Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 22nd, 2007
It is not often you see cryptozoology mentioned in someone’s obituary, especially for someone so young as Derek Tripp. It seems as if the field has become so popular, so much a part of American cultural life, that among the creative, the intellectual, and the adventurous, cryptozoology is now routinely part of how we view and live in this world.
In a remembrance written this third week in June 2007, Soundoff’s writer Jim Catalano, who has covered the Ithaca, New York, music scene since 1992, devoted part of his weekly column to:
Remembering Derek Tripp
Derek “D-Rock” Tripp, 33, bassist with the Sutras, passed away this week at his Dryden Road home.
“He didn’t go to school for music, but he just was a pure musician,” says A.J. Strauss, his Sutras bandmate for more than a decade. “He was frequently known to work an eight-hour day, drive six hours to perform, then drive back to work the next day.”
Tripp joined the Sutras in 1996, and the band spent the next three years touring around the northeast after recording “A Prize for Whitey.” After a five-year hiatus (during which Tripp played in a variety of bands, from folk to metal), the Sutras reformed in 2003 and released “Thousandaire,” one of the top, if not the best, local CDs of the decade. Throughout the whole time, Tripp managed the Sutras’ online presence that put them on the leading edge of downloading music.
Strauss notes that Tripp loved to visit national parks and was fascinated by cryptozoology (the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch). But music and family came first.
“He really shared a dream of a life surrounded by his loved ones and music, and he never shied from that since he picked up his bass,” says Strauss. “I always wanted him to have more recognition and I felt that with new album and the way we were touring that it was really coming together.”
Tripp and Strauss also built Zhivago Studios, in which they recorded silent-film soundtrack, “The Captain and Me,” as well as an upcoming Sutras song cycle. “He was really proud of the film score,” says Strauss. “And we can’t wait to put the record out so people can hear his subtle, yet great work.”
Tripp was a sublimely tasteful player. “He loved to be in a dark studio, recording bass tracks,” says Strauss. “And helping me to record my songs, telling me what worked and what didn’t. He was always willing to be experimental, but could turn around and play in other genres. He was quiet, introspective, and known for being a loyal friend.”
My condolences go out to Tripp’s family, especially his wife, Kate Soriano. Donations can be made in his memory to Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services in Trumansburg or to the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Finger Lakes in Ithaca.by Jim Catalano, Soundoff, The Ithaca Journal.