On 11/12/23 Tabatha's husband,Rich, held a celebration of her life.This is what I had to say, although I, like many of us that day, couldn't get thru our speech without breaking into tears.
I met Tabatha on the day I qualified for Social Security. She came to the Spy House coffee shop in answer to an ad for a singer that I had placed in the City Pages (That's how people communicated back in the Stone Age.) Five people responded. I wrote back about who I was and what I was looking for and only Tabatha followed up
It was the luckiest day of my life. The punk tradition was that 3 or 4 friends with no musical background would go into a garage and take the stage in a couple of weeks with their own unique sound. I wasn't going to audition a singer - because anyone could be in a band. It was sheer luck then, that I ended up with a classically trained vocalist like Tabatha who could articulate my lyrics so perfectly. And Rich played guitar and was a genius at music production.
Patti Smith writing about Lou Reed said "I think my favorite moment with Lou was the last time I saw him. It was just about 10 days before he died and he was with his wife Laurie, and I could see that he was really not well. We spoke and as he was leaving he said 'I love you Patti' and I said 'I love you Lou.' I realized that might have been the first time we expressed that level of our feelings and friendship to each other."
Fortunately I didn't make Tabatha wait until the last minute to let her know how I felt. One morning about 6 years ago I was having breakfast with her and her mother at Tao on Hennepin Ave . It was a period when I was recovering from chemo for lung cancer and Tabatha was dealing with mouth cancer. And when we were leaving I turned and said - totally out of the blue - "I love you, Tabatha." I surprised myself. I've said that before to others but only after thinking long and hard and being never quite sure. At that moment it just seemed like those were the only words to say. And Tabatha, surely channeling her inner Patti Smith. answered quiet calmly, "And I love you, Chris."
And really she loved all living creatures, animal and humans - even the difficult ones. When I lost my home, she helped me move and then came back to my new lodgings to sanitize them. (They were a real dump!) She visited in the hospital while I was getting chemo. She was a help to anyone who needed it, people with medical problems. people with emotional problems, stray dogs and even one bookish, tone deaf, 65 year old man on Social Security with illusions of becoming a rock star. I loved Tabatha more than I've ever loved anyone outside my immediate family. And "Love" was the last word she ever said to me, five days before she died,
Looking thru her pages online, I realize she took pictures with all her friends. She lent her beauty and warmth and magic to all of us and always made us all look good. She treated us all like rock stars.(1) Someone who only knew me from Facebook referred to her as my girlfriend. I said that no, she was more; she was my voice and my inspiration. That voice is silent now, (although we do have a couple tapes in the can) but I think her inspiration will stay with me always.
I'll end with a quote from Jack Kerouac: “I hope it is true that a person can die and yet not only live in others but give them life.” ― Tabatha was a militant vegetarian (2) and for years now I've tried to go meatless one day a week in her honor. Now I'll try harder.
Tabatha Predovich. Live like her!
(1) Her business was called Rock Star Dog Walkers and their motto was "We treat your pet like a rock star." So I ad libbed "Then if she treated you like a dog you felt pretty good because she treated her dogs like rock stars".
(2) Once we were out for dinner at Milton's VVB. Someone asked about a pork dish on the menu and the waiter started up in his 'menu speak". "... braised and lightly coated with fine Italian herbs, etc etc... garnished with parsley plucked under a full moon by virgins of the Himalayas blah, blah blah" when Tabatha interrupted "And who murdered the pig!" The poor waiter was completely crestfallen, getting dissed by such a beautiful woman. I understand pigs are actually very intelligent animals.