We have lost a few contributors in the 23-year long history of DRUM! Magazine. There was Adam Ward Seligman, a great drumming writer and activist who led a courageous lifelong fight with Tourette's syndrome, as well as our longtime friend and legendary photographer of drummers, Lissa Wales. On December 9, we lost another, Diane Gershuny. She passed away in Long Beach, California December 9, at the age of 53.Diane was a longtime music industry veteran who worked in PR and had written for Gig, Pro Sound News, DRUM!, Bass Player, and many other publications. She also served as managing editor at Gig in the mid-nineties.
Diane had also worked for us. She was hired as an assistant by publisher DRUM! publisher Phil Hood when he served at Frets magazine in the 1980’s. Later she worked on EQ magazine with Phil and Drums & Drumming with DRUM!’s editorial director Andy Doerschuk.
Diane was born October 8, 1960 in Pittsburgh but lived most of her adult life in Northern California. To say Diane was an avid music fan doesn't do her justice. Music was her life. Though she lived in California her real spiritual home was New Orleans, birthplace of the blues she loved so much, and a place where her father lives in retirement. Diane had a voracious appetite for classic Americana music, from blues to early r&b, bluegrass, and country. In the ‘90s hosted a blues show on Cupertino’s KKUP-FM, an alternative community station.
In the early 2005 she moved to Long Beach and became involved in the city’s ongoing commercial and artistic comeback, working as publicist for the 4th Street Business Association. Friends were shocked when she developed esophageal cancer in 2008. It went into remission for awhile but in the last year and a half it returned, this time in her liver. Several of us from DRUM!, including Andy Doerschuk and founding art director Kristine Ekstrand, went to visit her in November just a couple of weeks before she passed away. She was in pain but lucid and we shared memories of long-ago days, artists we had admired, and concerts we had seen, and had as good a time as old friends can have under the circumstances.
Diane had a ton of friends in the music business. She was a connector, someone who was always introducing you to someone she thought you might find common ground with, or be able to do business with. Her adventurous spirit is missed by us and her many friends and collaborators.
Diane Gershuny with Phil Hood (left) and Andy Doerschuk circa 1989.