When I was in high school in the mid-90′s, Ted was the funny genius kid who spent his nights studying, repairing furniture, and listening to punk rock music.
I don’t feel old enough to see my friends die. I just turned 32, the same age Edward “Ted” Moore was when he passed away last week.
Ted went missing the day after my birthday here in Toronto near Danforth and Broadview. I was only blocks away from him when he disappeared that day. His memorial was yesterday, but I just found out about his passing today through a friend’s text message. You see, I haven’t spoken to Ted for at least a decade…but we were once very close friends.
When I was in high school in the mid-90′s, Ted was the funny genius kid who spent his nights studying, repairing furniture, and listening to punk rock music. Ted was always confidently anti-social, and it was a chore to get him to watch movies or party or go swimming with the rest of the geek posse (oh yeah, I was a geek!). The pay-off for all of Ted’s hard work was a ridiculous average (95% or something? So smart) and, eventually, a BA and MA at the very prestigious Stanford University. He finished his scholarship at U of T, in order to enter the dentistry profession.
My relationship with Ted revolved around our shared morning ritual as the DJs behind the counter-cultural radio station, “JCI FM.” We went to Jarvis C.I. together, and at the time it was a pretty cool school. We didn’t have social hierarchies, really. We had a wide variety of sports kids, literature geeks, ESLers, actors, math and science devotees, and anything else you could imagine. It meant that we were all social floaters. The teachers were hip and sarcastic (I was in a class visited by a young Avi Lewis!), and the administrators were relatively laid back. Even when there was violence at the school, we all handled it pretty maturely.
In this den of friendly iniquity, Ted and I were (foolishly) given the reins to a 30 minute timeslot several times a week to play whatever music we chose (as long as we kept it clean). My meticulously designed mix tapes (yes, tapes) included my favourite No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Parliament, and Our Lady Peace tunes. I mixed it up. For the people, you know? Ted, though…Ted kept a recurring theme every morning: mid-90′s punk rock.
Yes, Ted Moore, brilliant scholar, dentist, and clean cut family man was once a punk rock aficionado. A So-Cal bad-ass. A Bouncing Soul.
Ted introduced me to the uniquely terrible singing voice of Tim Armstrong, the joyous stupidity of Gob, and the harmonic politics of Bad Religion. Ted was a young iconoclast, blasting punk through the corridors of our high school, making the intro to “Lean on Me” seem like the intro to “Saved By The Bell” (ok, huge exaggeration here. But man did we feel cool…). The music was so rebellious that we were asked to turn off JCI FM on the third floor by the math department. It was so bad ass.
I later went on to work in the music industry for a while, and once in a while I might still DJ a party. Ted deserves some of the credit for my passion when it comes to music. Those morning shows at Jarvis were a small taste of how much music can impact us, even when it is in the background over an ancient PA system.
Ted stayed focused, as he always had been, on scholastic and professional success. When he passed away, he left behind a promising dental career, a loving wife and a beautiful young daughter. It is absolutely heart-breaking that he passed away so suddenly, knowing how hard he has always worked to be successful, and how much he did achieve in his life.
I wish I had been able to catch up with Ted, and I wish I had reached out to him. I wish I could have seen him with his family. I wish we had spoken before he died, to reminisce about those early mornings we spent together blasting inappropriate music over the high school PA. It was a joy to know him as a friend, even if it was only in high school. It was sad losing touch with him, but I was happy to see how successful he was in life, and I thought of Ted from time to time. Today, my heart goes out to his family.
Goodbye Ted. Thank you for making our world a slightly more rock’n'roll place. You will be missed.
Image used courtesy of Mount Pleasant Group.