Jason Spell: Dead - tragic news, RIP

How I choose to remember Jason Spell.
This is very tragic news, Jason Spell took his own life with the weight and pressure of things happening in his own life.  I can find no words to say, he was a lovely guy, funny and I know I for one will miss his playing, posts and comments.

Friends, and family, it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to our brother, virtuoso guitarist Jason Spell. Left behind, in addition to all of us, is his wife, the wonderful Sarah. This campaign is to provide and help, the best we can as a community, with funeral costs and expenses. Thank you all for your support, as we share our mutual love and admiration for Jason. 100% of all donations go directly to Jason's wife Sarah.


I repost Jason's last post to Facebook.
Jason Spell
After more than three decades of pursuing music as a career, and having a good 10 year stint in which music-related stuff was my only source of income, I've finally experienced one too many setbacks. This website thing is just the straw that's broken the camel's back. 
What's going to happen at this point:
I'm going to finish 3 recording projects I've started. I've got hundreds of hours tied up in these, so I'm going to get them out there. I'll throw it up on some site with a donation link or similar.

After that, I'm seriously done trying to do this in any kind of business capacity. It's just throwing good money after bad, throwing good hours after bad. It's simply not going to work, I realize that, and I'm cutting my losses. I'll keep a couple guitars to have fun with, but I'm not wasting another second of my life pursuing this as some kind of career aspiration. 
If you'd like to say "thanks" for my articles, resources, or music I've made and shared with you over the years, check the top comment.

Last year I had a Game of Thrones marathon and wrote a tune right afterwards. I thought it only fitting to call it "Hodor." The music featured in this video is all my own composition, performance, and recording. Thanks for coming to check it out!

I submitted this video into the Guitar Idol 4 competition and happened to place in the Top 16 out of all the contestants! Thanks to the sponsors and administrators of Guitar Idol for making that opportunity possible, and thanks to the other contestants for sharing your creativity with the world. Hold the door.

For the curious, the guitar I am playing is built by Kevin Scruggs out of Charlotte, NC. The design is Ola Strandberg's, used by permission. Pickups are Lace, tremolo unit is .strandberg*.

"Hodor" - Jason Spell - [Guitar Idol 4 Top 16 Placement]

My first meeting with Jason Spell.
I repost a selection of comments from the guitar community who are in shock today

Tom Quayle
So incredibly sorry to hear about, Jason Spell on waking up this morning. What a tragedy. You we're such a great guy each and every time I met you,Jason. My best wishes to your family in this hardest of times.

Jason Jmr Richardson
RIP Jason Spell. I just don't know what to say. You will be missed.

Chris Brooks

With the sad passing of Jason Spell, I've actually felt guilty thinking of anything career related in the last 24 as if it's disrespectful, but it's up to those of us left carrying on with this guitar thing... to carry on doing this guitar thing.

As my wise friend Chris Ptacek once told me, taking your life doesn't put an end to your pain - it multiplies it by every person that you know. God I hate when that guy is right.

Let's really make a bigger effort to look out for each other in this community. The creative soul can be such a fragile one. Let's stop being dicks. Let's have each other's backs. Let's ask each other if we are doing ok. Let's embrace the common struggle rather than point out things we hate about this or that. Let's let each other know that we are loved and appreciated while we can.

Paul Bielatowicz
I heard the horrible news about Jason Spell's passing yesterday. What a shock. I just spent some time rereading our Facebook private messages. What a lovely guy, so generous with his time and genuinely interested in helping other people on their musical journey while struggling with his own. I wonder if he knew how much of a positive effect he had on people's lives, even the ones who never actually met him in person. A light has gone out in our community.

Jimmy Pitts
Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of Jason Spell. He was one of the most intelligent and talented people I knew and we had many conversations about synths and politics and music philosophy, mostly online. But the day he sold me a theremin, we spoke so long I made him late for an appointment, because we were on such a common wavelength. Sending all of my love and condolences to the family and friends he leaves behind, and this is an immense loss for our local music scene. I have to get off of here and come to terms with this news, but everyone please go listen to the art he has left us. Here is a place to start and see how special he was and will continue to be through his music.

Fred Brum
Tragically, Jason Spell is no longer with us. I'm as much in shock as many of my fellow musicians who knew him. I hope you find the peace that eluded you for so long. Rest well

John Browne
RIP Jason Spell. Thank you for messaging me your words of Wisdom yesterday. I am sorry I wasn't there to do the same for you.

Gianluca Ferro
We all are gonna miss you so much Jason Spell

Sam Bell
I never got to meet Jason Spell but he would always reach out to me, he would always have great advice, especially when things were tough. He was a truly kind person who had a positive impact on so many people and he was of course a truly fantastic musician. Its a rough road.. I hope he has found peace. For anyone that knew him in any way, you can donate to his Wife Sarah via this go fund me link. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.

Adam Frost
Jason Spell, I wish you all the peace you were looking for. I'm overwhelmingly sadden, that suicide was your only way to that but all I can do is try to understand, I wish Sarah and the rest of your family the deepest condolences.

Today a good friend, a good man, a good teacher and a good husband killed himself because he believed the world was against him, he was beat down too many times to believe he could ever succeed again. But hardly anyone will ever know because a "popular search engine" decided to delete everything the world would ever have a chance of knowing about him.

Someone's son, family member, husband, friend..will drift off into the nothingness, only remembered by a few, for his great achievements and everlasting generosity to his students and those close to him.

Levi Clay
It's taken me a long time to collect my thoughts on this, and I found it impossible to find the right words yesterday, and today is no different.

Jason was a good man. a kind man. He had his personal demons and we had talked privately about mental health many times over the years. It broke my heart to see he had ended his life yesterday. There were people around him who cared deeply, but Jason would always forget that. Many people will post after this and (rightfully) say, if you're suffering from mental health problems like depression, you are not alone, people care. All you have to do is reach out. I know this from both sides. I consoled an old friend for an hour on the phone last week when he called out of the blue. I can always make time for someone who needs my help because I battle the same demons, I know how bad it can feel.

What I want to say is that you don't just have to wait for someone to reach out to you. You can reach out to them. I'd done this with Jason so many times over the years and I hate myself that I didn't do it yesterday.

If you see someone who looks like they're struggling, be a friend. We all share this rock hurtling through space, we're all a family. Don't neglect your brothers and sisters.


Jack Gardiner
Woke up with a heavy heart today.

Jason was a lovely bloke. Always offered support and advice with regards to both guitar and anxiety/mental health issues. I'm so sorry to hear it all became too much mate.

Please share and support his wife Sarah if you can!

Brian Larkin
On this rainy Saturday night, my heart is heavy, and I can't find the words. Don't have to scroll very far through my news feed without reading sentiments from so many people whose lives were enriched by your generosity and talent, Jason Spell. It goes without saying that you'll be missed, I wish I would've had the pleasure of knowing you outside of Facebook, and I hope you're at peace now.

Tony Martinez
Man ... Jason Spell ... after chatting on facebook a couple of times, we met at NAMM and man, cant believe you re not longer with us. You wil be missed man ... love to your family.

Dhalif Ali
RIP Jason Spell what a great musician.

Jake Willson‎  sorry you were driven to this mate :(you will be missed.

James Theobald
The world just got a little darker with the passing of Jason Spell, RIP. Jason was deeply devoted to the spirit of equanimity in these divisive times, and was also deeply knowledgeable about music, and all around good guy, he was one of my favorite people here

Jason Wilding
Woke up to the news that my friend made the ultimate decision yesterday. Regardless of individual thoughts on this act, it's been a difficult time watching him become more and more visibly unhappy - many of us have been talking to him, obviously not enough, and this is the end result. My thoughts are with his wife Sarah and all those who loved him, who now face some very difficult times ahead.

The sad thing is, all those "suicide awareness" posts have been doing the rounds on FB and I've been rolling my eyes at them, I wish I'd done more now because I could see how unhappy he was with the way his life appeared to be turning away from him, from the small things to the major, it just seemed to be turning away.

I will miss him, I will try to come to terms with both sides of the argument as I understand them both, but most of all, I'll miss him. I just liked him - intelligent, caring, wonderful musician, funny, loving, humane and surprisingly softly spoken, all made him quite endearing to me.

Oh, and also, Happy Birthday Mum. Would have liked to have talked to you today really. If you see my friend Jason where ever you are, have a word.

If your friends are struggling with something, don't judge them, don't call them out, don't ignore them - tell them you care about them and give them a hug - either virtually or physically. Shit is hard to deal with and a hug generally makes it all a little better.

Dean Murphy

I've waited a bit since hearing the news.... Idk how to feel. The world lost an AMAZING person and musician. Jason spell was a good friend we had be close for quite a while and culminated in last NAMM rooming together getting to hang out etc, watched Corey Henry and the Funk Apostles (that was the night of this pic) and every night or day he was just out eating it up, getting every morsel he could out of the convention. I can't begin to put to words what's going in my head it hasn't really hit me yet.

Instead of ending on a negative low note I know that's not what he would want so I'll end with his best quote from NAMM 2016
"Your dick selection sucks"

Love you brother can't wait to jam again someday <3

Wins A. Jarquin
I literally saw Jason post earlier today about quitting music and thought no man you can do this but Ill respect whatever decision you make! To later come again and find out today he took his life. Jason Spell always supported me and showed tons of love. Got to meet him just few months ago. All my love goes to him and his family on this day we have lost a beautiful soul.

Dustin Behm
We'll miss you Jason! ♡

Sean King
I only wish that you had realized the true impact you had on your friends and your students while you were here. I've talked with several of your students tonight, and I promise you that you did. Not only in their musical journey, but in life as a whole. Know that you were loved and that you will live on in that love.

Goodnight, my dear friend. I will see you on the other side...

Kasey Wallrath
Amidst trying to cope with the grief of losing my Father, I just found out my dear friend Jason Spell took his own life today. Jason was such a kind and gentle soul and was so nice to call me after my father had passed. Unfortunately many people only knew him as being a verbose and sometimes controversial guy from the Internet but in person he was the biggest sweetheart you'll ever meet. I only wish he knew how inspiring he was to me and many of his friends in the music industry/guitar community. RIP Jason, you will be sorely missed!

Allan Marcus
Holy hell. Beyond devastated to find one of my best friends in the industry just committed suicide. I'll miss you Jason Spell. Miss you beyond words.

Dave Brons
Just found out my friend Jason Spell took his life. A super talented musician, a husband and funny guy.  You'll be missed buddy. Sorry I couldn't help you fight your demons ...

Richard Lainegard
R.I.P Jason Spell you will be missed brother! We never got to meet in person, and now we never will.Hope you are in a good place, much love to your family <3

Dan James Griffin
Never knew him personally but I can see how much his death has impacted the online music scene/communities.

You never know what could be hiding behind someone's smile, and it's such a shame that mental illnesses can really take control of an individual. Just remember that there is always someone there for you.

My thoughts go out to your friends and family, RIP.

Cannon McDonald

Rest easy, Jason Spell. I wish I had better words for this, but I've been at a loss since hearing the news last night, so I'll stumble through regardless. You were an awesome musician and an extraordinary person; I wish I could've known you better.

Death is an insidious thing, suicide doubly so. So many anecdotes I've read now from people who talked to him just a couple days ago, all saying he'd been doing seemingly better. The last time we spoke last month he seemed to be doing better and making positive changes.

You never know; or rather, it takes an incredible amount of effort to even get a chance to know, when a person is working so hard to just try to be good to people rather than hurt anyone by letting their own pain out in the open.

I'm come very close myself, and I'm not ashamed of that, it's something that deserves to be said for others to maybe understand. I can tell you that the scariest time wasn't the time I came closest, getting rushed to the hospital and told I would've succeeded with just a bit more. Not even close. What's terrifying is all the times before and after that I sat alone, tracing circles on my chest all night with a knife and damning my lack of conviction, and then got up the next morning and put a smile on and didn't tell a soul. All the while eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to maybe be strong enough to do it.

You just never know. You never really have a clue, except those tiny little glimpses we sometimes get into each other's real unfiltered lives. We have to remain vigilant, we have to keep our eyes open, we have to be ready to help. And unfortunately we also have to accept when we weren't able to, when what we took for well-being may have just been an inability to ask for help or let people in anymore.

I'm sorry Jason. You deserved so much more. You deserved to be happy; everyone does. I'm gonna miss you, man.