Ryde on

January 22, 2014

Dear Ryder,

I’ve decided to write you a letter because, well what happened this early Sunday morning feels surreal. Right now, I’m going to place you in Bali, on the beach at sunrise with guitar in hand. You can strum along if you want.

Ryder, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I feel utterly speechless, clueless, confused, saddened and deeply heartbroken at what has happened. I’ve always been a believer in everything happens for a reason, but this I just can’t justify. We weren’t as close as you were with other members of my family, but I’m so thankful to have gotten to know you.

ryder-nikkisegal-800You Buck boys have a something about you that makes you stand out from the crowd. Maybe it’s all your amazingly awesome names, or your undeniably Buck golden locks and smiling blue eyes… you can tell a Buck boy when you see one. In retrospect, I realize I kept a subconscious eye on you (and your brothers) as we entered junior high. Not to sound like a creeper or anything … again, maybe it was the incredibly cool name that reminded me of a 1950s Western movie star that was hard to miss. Needless to say, any Buck that came onto the horizon I immediately found myself curious to see what that Buck did. You had an undeniable presence even without knowing you, or at least knowing you well. Then Nikki and Woody became close as they got into choir together and were cast as the not so star-crossed lovers in Les Mis. And thus you quickly entered the Segal lives.

I don’t remember what came first — if it was singing with Nik or teaching Sean guitar — but regardless the order, I realize now what a crucial piece to my siblings musical puzzle you became.  If it wasn’t for you, Sean would be hopeless on the guitar, possibly have given up on it completely. But instead you helped him evolve into a man-child guitar mini-god. Every lesson he had with you I could see his genuine enthusiasm, eagerness to impress you and pure excitement to just jam with you. Pretty sure the only other activity I’ve seen Sean show that kind of passion for is Grand Theft Auto, so that is quite the honor.  Thank you for guiding him into a hobby that he actually enjoys doing and makes him want to be better everyday.

Sean still sat down for his lesson today. I like to think that you were there jamming with him. And though Sean didn’t say it, I’m pretty sure he felt you were there too.

Then there’s Nik. Around the time of Les Mis we realized she might have something there. But I truly believe that it was you who brought the talent out of her. I’m not sure she would have capitalized on her potential if it wasn’t for you asking her to play with your band. The first gig I had the honor of seeing you guys play was at the House of Blues, and whoa, you could just feel the energy of your music through the room. It infected everyone with happiness and truly connected all the people in the room. It was that powerful gift that you shared with Nik. You not only helped her grow as an artist, but your passion for it inspired her to create her own.

In a way, you have always been this musical Obi Won like figure for my siblings. Guiding them through the musical universe, bringing not only incredible music into their lives, but some of your own. You’re their little music angel (and mine too). You even look and act like one! Any time I let you in the house for one of Sean’s lessons you had this cool and zen-like air to you. Peaceful, calm, collected, and happy — angelic, but hip and with it.

Being able to share the Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros concert at the Hollywood bowl with Shelley, Reed and you was an incredible experience that I will always cherish and never forget. There’s no better word to describe that night other than magical. Pure magic. It’s the same word I would use to describe you, and the effect you had on any person whose life you entered – magical.

I’ll never be able to thank you properly for the impact you’ve had on my family. You continue to inspire us everyday. So Mr. Ryder Buck, I thank you for the music. I thank you for being our music angel.

Ryde on.

All my love,

Taylor and the Segal fam

Friends, ESMZ celebrate Ryder Buck

Q&A with Shelley Buck

Remembering Ryder

Ryder Buck: ‘Your music saved my life’

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