Thursday, December 21, 2006

Remembering Drew: Share your thoughts

We have created this blog to celebrate Drew's life. Drew was an amazing person, a great dad and an incredible photographer. He will be deeply missed by everyone. Please share your thoughts and memories.


Eric R said...

I just got this email from Susie Schieffer and wanted to share with you all.

Thanks for sharing the update on Drew with me. I did find out about him yesterday and my heart broke when I heard the news. Having gone thru my own form of cancer I know how hard the battle is and how strongly he fought. He will always be admired for his courage and strength. My heart goes out to Jen and his family. I wish I could be there for her tomorrow for support. Please extend my love and sorrow. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Hope you are doing well during this difficult time.
Your Friend,

Danielle said...

I just wanted to say, that I first met drew as Jenn's "cooler" older brother. I would watch the way he and his friends, would rule AHS. And after hearing all the nice memories of his friends talk about him, and to know that all of those guys are still as close and now successful, and still so cool it says something. Artists, Musicians, Photographers and Poets. Those bonds will never be broken. I had the chance to know Drew as a friend later on in San Francisco, and get to see him be a dad in Brooklyn. And still he was so cool. Not letting his daughter at 8 months go out of the house with a frilly pink girly outfit. No way, she would be a cool baby. I know that Jenn looked up to Drew so much and she took care of him and his family for the past few years. Jenn I love you and I know what a good sister you are and even as time passes you will always be my close friend and I am sorry for all the pain you have been in for the last few years. Drew is now looking over everybody and making sure everyone stays cool! Peace to everyone. Love, Danielle

Anonymous said...

Just got this from my Dad, Jim Corcoran
- Dayla

I met Drew in Brooklyn. We sat, just us together, in my recently deceased Dad's car waxing about life and love...y' know...small talk.

I liked Drew right away, as if I already knew him.... real easy to "hang" with.

One night we drove Drew and Nina back to their place. He had no key, it turned out. They chose to wait by themselves on the steps outside...waiting for Julia to come home with a key. We gave them my Dad's old emergency blanket to ward off the Brooklyn night chill. Drew insisted they were ok huddled there together. So, we drove off as Drew and Nina huddled, waiting.

If any one finds my Dad's old blanket, maybe Nina would like to have it. Keep it around to remember those brief Brooklyn days. It would make my Dad smile, either way. I know it. He'll tell Drew that.. probably has, already...

For several years, on very still nights, my wind chimes give a soft call... with no breeze at all. I like to think it's my Dad on the wind...brushing by. "Hello, again." I say...

Gonna get some Drew-chimes now. And...when it's real still at night, I'll listen for him.

God Bless You and Love you, dear Drew...

Cindy M said...

Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Drew face to face, we conversed earlier this year when artwork was being collected for an auction to benefit 5-tr old Fyn during his own battle with cancer. Despite his own sickness, pain, and experience with cancer, it was so important for Drew to contribute a photograph for Fyn's auction. It was obvious that he cared deeply for Fyn and all those around him. My deepest condolences to his family and dear friends.

Eric R said...

A few things I wanted to add...I can't help but think that Drew is messing with me sometimes. When I was getting dressed on the morning of Drew's memorial I reached for my last pair of dark socks and put them on. I then realised that he had given me these socks, with cowboys on them. I was wearing them that day and I meant to mention it, it was like he handed them to me out of the dresser. When I forgot to mention it it was like he was kicking me saying "the socks! you were supposed to mention the socks!" he knew it would have gotten a big laugh. Then, driving up the hill to his gravesite my van began to stutter, I was running on fumes. I parked and missed part of the burial, and again he was belly laughing at my typical antics which he knew all too well!

I also wanted to share with everyone my thoughts upon learning of Drew's passing, parts of which I read at his memorial service.

Thoughts about Drew, after learning of his passing on 12/19/06

Drew held a few principles near and dear to his heart, and they were a compass which guided him in his life. Many times we talked about this, but most telling for me were his actions which revealed that these were not merely words for him but a creed which he truly lived by.
He believed that individuals should think for themselves, and despised the mentality of corporate advertisers who would like to decide for us how we should live, how we should spend, what we should value and what we should think at the expense of our own mental and emotional health and well-being.
He believed in standing by his friends and family. He would not sacrifice any other person for himself; rather he would offer himself as a sacrifice first.
He had true empathy for his fellow humans and felt deep feelings of guilt and repentance when he felt he had made a mistake, which he was all too ready to admit even when others would easily forgive the transgression.
He was a truly humble man, although his talents were many and might lead some to fall into the trap of arrogance; he carried his gifts with grace and unselfishness. He would sacrifice himself for the good of others out of a deep feeling and empathy for the less fortunate.
He was not one to ask for help or to burden others with his care. He did not ask for help, financial or otherwise, during his illness, but instead he continued working to the best of his abilities to provide for his family.

We never held any kind of fundraiser to help pay for his care, although the idea was often talked about among his friends. He was a private person, and had his pride, and did not wish to make a public appeal for sympathy. He did receive the best medical care and was not limited by finances with regard to his treatment, thank God. Everyone here feels that loss tremendously, and I myself feel a void which I know can never be filled in my life. I have lost a friend and a brother who I know I will never forget as long as I live. However, now that he is gone, I wish to appeal to you all to make a contribution of whatever you can afford to support those who will now miss him the most, his daughter Nina and his widow, Julia.

We lived life together, Drew and I, over many years and many phases. There are things we shared which would not be appropriate to talk about here, in fact there are many. Suffice it to say that we have experienced both heaven and hell on earth together. He introduced me to the writings of Charles Bukowski, whom we both greatly admired. I remember sharing a drink with Drew when we heard of his passing, neither of us being old enough to drink legally yet. But we shed a tear for the old man although he had lived much longer than some would say he deserved.

“If you want to find out who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.”
-Charles Bukowski

One of our earliest and deepest bonds was through music. When we first met at the age of 13 or 14, we had quite different tastes, but as time went on we influenced each other and each became more like the other. A that time he had lived in the valley most of his life and his taste reflected that, he was interested in new wave and Goth music, whereas I was more a suburban rebellious kid who only listened to punk. He turned me on to Bauhaus and I showed him Nofx. Later he worked for Fat Wreck Chords, the label started by Nofx’s Fat Mike. From then on it was mainly him exposing me to new music as he got more and more involved in the industry. He began taking photos while working for CMJ and showed an immense gift for visual compositions, and the marriage between music and photography was a natural one. I think Drew would have made a really great musician, or painter, or businessperson, he really could have been great at anything. Someday the world may know of his musical compositions, which are also amazing. But once he settled on photography he developed a perfectionist and exquisite style over the years which became more and more refined. Part of what made Drew an excellent photographer was the bond he created with his subjects, as he did with anyone he came into close contact with. Nothing irritated him more than a subject who was rude, impersonal, or treated him as less than an equal, no matter how famous or talented the person might be.

Drew would often tell me of his dreams. He had vivid dreams and would remember them in great, bizarre detail. He loved food and cooking, and I will always preserve some of the recipes he taught me in my own cooking. We even had dreams of someday owning a restaurant together, and one time we actually did run a shanty food operation selling chimichangas in the giant dirt parking lot/ campground at a Phish show in Laguna Seca. He and Julia were the ones who nursed me back to health after I was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident many years later. Together, we ventured to Idaho to live the dream of striking out on our own to pursue what we loved, which was snowboarding in the mountains and the freedom that came with it.

We traveled to Berlin Germany together with Paul and Josh to stay with Jules, and we lived life to its fullest, learning and experiencing much each day and night. At that time we knew Drew was ill, so every moment was more precious and took on a sense of urgency. I never really did accept that I might lose Drew, but instead chose to take an optimistic attitude. Of course I thought about the possibility but quickly banished the thought from my mind or believed it to be farther away that it truly was. Now I realize that we must confront these things directly while those we love are still living, for the things of the flesh and of the mind, once gone, can no longer exist again except in the hearts and minds of the living. I will strive to convey everything I know of Drew to his daughter as she grows up so that she may know the character of her father through me although she is still so young at the time of his passing.

I thought I had prepared myself for the worst but did not fully comprehend what it would mean to lose this dear friend. I realize there is so much that can never be recovered when we lose a human being. Every thought, every conversation, every facial expression, every creation that could have been seems to haunt me when I ponder that I will never look into this dear friend’s face again. Every shared memory with the one we have lost becomes that much more precious, and we are instilled with a newfound value of every moment we share with our loved ones who are still living.

As I feel pain for what I have lost I wonder why I am not more focused on gratitude for Drew’s life and the fact that I knew him. Gratitude for the daughter he has given birth to, gratitude for every moment I was able to spend with him, and for the quality of life lessons I learned from and with him.
I spoke with my brother today; he is in a Buddhist monastery meditating. He told me that one of the precepts of Buddhism is that death is certain, so we might as well show gratitude now for every moment of life. Let us not dwell on our loss but give thanks for what we have been granted.

I awoke this morning with a heavy heart and a churning in the pit of my stomach. An angry wind was blowing outside my window. It seemed to me that it was not altogether inappropriate. It is difficult not to be angry at the injustice of losing a best friend in the prime of life with so much more to do and to give to the world. I don’t blame him if he feels angry. I just said, hang on buddy, we are coming to say goodbye to you today. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to summon the strength to speak here, but I know that if I was in that box, he would be right here doing the same thing for me. I know this because I know his heart and his soul, and I know the compassion he felt for others. I know the loyalty he had toward his friends, and the faith he instilled in them. I remember times when he believed in me, giving me the strength to believe in myself. I learned so much about how to treat other people from Drew. He had many deep friends, but very few casual acquaintances. If they weren’t real, he had no use for them. There was nothing fake about Drew or anything that he did, if he did something, we knew it was coming straight from the heart and it was plain for all the world to see, which is why so many people loved him. He lived a full life, leaving nothing unexplored, whether it be in the world around him or within the recesses of his own mind.

MayaClaire said...

I'd like to write more later, but for right now, I'd just like to say a couple things while I think about what else to say.
First of all, I'd like to thank Eric for what he wrote. That is the Drew I know and love so deeply. That is how he truly was and how I'll always remember him.
Also, I'd like to tell all of you who were far away when Drew passed that being there in that room, holding his hand and watching his mother and sister with him was the most beautiful and powerful thing I have ever experienced. I watched Drew go and I still cannot believe he is gone. I can't imagine how hard it must be, what an incredible shock, for those of you who were forced to be far away in those last moments. I hope you can take comfort in this, though:
Every time I think of Drew, which seems to be every other moment, I am incredibly saddened that I lost my friend. I am also incredibly grateful that his last few moments were so beautiful. That room was completely filled with people who deeply and truly loved Drew, with all our hearts. We sent him off with all that love. Although I know Drew would have cringed at being the center of attention (something he never asked to be), I can't imagine a better way to leave this world then sent off with so much love. His sister, mother, father, and Julia and closest friends in NYC made sure he left with all the love anyone could ever carry. Watching his mother and sister with him was especially the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. And Drew, out of all the people I know and love, was so incredibly worthy of that love.
He spoke many times in his last few weeks of all the love and support he could feel and I know that it meant so very much to him. I know he still feels that. I keep sending it off to him every day and I know I am one of many. Drew will forever live on in sweet Nina pie and all the rest of us who were lucky enough to know him.

David said...

I remember a time or two chillin with drew having a drink and discussing da finer points of beer and barbecue. Drew was the father of my stepdaughters amazing daughter, but he felt more like a friend than family. I later Drew found out he thought of me the same way too, which amazes me, because we did not start out so smooth. Drew was very forgiving, and all around good dude.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

I must once again apologize for my drunkin stupidty. Apparently my way of dealing with greif is to get FUBARed and write retarded blog entries. I tried to remove the last entry (once sober) and was not successful. Once again I am sorry. On a lighter note Check out this website that is something I think Drew would have found funny It is Fst Food Nation meets the Matrix (the meat strikes back)

Anonymous said...

Drew was one of the most genuine, supportive, purest people I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

We first met while working together at CMJ, and I was immediately impressed not only by his talent and good nature, but also by the fact that there wasn't anything remotely fake about the way he lived his life.

Drew and I worked on a lot of projects together... I'd write the stories, and he'd take the pictures and do the layout. I remember going out on shoots with him for Beth Orton, Ed Harcourt, The Coral, and many others. His work was always compelling and unique - he looked to capture something human in every photo he took, rather than go for anything that looked like a "traditional" press photo.

When I first got my own band together, Drew was the obvious choice to work with for photos. We did a number of memorable shoots with him, each time leaving behind an experience I'll never forget. I still have all those photos, and I can see Drew in them just as much, if not more, than I can see myself.

We had been talking about doing another photo shoot sometime soon. Even while dealing with his illness, Drew made it out to one of our shows a while back, and afterwards he talked about how he was really into the idea of a photographer growing with a band - having a relationship that developed over a long period of time.

Even when we both knew he might not have that time, it didn't stop him from thinking big, from having hope for the future, and from remaining true to what was most important to him in the world.

He will be seriously missed.

Rest in peace, Drew.


PS: I'm now trying to get things in motion to put together a benefit show in NYC to raise money for Drew's memorial fund. If anyone is interested in being involved or helping out, please email me at

k said...

Drew and I spent a few years working together at a magazine in New York City. He was one of the most gifted photographers I’ve ever known, and I picked his brain endlessly about his pictures – how he took them, what kind of film he used, exposure, composition, etc. I learned more from Drew in a few short years than I had in an entire lifetime of trying to take a decent picture.

Most of all, Drew was a wonderful friend to me. He offered to send me on photo shoots in New York to build a portfolio and gain some confidence. He scanned over forty of my slides so I could build my own photo blog. One time, he told me that Walgreen’s 800 color film was amazing for portraits. I laughed, scoffing at the idea that a drug store could make nice film. A week later, a box of Walgreen’s 800 showed up in my mailbox. And, of course, he was right; my favorite picture of my son was taken with a roll of that film. Drew and I talked endlessly about politics, photography, and music. We shared many beers, and a few shots. We even yelled at each other a few times and laughed afterwards. I like to think that we were a good team, and we managed to do a few cool things for a less than perfect music magazine.

Drew was an amazing soul, an inspirational father, and I will miss him greatly. Thank you for everything, my friend.

-- Kevin

J Ziskrout said...

I was deeply saddened to hear today about the the premature death of Drew Goren.

I had the pleasure of working with Drew for a few years at CMJ.

He always had a smile on his face and was willing to put in extra time to make things happen.

Every time I had a crazy idea that needed a visual complement, he was more than willing to jump in.

Drew turned me on to "Fast Food Nation" and, in doing so, instigated my intensive scrutiny of food ingredients and sources.

I also remember chatting about the derivation of his last name, Goren. You see, part of my family has the Gorenfeld surname and I wondered if perhaps there was some collection.

Drew and I never became out-of-work friends, but I always respected his talent and disposition.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no good spin on this. It is very sad.

I encourage everyone to donate a few bucks to help out his daughter.


Ron said...

Drew on the subway platform...being funny, popping out his fake tooth and smiling broadly at people.

Socks rolled up all the way to the top.

Vegas! Us working a booth on the Warped Tour. Drew pretending to be a member of Blink-182 and signing autographs. I walked with Bob Heineman and Drew to a casino through some kind of swamp, even though I was too young to gamble.

Drew finding a cool job at CMJ. Drew immediately getting my stupid band to play at CMJ fest - the only time we were ever able to play CB's!

Drew working SO hard all the time. Staying late, getting there early. An executive mindframe.

Julia coming to New York.
Nina being born.
I thought he was going to live forever.

I didn't go to the funeral...I miss everybody's funeral because I can't handle it. But I hope he understands, I think he would...although I know if it were me, he would have been there.

I noticed someone on here is setting up a benefit show for Nina and Julia, which my band Man Without Plan has offered to play. If anyone else is doing similar things and needs bands let us know at

I've met so many people in New York City that have disappeared from my memory, and never stand out to the degree that Drew has to me. I could never figure out why he was always so friendly to me.

I was lucky enough to know Drew. If you knew him, consider yourself lucky too...

Love, Barclay

Anonymous said...

I recieved a very dear email tonight from Julia and Miss Nina. It was in response to an email that I had sent Drew a while back. What was unusual was that the email came from Drew's email address, and for one moment, when I saw his name in my inbox, my heart leapt. The impossibility of Drew's passing possesses me daily and there was one brief estatic second where I believed that it was all undone.

Julia has asked that I post the email that I had sent to Drew here.
I am not sure that it could possibly honor the outpouring of love that I have read here, but if there is one thing that I am learing, day by day, is that you can never love enough or be loved too much...

So here is the email, per the Penny's request.

I hope that you do not mind that I obtained your email from our Miss Maya girl.
She has been keeping me abreast of what is going on in your life, and with Nina and Jenn too.

I wanted to tell you something.

I know that you and I did not get the chance to form a deep or close friendship, but still, I feel such an overwhelming fondness for you... I think that you have the most wonderful energy.

I think that the way you approach and live your life is something to be so admired.

What you have created, with your family, with your beautiful daughter (whom you know I absolutely adore), your friends and with the work that you have produced is all to be revered and commended and I want to thank you for doing your part in making this a better world for us all to live in...

We are all better people for knowing you, for loving you, for being loved by you.
Each of us has been changed (yes, I see how) in remarkable ways for our lives having brushed up against yours, some for short moments, some fortunate to have been with you all along.

I know that you are fighting Drew.
& I believe that you will fight with all the grace and beauty that you live your life with, until you do not need to anymore, no matter what the outcome.
And everyone of us will be fighting with you, for you.

I think of you everyday; I am sending you my love.
Thank you for being you, Drew.

You are Miraculous.

Your friend,

"I cannot get you close enough I said...
and never can and never will.
We cannot get from anyone else
the things we need to fill the endless terrible need,
not to be dissolved, not to sink back into sand, heat, broom, air, thinnest air.

So we revolve around each other and our dreams collide.
It is embarrassing that it should be so hard.
Look out the window in any weather.
We are part of all that glamour, drama, change, and should not be ashamed."

~ Ellen Gilchrist

Kory said...

It’s taken me a bit to come up with exactly what I wanted to say about Drew. Although I knew him for a very short time, he left an immense impact on me. To come to New York in 2003 to intern at CMJ, I dropped out of a graphic design degree in Denver. Wanting to learn more about magazine design I approached Drew, and he said something like, “You don’t need to go to school to do this shit. I’ll teach you what you need to know.” He taught me the basics and after that first week, I started coming in an additional day to intern for the art department. Drew just put me right to work, and I quickly learned a lot.

He made it fun to work in the cramped art area. He played music from Neutral Milk Hotel to Snoop Dogg while laying out the mag, and he had no problem springing for beer on nights we had to stay late. He always had something funny or witty to say and never scoffed about explaining something to me that I didn’t understand. After I was officially hired, I’d still go in to help Drew out. I got to hang out with him a couple of times, going to shows, drinking Yuengling and talking about life. It was a lot of fun and still quite meaningful to me.

It was a shock to hear he’d passed on around Christmas. I wish I’d gotten to know him better. It’s something I’ve thought about every day since I found out. I want to wish both Nina and Julia strength through all of this, and I’m glad Drew is being remembered here so Nina can one day understand what a nice person her father was. Peace be with you.

Aaron said...

Im having a hard time checking this site for the memorial date and time. Can some one e-mail and let me know when and where. That would be great..


justine said...

right now im leaning over a table typing at this little area set up in the corner of a drew's memorial. being the only teenager in the room, i wont lie to you, it feels slightly awkward..regardless, you cant help but feel the love in this room. from the music playing out of the speakers, the photographs on the wall, the hushed conversations, and of course, the food. everything is just radiating with love, and with drews memory. its hard to believe hes not here anymore. i look at nina in her girly little outfit and remember how hard drew tried to get her to wear just green, and blue, and red. no pinks or purples. no worries, the goren ladies in the family beat the system, shes happily twisting and turning in her black and pink dress, and rummaging through the make up in my purse. drew was such an amazing person. he had this way with people. everybody wants to be around him. all the people who wish they still could be are standing in the room with me. he had a smile that was contagious, and made everyone feel good about themselves, and just a little more positive with each conversation they had with him. he was a blessing to this world and changed people for the better. they say it takes a diamond to carve another diamond. thank you drew for being the biggest and greatest diamond of all <3