. . .

That guy you see at every show?

We just lost one.

Lee Altomare died on April 16 of complications from eye surgery. He wasn't much older than I am.  I didn't know him personally, but I  saw his band The Communion (who were scheduled to play Maryland Deathfest this year) play once, and I saw him at practically every show I went to in New York City. He was hard to miss, with his shaved head, glasses, goatee, and wiry build inside baggy bottoms. Evidently he was active in organizing shows and was an all-around stand-up guy.

Tributes to Altomare are up from Unearthly Trance, The Endless Blockade, and Tombs. The last one is somewhat personal to me. Tombs' Mike Hill says that if it weren't for Altomare, he wouldn't know Mike Scondotto, singer for Inhuman and co-owner of Brooklyn Monster Factory, a comic book store.

One of my fondest memories of New York is hanging in Brooklyn Monster Factory with Hill and Scondotto, shooting the shit and talking about music. Altomare helped make that happen. Thanks, Lee. We all connect somehow.

— Cosmo Lee