BILLY RUANE came home last night.
The relentless local music adventurer, who passed away unexpectedly in October, had been lauded in both song and spirit. From Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s moving onstage sentiments as word spread the night of Ruane’s demise, to the overflow crowd at his wake and the subsequent gathering at ZuZu, and finally as his ashes wafted out over the sold-out downstairs of the Middle East at the conclusion of his memorial party in November, his path led inevitably back to Central Square.
This final tribute Sunday night was a soft, yet not at all solemn, ceremony welcoming him back to the room he loved most of all. No bombast, no proclamation. A comedy of errors perhaps, when the one man mausoleum created for him would not permit entrance. It was as though his resting place had embraced a “one in, one out” ethos before the wooden box stationed below the ceiling at the back of the Middle East restaurant was finally opened.
Then, as a small gathering of his close friends and his sister Lili watched, Joseph Sater climbed a ladder and positioned Billy’s urn in the new spot he would occupy among the scene he had helped create. A beacon of sorts, for those who knew and loved him; an inspiration perhaps, for those who didn’t.
One things is certain: Billy Ruane will remain eternally overlooking his most favorite art form, rock n’ roll. (Photos by Tom Kielty)