Remembering Dallas' Jason Merito With a Benefit Concert

Categories: Obituaries

jasonmerito.jpg
Jason Merito: May 20, 1970 - March 2, 2014
It seems like that, in the last two years, we've lost too many musicians and industry leaders in the North Texas music scene: Ronald Shannon Jackson, Kidd Kraddick, Donovan Warren, Monte Aaron Krause, DJ Quick Chris, Summer Amshoff and, of course, Mike Scaccia.

Now Jason Merito joins the list of North Texas artists we should remember. He died of complications from accidentally overdosing on allergy medication on Sunday, March 2.

"To the best of my knowledge," said Mike Rios, a friend and coworker, "when he shot himself, it caused him to go into a state of shock like a coma. Oxygen quit going to his brain."

The doctors kept Merito sedated, hoping the medicine would run its course. A few days later when they tried to revive him, he was unresponsive.

They held his funeral on Friday, March 7.

Merito was a drum tech for The Valentine Failures and Lowside, but he lived and breathed the music scene. He often could be seen helping other local bands load in equipment. He also worked in marketing at Head First Entertainment, promoting music.

"Jason Merito was one of those rare people who did things for all the right reasons," wrote Dave Tedder of Head First Entertainment in a recent blog post. "He was the most happy go lucky person you'd ever meet, and he was a fiercely loyal to family and friends."

Lillian Axe guitarist Steve Blaze remembers seeing Merito in the crowd whenever his band played a gig in Dallas or Houston. "He was part of the fabric, woven into the essence of the music and the scene."

A benefit concert will be held on Friday, March 14, at the Red Blood Club just off Commerce Street. The lineup includes a special acoustic set from Ron Darren of Lowside/Lillian Axe and, for one night only, The Valentine Failures are reforming to play in honor of Merito, one of the band's biggest fans. No Regrets, Rocket Queen, Hopeless Romantica and A Whisper to Riot will also make an appearance. Doors open at 8 p.m., and show starts at 9 p.m.

There will be a silent auction that includes rare rock 'n' roll memorabilia autographed by King Diamond, ABSU, Ghoultown, Lillian Axe and many more.

Proceeds will go to help Merito's family with medical bills.

"Even if you didn't know Jason and just want to see some great bands and get some great times," said Wayne Kasket, "you would be helping a great cause."


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26 comments
erin.staack
erin.staack

NOTE: Correction to the list of artist memorabilia...it is "ABSU", not ABU. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Nobody overdoses on allergy medicine and when they do, it's not phrased as "when he shot himself".  This story is chock-full of phrases like that, that junkies use to avoid saying "heroin".

erin.staack
erin.staack

@bvckvs  You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. 


Jason Merito was NOT a drug addict and was a better person than most.


You are a disrespectful, ignorant jackass and neither he, nor the people who loved him deserve to hear this ridiculous, slanderous crap from a jackass like you. You should be ashamed of yourself.


You need to shut that hole in your face, stop spewing ignorant crap and move on. No one here is interested in anything you have to say.


bdoozers
bdoozers

Jason was my friend, my roadie, my biggest supporter, my brother and my hero. Someone messed up on his allergy medication and that left him leaving this world too soon. I'm sorry this was not an E True Hollywood Story for you. This man meant more to this world than you can ever understand. So please never jump to conclusions.

bdoozers
bdoozers

Jason was my friend, my roadie, my supporter, my brother and my hero. Someone messed up his allergy medication. It was a horrible mixup that left him leaving this world too soon. I'm sorry that this wasn't a E True Hollywood Story for you. Just under stand that this man meant more to the world than you can ever know. So please never jump to conclusions.

another
another

@bvckvs  hey man, even if that is the case there is no need to bring it up. I don't know this man but he seems to have touched a few people's lives positively. If I were to go searching in your life for things that may not be cast in the best light and put them out for others to scrutinize, perhaps you'd be more empathetic.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@erin.staack @bvckvs

I hear that a lot from family and friends of addicts.  Even though the addict's lifestyle is that of a junkie, their friends all show signs of addiction, the celebrities they worship are all addicts, and their facebook pages show them in constant party mode - they believe their own little angel when he says he's the one person in all of that that's "special".

jennmac89
jennmac89

@erin.staack @bvckvs  Not knowing this individual at all I would never leave my useless two cents on something I was very uninformed about. Stating that it really doesn't matter whether or not he overdosed, shot himself, jumped off a bridge the point is that he is DEAD. He was someones boyfriend, family member, and friend and the purpose of this event is to celebrate that. If you want to comment on drug abuse do it somewhere else. While your at it google "HUMANE" because you sound like you think you're real smart but obviously skipped over that section of the dictionary. BRUSH UP and FUCK OFF. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@bdoozers

Heroin deaths are not "E True Hollywood Stories".  They're everyday occurrences that happen to everyday people.

I'm not saying it was definitely heroin.  But I am saying that it has every single one of the indications of a heroin related death - especially the conflicting accounts of the death being caused by medicine vs. being caused by a "shot".

That said, I'd be eager to hear what medicine he was taking, what if anything he was combining it with, and especially... who is the unnamed someone who messed his allergy medicine up so badly that it caused him to shoot himself.

But I'm not very confident that this information will be provided, because in my experience, the friends and family of dead junkies prefer not to go into too much detail and get very anxious when such details are asked for.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@another @bvckvs

That is simply not true.  There is a need to bring it up.  Anything that sends people to the graveyard should have a great, big, bright light.shined on it.  This is *especially* true when it's someone whose good works were cut short.

That said, I'm curious to know - if he'd died of cancer, got shot by some hillbilly, got run over by a drunk driver, or was hit by a falling piano - nobody would complain about mentioning the cause of death.  So, what's wrong with speaking out about it when it's a heroin death?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@erin.staack @bvckvs

You're grieving... poorly.

Hopefully, the money your family will make off this concert and the internet drive will help you grieve better.  That leads me to another question, which like the previous ones I asked, I don't expect to have answered.

His daughter passed and his wife is apparently out of the picture and he was just living with a girlfriend.  So I'm curious to know - what "family" will be receiving the money from these fund-raising events?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@jennmac89

You're speaking as if there's something shameful or immoral about being an addict.  There's not.  It's no different than having diabetes, high blood pressure, or hardening of the arteries.

What IS shameful and immoral is looking the other way when you see someone suffering every single one of the signs of any of those illnesses.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Coma213 @bvckvs@wayervf

The point about Hot Topic was very relevant.

Several years ago, I was talking to a group of junkies, trying to figure out how they get heroin.  At the time, I didn't realize just how *everywhere* it is.

I asked one kid directly, where she finds it.  She said something like "Oh, you know - people hanging out on street corners, in the parking lots of cheap apartments, rehab, Hot Topic at the mall - you know, places like that".

So I scoped out a Hot Topic for about an hour and sure enough, it was a distribution hub.  It was surprising to me to see just how openly they were doing it. 

wayervf
wayervf

Lots of people think they can sit behined the safety of their computer and get away with doing what you are doing. That is until an example is made out of someone proving that no in fact you are not safe. Just something for you to ponder.

Coma213
Coma213

@bvckvs @wayervf Sanders Kaufman. . .he speaks like a true idiot.  When you don't know the person or circumstances, why speak at all?  Love the fact you lump Hot Topic into the heroin culture.  What a fucking loser moron.  Know the man, before you spout your opinions.  Pull up your pants and get off the keyboard.  Do us all a favor and STFU.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@wayervf It's weird how, while you say you already knew my name, you accuse me of "hiding".  Weirder still that you do it while cowering behind internet anonymity.

But the weirdest part is that you do all this to honor the memory of your dead friend.

To quote you, "Show yourself and be a man".

wayervf
wayervf

I already knew your name, and that's all I need. No further comment needed.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@wayervf I'm not hiding behind anything.  My name is Sanders Kaufman and I often speak openly and honestly about the issue of heroin abuse in our community.  But this isn't about me.  It's about a man who made one mistake too many..

I'm not bad-mouthing the man - I'm bad-mouthing the heroin culture in which he had immersed himself.  From his start, working at Hot Topics selling heroin-chic fashions, to the heroin-addicted musicians he idolized.

He was working hard to battle his addictions, but he failed - spending his last few years boozing it up all night long, and dying with a needle in his arm.

Pretending it didn't happen; covering up the circumstances of his death does nothing to protect him or his loved ones.  He was what he was - and pretending he was something else is delusional, selfish and it dishonors the memory of who he really was.

Here's what Jason himself has to say on the matter, from a Feb. 2 posting on his Facebook page:
- - - - -

My favorite quote ever from Philip Seymour Hoffman was as Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmercifully.

- - - - -

So if you really want to be a friend to him, don't pretend he was something he was not.  Celebrate who he was - honestly and without mercy.

wayervf
wayervf

Believe what you want, the MANY people who have donated and will attend this event know the real person and know what happened. You are just a loser hiding behined a computer spouting off negative opinions about a tragic event that has deeply affected me and a lot of other people. If you care to show yourself and be a man I'll very much welcome that, but we both know that's not going to happen don't we. So just sit there with what you believe is the safety of your computer and run your mouth.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@bdoozers

Speaking as a man you called a "moron", I feel like I should tell you - the proper spelling is "you're".

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@bdoozers I've worked with a lot of heroin addicts and mentally ill folks over the years, so I'm not really impressed one way or the other by such criticism.

Whenever I ask reasonable questions and get tantrums in response, it tells me that I've struck a very sensitive psychological nerve - as if I've opened a door onto an issue that someone was desperately trying to keep closed..

bdoozers
bdoozers

You sir are a moron and a horrible person.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@wayervf

It doesn't make sense that one would say he shot himself because he was diabetic.  In fact, that would indicate that he was found not with a gunshot wound, as the article seemed to indicate, but rather with a needle in his arm.

That just serves to further reinforce my growing belief that this was a heroin related death.

wayervf
wayervf

It was phrased shot himself because he was diabetic. I'm sure it makes you feel real good to hide behined a computer screen and mouth off about things you are clueless about doesn't it?

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