Sam Trout (Anchorage):
Jos was a big influence in my life. He was the right person to come along at the right time. He came to Alaska and became a fan of my friends punk show Duck and Cover on KRUA the University of Alaska Anchorage college station. (A show which I eventually hosted as well.) Jos came by one day and sat in on the show. When he met me one of the first sentances he said to me was, "Do you want to be in a band with me?" "Well, I don't know how to play anything." "That's ok neither do I." he responded. "My sister has an acoustic guitar that I could use until things get serious." I said. "Great."
We had a few jam sessions in the KRUA production room, mostly just fooling around and just having fun. Jos eventually took a few classes with his bass guitar and learned really quickly. We had one practice with our friend Dan (from Duck and Cover) on drums which was a caucaphonous racket but also a lot of fun. Soon after that Jos moved out of state but Dan and I continued to play and form the band Hojew. Dan and I played together in the Anchorage scene for about a year and really had a good time. At the end of our reign we put together a tape of our material and dedicated the album to Jos.
Jos was the reason I picked up a guitar. He was the reason Dan and I formed a band. Without him, Dan and I probably wouldn't have been as close of friends as we became. Jos was the spark and enthusiasm that made me realize that life was amazing and to check out everything I possibly could while I was here. He had a sense of adventure and intellegence about him that I always admired.
The news of his passing has brought a big tear to my heart. Reading his essays brought smiles to my insides and reminded me of how wonderful a person he was. I will always have a special place in my heart for Jos Claerbout.