Keys. Pants. Dignity.
So reads the infamous doormat of a good friend. Every time he’d arrive home after a night of debauchery, he’d snap a picture of his feet resting below the words.
That’s how we all knew Diamond Dave made it home.
This is not Van Halen’s Diamond Dave, this is Denver’s wild Welshman Diamond Dave who made Colorado his home decades ago.
This infamous Diamond Dave was a legend to me before I ever met him. On social media, the crazy cat would outlandishly comment on friends’ posts, making me spit out whatever was in my mouth. I need to meet this bloke one day, I thought. His sense of humor was 100 percent Fantz, but wrapped in a short, sturdy frame, bald head, horn-rimmed glasses and handlebar mustache.
I met Dave through a crew of musicians and friends I hung around in the early 2000s, we were at a pal’s gig at Old Curtis Street Bar in Denver.
“Hey, you’re Diamond Dave,” I said to the man who barely stood past my shoulders. In his signature Dickies jacket, silver rings and cuff bracelets, he responded in a thick Welsh accent, “Are you a tranny?” (I’m an inch taller than social distancing.)
His friend punched him in the arm. (Dude, you can’t say that, he whispered.)
Diamond Dave was not diplomatic in his political correctness. But coming from him, it didn’t bother me. He was the most loveable creature. We laughed and sucked the whiskey out of a plastic bottle from my purse and became best buds. We also kissed that night, but I think it was out of sheer mutual star-struck fuckery, topped with whiskey. I, the columnist, and he, The Diamond Dave.
Thus began a lifelong friendship that was cut short on Monday when he passed.
Diamond Dave would host epic Christmas Eve Eve parties every year. Months before the bash, we’d all get warning messages, “Start hydrating,” with a countdown to the party. Some years they grew so big that they’d spill out into the bar’s streets. We’d arrive looking like cheer-struck assholes, decked out in Christmas gear, glimmering with lights, glitter, ornaments, Santa gear and ugly sweaters. We’d drink way too much whiskey. I’d end the evening mooning Dave on my way to the cab. (I have a heart ass tattoo that reads “Christy.” He’d make me pull my pants down and show everybody. I’d gladly oblige.)
Dave knew everybody. And it seemed like everybody knew him. Dale Watson even sang “Happy Birthday” to him from the stage at the Oriental in Denver in October of 2019.
Dave brought out the weird, wild hussy in me. We had so much fun. We all had loneliness in common. We’d climb out of our holes and convene for face-hurting laughter.
I towered over him. His shiny head would fit snugly next to my bosom when I’d put my arm around him. When we’d leave each other until the next time, his bald head would be dotted with my red lipstick kisses.
I hadn’t seen him since Eve Eve 2019 because 2020 ruined everything.
“When are we drowning our pain in whiskey,” he recently texted me. “When this is over we are getting so fucking drunk. Like three-day bender drunk, trip to the ER drunk, wake up eating cashews out of someone’s anus drunk.”
I’ll have share those nuts with his lovely spirit, wherever it lurks.
“Miss you, giant lady,” he recently texted.
Miss you more than you’ll ever know, Diamond Dave.