July 19th, 2012, 12:35 pm · · posted by KELLI SKYE FADROSKI, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
UPDATE: A fund has been set up per Christian Dasilva’s father which will benefit all three of the children. Those wishing to donate can do so by sending checks payable to Tony Dasilva at Pacific Western Bank 1661 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA. 92106.
Sad and tragic news spread quickly on social networking sites Monday afternoon: Christian Dasilva (pictured above, right), known by many as the sound guy at all-ages concert venue Chain Reaction in Anaheim, died after his motorcycle collided with a Lexus sedan on Hamilton Avenue in Huntington Beach, where he lived.
The outpouring of condolences for the 40-year-old’s new and pregnant wife Emma and his two daughters, Caidyn and Chloe, has continued all week. Dasilva, who worked at Chain Reaction for more than a dozen years, manned the sound booth and mixed shows for thousands of artists, many of whom posted about their experiences with him on Facebook.
Here’s one such post, from a member of pop-punk act the Ataris, regulars at Chain over the years: “I just found out the terrible news that our good friend Christian Dasilva passed away yesterday. Completely bummed. What a genuinely good dude. I just want to send my thoughts and prayers out to his family and friends. You were a great friend man. You will be missed. Stay gold brother.”
Former Chain Reaction talent buyer and current Glass House operator Jon Halperin, friends with Dasilva for many years before working with him at Chain beginning in 2000, has quickly helped organize a benefit show to help cover funeral costs. Dubbed “Christian Dasilva Has a Posse,” the charity memorial on Monday will feature O.C. ska and rock act the Aquabats along with local band Starpool. Tickets are $20, with all proceeds going straight to the Dasilva family.
Halperin remembers when he and Dasilva started working together: “I saw Christian at the Earth Day Festival in 2000 at the Hub (now the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen in Fullerton) and I remember seeing him in his pink Thunderbird. I said, ‘Hey, I just got a job working at Chain Reaction. You should come and do sound.’ I think like a week or two later he started working there. It’s funny the little things in life you remember. He had been at the club ever since.”
He also remembers his friend as snarky and a genuine social butterfly. “He had a sharp tongue and had no issue telling you how it was or how he felt,” Halperin says. “I’m looking at the outpouring of support (online) – everyone is so upset. Chain Reaction, though he’d probably never have admitted it, was his life. All of the friends that are upset right now that he knew so well, most of them are as a result of him spending 12 years there.”
Friend and former Jeffries Fan Club drummer Justin Ferreira has known Dasilva since he handled the stage at the Glass House in the mid-‘90s. Years later, they, too, worked together at Chain Reaction.
“Whenever we’d play the Glass House, we’d see him, and he was just a great, cool guy and always helpful,” he says. “He always knew exactly what kind of drum mix I wanted. I never even had to tell him – he would just do it.”
Chris Marrs Piliero, former frontman for Orange County band UpSyndrome (a regular headliner at Chain Reaction over the years) and now an award-winning filmmaker, frequently saw Dasilva at the venue in the early ‘00s. Within the last six months they had rekindled their friendship, after Dasilva did some work on a classic car of Piliero’s.
“It’s very sad,” he says. “He was an awesome guy and he was strangely very cool, genuine, nice and a sincere individual. I say ‘strangely’ because you wouldn’t think that a disgruntled sound guy at a local club who has to deal with a bunch of stupid punk rock kids all the time would be just such a nice guy. And he really was. It’s a huge loss.”
Aside from his tough-looking, tattoo-covered exterior and sometimes straight-to-the-point commentary, Dasilva was a big sweetheart, his wife Emma says. Their romance was a whirlwind in which both parties dove in with their hearts wide open. The two met this past New Year’s Eve and went on their first date on Jan. 25. In February, Dasilva asked her to be his girlfriend. Not long after that, he sent her a message from a new email address: “email@example.com.”
“As I read the first letter, my eyes swelled with tears,” she recalls. “There were letters (at that address) that he had been writing since our first date, and it ended with ‘I already know you are the one.’ Letter after letter came, updating our progress and his feelings for me. Love rushed over my body, no one has ever said that or loved me that deep.”
She shared just one of the letters in an email in which Dasilva compares life to the wind and how when you set sail, you just have to go with it.
“Just put up your sail and enjoy the ride,” he wrote. “Sure you can adjust the sail. It will make you go slower or faster. But you rely on these winds to take you out and to bring you home. Knowing this, it’s funny how many people panic and don’t work with these winds. They don’t smile knowing these winds will bring them back home. Breeze or gale force, you still get to come home. You are my breeze. I feel all of these things every day with you. I’m just a guy in a boat, but you bring me home. I love you very much.”
He proposed on Easter, and the two escaped to Panama and were married in a private ceremony on May 15. One month after the nuptials, on Father’s Day, Emma discovered she was pregnant – a “honeymoon baby,” she says.
“He has changed my life in more ways than one,” she says. “His love for his girls was immeasurable, and I respected and admired what he taught his kids. We had so many plans for the year – our move-in date for our new place was Aug. 10, we had a baby to plan for, a wedding to prepare for our family and two careers starting up. Lots of good things.
“I had such a short time with him, but some people never find that kind of love. I regret nothing. … I love him with all of my heart, and to the depths of my soul.”
Every day now, she says, will be different. “Waking up is hard, but being a good stepmom and a new mommy of my own, I look to a brighter future. Every embrace and look in that little one’s eyes will be so much a part of him. That is the best gift he could give me.”
Donations can be made to the Dasilva family directly at any Wescom Credit Union branch by providing the name Emma Goodman and her date of birth, 8/17/81. Donations can also be mailed using the same information to Wescom Credit Union, 1170 Baker St. Ste, H-1, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626.
Christian Dasilva Has a Posse featuring the Aquabats and Starpool at 7 p.m. July, 23 at Chain Reaction, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim. Tickets are $20 and available at allages.com.
Photos courtesy of Emma Goodman-Dasilva.
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