A private memorial service for Morphine frontman Mark Sandman will be held Friday (July 9) in Boston, according to the late bandleader's label, Dreamworks Records. Details for a public ceremony are expected to be announced soon.| Several tribute shows are also being lined up for Sandman. On Thursday, Boston's Lizard Lounge Club plays host to an informal show featuring Club d'Elf, a band led by Sandman's former Hypnosonics bandmate Mike Rivard. John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood will also play. An official tribute concert is being planned for Beantown's Middle East on July 25, but there's no word yet on who's performing at that show. Finally, WFNX-FM will air a two-hour special dedicated to Sandman's music this Sunday at 11 p.m.
Meanwhile, Sandman's friend and publicist, Carrie Svingen, shed some light on the frontman's last hours. "By all accounts, Mark's last day, spent in a small, historic town outside Rome, was a joyous one. Practicing Italian with the locals and soaking in the culture, he was in his element. On stage in a beautifully situated venue in front of thousands of adoring fans, he could not have scripted a more sublime setting. Shortly before he collapsed, he recited the lyrics to 'Mona's Sister' (an old Treat Her Right song) in Italian. The crowd was ecstatic that he had reached out to them in their own language. We can take some comfort in the fact that Mark left us doing what he loved most, performing and giving his all to his fans."
Sandman died Saturday of a heart attack two songs into a Morphine performance in Palestrina, Italy, thirty miles east of Rome. The band was in the midst of a two-week tour of Europe before they were to head back to the States for a twelve-date tour. Shortly before his death, Sandman turned in a live album, which is tentatively scheduled for release this fall. Sandman's family continues to ask that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund, c/o Morphine, P.O. Box 382085, Cambridge, MA 02238. The fund was established to aid music education in the Cambridge public school system.