Sunday, October 02, 2005

Lissa Joins the Stars

Thank you for allowing me to post these pieces about Lissa. I am so sorry that she was never able to know about the wonderful article about her "Drummerpalooza" that you did in the New Times. Thank you so much for all of your help and support. She knew you were probably going to write an article and was very happy about it. Words fail me now, so I am copying what I have just posted to her site.

To Lissa's loving mother and her sister, Mary...Lissa told me many times how much she appreciated your courage, devotion and unfailing love. Lissa will always be with us. From deep in my heart,
Mariah Fleming

For you Lissa:
'We know nothing of this going-hence that
does not share with us. We have no grounds
for showing admiration and love or hate
to death, whom a costume mask
of tragic lament crazily disfigures.

Still the world is full of roles we act.
So long as we try anxiously to please,
death acts also, though never to acclaim.

But when you went, a streak of reality
broke in upon this stage through that fissure
where you left: green of real green,
real sunshine, real forest.

So we go on acting. Fearful and reciting
things difficult to learn and speak and
now and then raising gestures, raising song:
but your existence, withdrawan from us
and taken from our play,

will sometimes come over us, like the knowledge
of that reality now settling in,
so that for a while we act our lives,
transported, not thinking of applause.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Drummer photographer Lissa Wales dies
Josh Kelley and Larry Rodgers
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 2, 2005 12:00 AM
Lissa Wales, a Tempe photographer renowned for her photographs of drummers, died Saturday after several months of battling a relapse of acute mylogenous leukemia. She was 48.

Wales, who grew up in the Valley and graduated from Arizona State University, photographed hundreds of percussionists over two decades, including drummers from some of the world's top rock bands.

Last month, several of the music industry's well-known performers played in a benefit concert to raise money to pay for Wales' mounting medical bills, which kept her shooting occasional concerts even as she was undergoing treatment for her disease.

Wales said at the time that she was 'flabbergasted' by the response of those who volunteered to play, including Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, Jimmy DeGrasso of Montrose and Ian Wallace of King Crimson.

Wales' photographs appeared in magazines in the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as in advertisements for drum manufacturers.

Some of her works are displayed at

Her sister, Mary Wales-Long, remembered Lissa on Saturday as 'the best sister in the world (who) fought the good fight.

No comments: