David Earl Brown, 1948-2020

David Earl Brown

David Earl Brown, musician, adventurer, friend and father, died in a tragic car accident Feb. 23, 2020 in Cisco, Utah.

He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Brown; mother, Jean Brown; and brother, Rick Brown. He is survived by his daughter, Krystill Leight Brown; brother, Alan Brown; nieces, Emily and Willow; and nephew, Richard.

David was born in Pennsylvania on Dec. 15, 1948 and moved with his family to Denver, Colorado where he spent most of his childhood. At a very young age, David exhibited a talent for music, especially guitars. He and his brothers formed a band and played surf music together.

His passion for music led him to the burgeoning counter-cultural Denver music scene. One of the most well known bands David played in was The 4-Nikators with Dave and Candy Givens of Zephyr. During this time in the Denver/Boulder area, David became best friends with rock guitar legend Tommy Bolin.

David Earl Brown

David was a guitar technician, road manager and best friend throughout Tommy’s career from the early days with Zephyr and Energy onto the James Gang and Deep Purple, as well as Tommy’s solo album projects.

After Tommy Bolin’s untimely passing, David worked with other well-known musicians, including Bonnie Raitt. In 1986, David moved to the remote high desert town of Moab, Utah after a river trip down the Colorado River. He worked various jobs, mostly in the developing tourism industry. He led Jeep and river tours and drove buses for river shuttles.

His knowledge of the area was unparalleled from geology and biology to its history and pre-history. He had a special love for the Native American people and the many cultural sites in the region. David also worked in the film industry as the Moab area has been a popular location for Hollywood.

He was an extra in various films, most notably in Sundown: Vampires in Retreat (1988) starring David Carradine and John Ireland. While in Moab he formed the rock band, Remnants, with drummer Dale Pierson and guitarist David Steward, who joined the band in the late 1980s.

The Remnants continued to play music with David up until the time of his passing. He was an ardent supporter of the arts and music and was generous with his time and knowledge, mentoring and encouraging younger musicians. His passing leaves a big hole in the heart of the small community he lived in for over 30 years where he was known and loved by many.

A memorial and celebration of his life with lots of music is being planned for some time this spring and as he would say, “Don’t You Dare Miss It!”