Last week I got the news that a much loved member of Salt Lake City’s dance music community passed away. This news was particularly troubling for me, not because I first met him over ten years ago, and his music and passion helped to shape the foundations of what I consider to be my second family, but because Stephen Santoro took his own life. For the first couple days I felt confused, guilty, angry with myself. I struggled with the memories of similar events in the past. I felt helpless.
Mostly, I was shocked.
I didn’t know Bam Bam as well as I would have liked. I saw him mostly in the clubs, and never got to spend a lot of time with him away from the decks. Stephen and I shared a love of music which drew us together for a few hours at a time. What I did know about him was his sincere friendliness and generosity. His spirit of love and celebration that he shared freely behind the turntables and on the dance floor. I have many photos of him, and in every one of them, his infectious smile lights up the frame.
Those few hours we spent celebrating life together are some of my fondest memories. I never knew Stephen was troubled, because every time I saw him, he was listening to the music he loved.
Music heals. Music keeps us sane. Thank you all for sharing your love of music with us. RIP, Bam Bam. I will miss you.
For friends of Stephen “Bam Bam” Santoro, here are some resources you might find helpful: