When you lose a ‘super fan’. ..a friend and a family member. #ShinerNation
A Tribute to the Moonshine Bandits fan that ended up as family.
It was a shitty day, and it was about to get even shittier. The Shiner Nation logged into Facebook to see a black ribbon added to one of our own’s badge. For those who don’t know, Shiners earn badges for dedication, hard work and becoming family. It’s hard to get one, and it’s even harder now that there are thousands of new members. When we have a Shiner down, their badge earns a final detail, a black band across the Shiner rocker. It is also tradition for everyone to wear the badge of the fallen Shiner on their profiles. So when we logged in, and saw all of our friends and families tiny icons switched to the same Badge with a black band our hearts collectively sank as we tried to make out who it was.
Then it hit like a brick, it was ‘Bootleg Kevin’. Kevin is a pillar to Shiners everywhere. He was there before there was a ‘there’ to be. Kevin was Shining in the days before any airplay, before there was a van, and before MSB was even headlining. Kevin and his lovely lady Lucia are a cornerstone to every show within hundreds of mile of their home base. Kevin never held back, if it was 10 people, or 1500, he would be there chanting, yelling, and raising his cup up first. There was nothing that could cut into his enthusiasm for a show. ..and most of all, he did it as a friend. He never expected anything special, he never wanted more than just the ability to get front and center in the crowd and love the show. His character, his spirit will forever be burned into the crowd of the shows. His chanting still rings out regardless of his absence. He had a very special way of chanting Moonshine that many of us adopted. The way he did it, it sounds more like “Mewn-Chyne!!” than moonshine.. and the more fun he was having, the louder it got.
Eventually some fans become family. Kevin was this way too, he showed up just when you needed the energy bump to get the show cracking. Sometimes he traveled thousands of miles for a show to spend the night in a tent in a swamp just so he would not miss anything. When bands have super fans, those people become extremely important.. It is these fans/family who carry the band through the rugged times. The knowledge that she/he is on the other end of the 10 hour bus ride just waiting to have the best night of their week, month or even year with the band, puts to perspective the small stuff. It gives meaning and makes those long days on the road much better when you know on the other side is a new family member.
We asked the Moonshine Bandits how Kevin affected them.
“Although we may not be blood related, we are still family. We write songs about our passion for our Country, working hard for what you want, and living life full throttle. Kevin is the definition of our Music and that is why he is a true Shiner. Every time he walked into a room, Kevin’s smile and energy was contagious. “
One time we were flying out to Texas to perform at a Mud Bog and when we got to the airport bar, all of a sudden, we heard this voice shout proudly, “Wasup Shiner”! Lucy and Kevin had secretly planned a trip to attend our Show in Texas and surprised us at the Airport. When we heard kevin’s voice shout to us, we turned around and saw the biggest smile and quickly loaded up a few rounds and celebrated that they would be attending one of our first major out of state shows with us! Kevin and Lucy attended so many of our shows that we lost count, they were even at our Music Video we filmed in La Grange California back in 2008. We gave Kevin the nickname “Bootleg Kevin” when he started brewing his own apple pie moonshine and giving it to us every time we’d see him. Later we mentioned him in a song as a tribute for all the fun & blurry memories he gave us from his home brewed booze! Over the years we were fortunate enough to see Kevin and Lucy at so many of our events they became close with us and our families.
Kevin will forever be at shows, his legacy and energy still holds the center of the crowd. Every now and then, do us a favor and hold your cup up to one of the best Shiners that ever lived and cheer ‘Mewn-Chyne’ on his behalf, Bootleg Kevin [OS] [SFFS] 132. Cheers brother, you will always be missed, but you remain in our hearts.
See you on the other side.