Whimsical 07

Johnny Crow

June 11, 1986 ~ July 31, 2022 (age 36)


On July 31st 2022, we lost our North Star.

The last hoorah of a brilliantly-bright and massive star always ends in a big bang. They live and die according to the code of a supernova, as “It is better to burn out than to fade away.”

In a less than average lifespan, Johnny lived a more than average life. He believed as Hunter S. Thompson did, that “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!” And boy, did he nail it!

On June 11, 1986, Johnny was born intact with a rebellious and defiant spirit, ready to challenge all authority. As a child, “No” was one of his favorite words. At least until he realized the impact of the forbidden four-letter words, and promptly upgraded. Staying true to these roots, Johnny was against censorship; he greatly valued freedom, freedom of speech, and the ability to be an independent free-thinker. In this spirit, Johnny chose the school of hard knocks rather than the conventional proletarian programming provided at the local high school. He actively scoffed at higher education, as he pursued a blue-collar career in carpentry, which he valued as producing something far more real than any institution could provide.

Early on in life, Johnny developed an immense and intense ability to hyper-focus, as well as the grit and perseverance needed to develop mastery over any and every skill he practiced. When he started skateboarding as a teenager, his perseverance reverberated throughout the neighborhood - as the only sound to be heard was John’s ollies all day and all night. When he began playing bass and drums as a teenager, the Crow house became the house of drum and bass and ne’er a nap was taken again. The intensity with which Johnny focused his attention was so powerful that it could be felt by all around him.

Johnny was a true artist, and perhaps more human than the rest of us, as he often explained that “art is one of the most significant factors that uniquely separates human beings from other species on the planet.” Johnny actively distanced himself from his primate ancestors, as he pursued many outlets for his artistic talents. Johnny found beauty in darkness, and believed that every true artist experienced some level of torment that they used to fuel the creation of their art. His favorite musicians were tortured souls, able to transmute their suffering into song, and Johnny had learned to master this same power of transmutation as he developed his immense musical talent.

Johnny’s first instrument was a bass, given to him by his parents. Shortly after, his dad bought him an amp, and the rest is history. Johnny started his first band with friends at age 13. They were influenced heavily by “marijuana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cream, Deep Purple, The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, and The Doors.” (Johnny may have ended up a punk rocker, but he began his musical career as a hippie). Johnny became a self-taught virtuoso of any instrument he played, but he focused on mastering the bass, guitar, and drums. His natural talent was awe-inspiring, but his continual dedication to hours of daily practice throughout his entire life was something to be admired.

Johnny played in countless bands over the years; some of his earliest fans will remember Roseonix, Home Made Tank, and Gimpy and The Rollers. However, Johnny might best be known for the time he spent playing with Reno Divorce. Through Reno Divorce, Johnny found his niche on stages both large and small, and was able to tour bright and sunny, as well as, sweaty and seedy venues across the United States and Europe, sharing his gift with the world. Through his bandmates, Johnny found the comradery that can only be shared between like-minded musicians, and he was proud to be part of this group for so many reasons, not only because he was the prettiest boy in the band.

The consensus was that Johnny was real easy on the eyes. One might guess that God bestowed an extra amount of pretty to the mix when they made this man. His natural looks coupled with his charm, charisma, swagger, edgy style, and his always on-point and well-groomed hair, well, let’s just say he was more handsome than most could handle. And although hard to believe, Johnny wasn’t just a pretty face.

Johnny was a modern day dapper da Vinci, a Renaissance man, and an intellectual rebel. He was a self-made man of many self-taught talents. He was a philosopher; unafraid to buck the boundaries of conformity and the rules of the elite. He was a true ‘Merican who once carried a copy of the Constitution in his back pocket because, “If we don’t know our rights, we are likely to lose them.” Johnny investigated the nuances of life, questioned everything, and always remained a free-thinker as he believed in his own opinion above all others. Johnny described himself as an eclectic person who derived ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources; and the diversity of his palette mirrored the beautiful diversity of his complex character.

Johnny had an unparalleled sense of humor that could rival the best. He was our favorite local stand-up comedian, as he could and would entertain us for hours. He was skilled at improv and impersonation, but he was most experienced at showboating. Johnny believed as Dave Chappelle that, “The only way you can know where the line is, is if you cross it,” and cross the line he did - every chance he could get. John’s humor might best be described as condescending, antagonistic, and/or offensive, but ultimately effective. He had the kind of humor that you sometimes felt guilty for laughing at; the type that is so wrong, that it’s right. He was witty, clever, and curt and no person, place, or thing was safe from sacrifice to the gods of good humor. He was as fearless as some of his comedic idols: Richard Prior, George Carlin, and Dave Chappelle and perhaps, just a teeny, tiny, bit funnier.

In his later years, Johnny channeled his talents into the art of carpentry. Woodworking came natural to him as he followed in his father’s footsteps as a craftsman. It wasn’t long before Johnny was crafting quality work from premium lumber; which was no surprise to his wife, as she explained that he had been working with “good wood” for as long as she knew him. Johnny applied his expertise in shops, custom homes, and through his own custom woodworking business, Crow Custom Carpentry. His work can be seen throughout the Denver-Metro Area, and since his death these have become priceless collectables. So, if you are lucky enough to have one of Johnny’s custom pieces, as Dave Chappelle would say, “[You’re] rich, bitch!”

Tattooed from neck to ankle; from the outside Johnny appeared unapproachable, as if he mingled amongst the motliest of crews and was ready to do damage. However, ultimately, Johnny was a pacifist with a big fat heart. He loved fiercely and shared an authentic and unique part of himself with everyone in his life. He was willing to be vulnerable. Johnny loved to exercise this skill while talking to strangers, despite warnings from his mother.

Somehow, the burnout got the prom queen. Although she is a powerful goddess herself, Laci was also susceptible to Johnny’s charm, and they were gifted with 10 beautifully complex years together. Johnny found true love through his wife and their two children, and believed that Ruby and Cassius were not only his most valuable assets, but that they were the greatest accomplishment he had ever achieved; the sole reason for his existence, and the secret to his immortality.

Johnny lives on through the sparkle in Ruby’s eyes that mirror Johnny’s own; and through her sharp sense of humor, big fat heart, and inquisitive mind. Johnny lives on through Cash’s sensitive and caring soul, his mischievousness and rebellious spirit, and his stunning good looks. Johnny will continue to live through us all within the memories we shared with him, and all of the ways in which he touched our hearts, minds, and souls. He will forever be loved and remembered as a son, brother, husband, father, friend, and as a mother-f*cking rockstar!

The light from star’s shine on lightyears after they are dead and gone.

We lost our North Star, but his memory lives on. “Shine on, you crazy diamond!”

“You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”

Amen, and so mote it be.


Please leave memories and condolences for Johnny by signing the tribute wall.

Memorial Service, Thursday, August 11, 2022, 6:00 pm, Horan & McConaty, 3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80227.

Celebration of Life, Saturday, August 13, 2022, GRID Collaborative Workspaces, 445 N. Broadway, Denver, CO 80203, 2:00-7:00 pm.

You're welcome to send flowers and plants to the service.

*Parking lot w/limited spaces available & Street Parking.

GoFundMe link



August 11, 2022

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Horan & McConaty
3101 S Wadsworth Blvd
LAKEWOOD, Colorado 80227

Memorial Service
August 11, 2022

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Horan & McConaty
3101 S Wadsworth Blvd
LAKEWOOD, Colorado 80227

August 11, 2022

7:00 PM
Horan & McConaty
3101 S Wadsworth Blvd
LAKEWOOD, Colorado 80227

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