He apparently died on Thursday night, March 2, 1995
of asphyxiation. Plastic bag over the head. He was at his home on Staten
Island. The rear apartment to a house on a nice looking street. Big
houses with yards and trees. His apartment included a finished off back
porch and two other rooms. They were filled with bikes and suitcases
and boxes and shelves. When I saw it it looked like someone was moving.
Everything all boxed up and piles and aisles. I didnt stay long.
I went on March 16 to rescue his art. I came away with a lot of paintings,
a whole suitcase full of video tapes and some very assorted odds and
ends. I also rescued his collection of about 20 or so 8-Track tapes.
Thank gawd I saved the 8-Track tapes from almost sure destruction. I
had talked with John's father, Dr. Clare Liebrand, a few nights after
John took his life. I agreed to identify the body so that he wouldn't
have to make two trips out to New York. He asked if there was anything
of Johns that I might want and said that I was interested in the video
tapes of his performance art. I got off the phone feeling like I would
never see any of it. But the task of dispensing with Johns possessions
seemed to be too great to deal with for Dr. Liebrand and so I took all
I could carry. I fear that the rest of it went to the dogs. Dr. Liebrand
couldnt see the value in any of the work. Some of it bordered
on the grotesque. And although I cant say that I was all that
interested in, or even aware of John as a painter, he did some really
nice paintings. Got the art in my studio, still dealing with the horrid
facts that he came and went so quickly. The other day I was their and
doing my art making thing. Every once in a while I'll unfurl one of
the rolled up paintings and take a gander at what's inside. He had this
great love of music which I shared. I took out this copy of Meatloafs
Bat out of Hell album on vinyl and blasted it on my Fisher-Price
record player. I dont really know what he thought of Meatloaf
but it made me think of him.