To New Beginnings From Katie Rose
Written By Shank Wilson
Singer/songwriter, Katie Rose, was one of the many Charleston artists stunned by the death of local DJ Richard “Box” Bachschmidt last year. “Box was my biggest supporter in Charleston,” Rose bemoans. Bachschmidt, a radio personality at 105.5 The Bridge and 98 Rock, was universally respected as a promoter of the Charleston music scene for nearly a decade. On June 29, 2018, a ripple effect of hurt and confusion resonated throughout the Charleston music scene when Bachschmidt was discovered to have taken his own life. That day, a heartbroken Rose holed up and penned a tribute to Bachschmidt. “I was in Maine at the time. I couldn’t be there for my friends who were hurting,” she imparts. “The same day after I got all the crying out, I ended up writing a song.”
Now, a year later, that song has been recorded properly and just now released as a single (links to the single are at the bottom of the page). The song entitled “Beginnings,” is a Beatles-esque ode to both Box’s memory and the need to reach out to support others when they’re down. For the recording process, Rose enlisted the help of some of Charleston’s best musicians who also desired to pay tribute to Bachschmidt. Those musicians volunteering their time and talents were Jack Burg of “Punks & Snakes” and “Skwzbxx” (drums), George Baerreis of Matadero (bass), John Shafer of Berklee College of Music (strings), and Coleman Sawyer of “Rare Creatures,” Emily Curtis, Matt MacKelcan, as well as Rose’s parents, author Suzie Webster and Drew Franyo on vocals. “It really showed me, everybody who cared about Box,” Rose gratefully concludes.
The song begins quietly with Rose and her piano gently moving the listener past the “7 stages of grief” and directly to the healing stage. The rising action that begins with the first chorus is expertly captured by engineer Eric Rickert at Ocean Industries Studios, who donated both his and the studio’s time for the project. Every added layer gradually changes the perception that Rose and the listener are battling grief alone.
The poignant refrain at the end of the chorus, “We’ll give you a soft place to land,” sums up the feeling of a music community that wishes they could both turn back the clock for Box as well as prevent this from happening to someone else. “It’s everything I wish I could say to him and everything I wish was said to me,” Rose divulges, alluding to her own battles with depression and anxiety. As the song crescendos, a choir of voices convey the feeling of a small army of people coming together to support one another. “We were all singing the lines together and it felt like a big therapy session,” Rose reflects. “It helped me not be so confused and angry.”
Despite a profound, finished product, Rose mentions a sense of guilt for releasing it as a single. “I feel weird because sometimes I feel like I don’t have the right,” she says, listing musicians that she thought were closer to Box. “I didn’t feel qualified to be the one to write about it.” After talking it over with her parents, the 20-year-old singer decided to share the song publicly as a reminder of what he meant to so many. She explains, “He used every single ounce of power that he had to help local musicians. I’m so worried that people are only going to remember him as the guy who took his life. I don’t think he’d like that very much. I think it’s only fair that people remember the good things and not the part of him that was really sad.”
The outpouring of appreciation for Bachschmidt’s “good things” is still palpable over a year after his death. With this single, an evening dedicated to him at the Tin Roof last month, memories routinely being shared on social media, and on-stage dedications to him at local shows, who he was and what he did has not been forgotten. “The last thing he said to me was, ‘You just need to know I’m so proud of you,’” Rose reveals, “I really cherish that memory.”