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FANGORIA recently reported the tragic loss of one of our own, former editor David Everitt, who succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s Disease on May 7 (see initial announcement here). Since then, we’ve run Everitt co-editor Bob Martin’s words on the man (see them here), as well as those of Everitt protégé Tony Timpone (here). Today we present more tributes from some of the people who fondly recall this Fango trailblazer, who toiled on the magazine during the seminal years of 1981-5. Watch for more Everitt remembrances all week long.
David Sherman, FANGORIA writer (circa 1980s) and childhood friend of Everitt’s
One day in 1971, David Everitt and I spent seven hours with Clint Eastwood. It happened at a Times Square grindhouse, where Dave and I bought tickets at 10 a.m. and settled in for a spaghetti-Western triple feature. When we staggered out at sundown, we were gnarled, starving and blind as moles. Undaunted, Dave squinted at a marquee across 42nd Street and said, “Look! A new Bruce Lee picture!” This was a man who loved movies.
Loved movies. Loved to watch them, loved to talk about them, loved to write about them. It was not by accident that Dave Everitt became one of the founding fathers of FANGORIA; he was a walking encyclopedia of the horror genre. In those early days of splatter, Tom Savini was a household name in exactly two households: Tom Savini’s and Dave Everitt’s. Dave put his knowledge and enthusiasm to good use, fashioning a long and successful career as an author, editor and authority on cinema.
Dave will be much missed—by his family, by his friends and by his readers. Somewhere, there may be a young film buff downloading his own triple feature because he was inspired by something David Everitt wrote. Boy, would Dave like that.
Norman Jacobs, FANGORIA Publisher (1979-2008)
Dave was always a welcome part of the Fango Family.
Tim Ferrante, FANGORIA writer (1983-1990)
I first heard Dave Everitt’s voice by phone in 1983. It was one of the greatest phone calls I’d ever received. He wanted to publish my interview with writer/filmmaker John Russo in FANGORIA #32. With that lone editorial decision, he dramatically affected my life’s direction. I had no professional writing credentials, a literary nobody. Thanks to Dave, this nobody wrote for FANGORIA and its sister publications into the ’90s. Was it exciting? You betcha. We also happened to share interests outside of splatter and gore. For example, we both loved Westerns. Imagine my shock when he divulged he’d written Western novels! It was because of his gifted sense of humor we’d use Fango’s Postal Zone for our own amusement. I remember him publishing a bogus letter or two that I’d written; one was signed by Italian Western actor Montgomery Wood!
Dave was such an impressively intelligent human being. Just as you thought you knew him, he’d reveal another facet of himself. He was fascinating, insightful and quietly giving. His time here was too short, but the lives of those he influenced will carry on in his stead. I’m deeply honored to be one of them. May God bless you, Dave.
Kerry O’Quinn, FANGORIA Publisher (1979-1989)
I’ve seen way too many wonderful creative souls much younger than me die, and it’s always painful. I so remember Dave and Bob—the crazy Fango team during the days when I was producing the SCREAM GREATS videos for Paramount. Dave was always bright, clever, intelligent, fresh and surprising—different qualities that he had in spades.
Susan Adamo Baumbach, STARLOG Managing Editor (1980-1982)
A short while after meeting Dave, I found myself reading Mickey Spillane books. It had something to do with Dave questioning me: “What kind of man are you?” I told him that I was not a man so I didn’t feel like being more of a man, but something about that didn’t register with him. Later, we’d have an ongoing discussion about Timothy Leary vs. G. Gordon Liddy. The idea of “Gordo,” as David called him, putting his hand over a flame was very manly, while I said that “Dr. Tim,” with all of his intake, as it were, never did anything as stupid as that. We were both really surprised when Liddy and Leary went on tour together. At the time, the staff at the magazines was just crazy. David was sanest, then me. So he had to be my friend by default. I am missing him more than ever.
Robert Greenberger, FANGORIA Managing Editor (#9-17)
David Everitt was a He-Man. Everything he said and did was filled with brio. We could expect no less from the author of THE MANLY HANDBOOK, THE MANLY MOVIE GUIDE or several old-school Westerns. He adopted that masculine persona, letting it color his voice and his humor, but behind it all, you knew he was having fun with it all.
He was the consummate professional, recognizing that Fango couldn’t pay top dollar, but we could treat the writers and their subjects with respect. We would encourage excellence from wherever we could find it, be it a writer making his first sale or working with a publicist to deliver the subjects the magazine needed.
When he stepped in to replace me on the magazine, David had already been floating through the halls, observing one and all. As a result, there was little to explain; he had figured it out for himself. And then he took to the publication, evolving it with “Uncle” Bob Martin and making it the standard for blood-fueled journalism. That the magazine survives to this day is a testament to their efforts.
David has moved on to a larger platform, and no doubt, he’s already making himself at home.
James H. Burns, STARLOG/FANGORIA writer (circa 1970s/early ’80s)
What I’ll always remember most about Dave is him smiling, being polite, or saying something funny!
Dave was starting with the mag right when I was winding down my writing for the Starlog Group. When we first met, I was surprised at how conservative he seemed—almost too normal-looking to be working on FANGORIA!
But, then, one day, when I popped into their office to say hello to Bob and Dave, I saw that Dave had hung a photo of Clint Eastwood near his desk (I believe with Clyde the orangutan). I thought, “Oh, so he does have a goofy side…”
We never knew each other well, just brief chats on the phone or elsewhere. I enjoyed reading Dave’s articles. And when I learned the shocking news of Dave’s passing from Tom Weaver, I clicked on an Internet bio and was glad to discover the many books that Dave was involved with—one of which I was immediately intrigued to read.
If you think about it, overall, that’s a pretty grand legacy for anyone, particularly a writer:
A remembrance of good humor and respect.
Children who love you.
And people who still want to read your work.
Gary Hertz, New Line Cinema Director of Publicity & Promotion (1982-1988)
I was 20 years old when I started as an intern at New Line Cinema, a small Manhattan production/distribution company of about two dozen people still shuffling battered prints of ALONE IN THE DARK and EVIL DEAD to grindhouses and drive-ins across the country. I’d been going to college full-time, seeing 42nd Street double features around the clock and managing a repertory movie theater nights and weekends part-time.
At least one of these activities would need to be discarded, and neither NYU nor I have ever regretted my decision. And although I was officially on the New Line payroll within a few months, [company chief] Bob Shaye soon asked the staff if they’d wait on a few paychecks while every available nickel was funneled into a new horror film being written and directed by the guy who’d made LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. I was living in a $300-a-month apartment on the Upper West Side, still had my theater-managing job at night and knew that triple features at the Selwyn were often $2.50 before noon. Most of all, I’d just seen a few assembled scenes of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I told Bob that the company could delay my pay if I was allowed to handle all genre publicity for the film. He agreed. The first phone call I made was to David Everitt and Bob Martin at FANGORIA.
In those days before VCRs and interwebs, the “horror community” was still an outpost of obsessives shaped by memories of Famous Monsters magazine, crude Xeroxed fanzines and late-night psychotronic epiphanies. Dave and Bob embraced my unbridled ELM STREET enthusiasm, as I knew they would. By the time the finished film had screened for critics, Fango was already an essential component of the growing phenomenon. Bob arranged a photo session with the notorious band Stormtroopers of Death that instantly lionized Freddy Krueger within the punk/thrash/metal community. Dave immediately assigned quality coverage by terrific young writers to every aspect of the film and its fast-shooting sequel. As FANGORIA found its editorial legs under Dave, Bob and a young Tony Timpone, Freddy and ELM STREET became near-ubiquitous facets of the magazine. Soon, both were a permanent part of popular culture. Dave helped make both happen, and then moved on.
Over the next two decades, Dave and I would get together occasionally for cocktails, dinners and screenings. And though we’d both left the horror field for the most part, he continued to impress me with his enthusiasm, attitude and professionalism. Dave was always writing; whether it was Western novels, serial killer non-fiction, New York Times articles or his Nat Hiken book, he was the first professional pop-culture journeyman author I’d met who consistently loved what he did. That he was doing it while raising a family was even more impressive. Dave was a reliably terrific writer, too: His 1997 MANLY MOVIE GUIDE is a still-unique combination of smart humor, genre insight and two-fisted fun. It’s the spirit of Dave through and through.
Tony’s recent blog on the early days of ELM STREET (see it here) was a bittersweet return for me; I still clearly remember the afternoon I brought Englund in full Freddy costume and makeup to the Fango office. It wasn’t planned, but every so often it’s nice to surprise your friends. Dave, in particular, got a huge kick out of it. I knew he would. Dave knew that despite the odd politics and frequent frustrations, what we were doing could—and should—always be a good time.
I’d immediately reached out to both “Uncle” Bob and Tony in the days after Dave’s death. I wrote them that I remember us as being young men in the right place at a great time, working hard to make a difference in a genre we genuinely loved. More than a quarter of a century later, I know we succeeded. Most of all, I remember Dave as being a Good Guy. For us, that always mattered. And it always will.
Gary Hertz is currently CEO/HGIC of Gorilla Suit Productions.
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