon in 2009, including a fine rendition of the song "King James."
For more from that era, archived on Wisconsin Public Television's website is an episode of the "Half Hour Music Hour" featuring Bovre and SoDangYang.
There's video from a May 2012 show at the High Noon Saloon with the reunited Evil Twins that doubled as both a CD release party for "The Soul You Save" and a 50th birthday party for Bovre. Check out these versions of "Big Strong House" and "Sisyphus Stone." Although Bovre had to perform while sitting onstage in an easy chair, his voice and presence is as strong and vibrant as ever.
Triple M has posted a compendium of audio and video from Bovre on its website, ranging from the gorgeous 1995 song "Somebody Loves You," recorded in studio in 1995, to video of a "Live From Studio M" performance of "Dandelion" recorded just last October –- the last recorded appearance of Bovre that I could find.
Tuesday morning, Gallagher posted an eloquent tribute to Bovre on the site. He remembered hosting that 50th birthday party last May, and watching the effect the music had on Gallagher's wife Laura, who had been suffering from thyroid eye disease for the previous two years.
"Cancer had obviously taken its toll on him; he sat in an easy chair for the whole show, often reading from lyric sheets. But the music was amazing. And the sold-out crowd ate it up!
"And Laura smiled like I hadn’t seen in two years. And that beautiful smile stayed on her face all night. Laura and I went for dinner after the show and I told her what I saw. She responded 'I was 27 again and everything was okay.'"