Trees are long lived and Blake Beeman will be forever loved.
A Celebration of Life for Blake Beeman on Saturday, Aug. 2, will include a dedication of “Blake’s Tree” next to the sound board where he worked in the Crown Room. The celebration begins at 7:30 p.m. Beeman’s band the Beer Gardners will perform.
Crystal Bay Casino owners Roger and Elise Norman wrote a statement about the tree:
“It is not uncommon to plant a tree in the memory of a person that has been lost. This tree is in the memory of Blake Beeman, who warmed the souls of all who have enjoyed the Crystal Bay Casino over the last 10 years. He was the heartbeat of every show. We miss him.”
Beeman made the Normans’ goal of making their casino the top music venue in the region a reality more than a decade ago. Beeman suggested they convert the cafeteria, which first was a bowling alley, into a concert hall. He built the more than 600-person capacity venue into one of the best of its size in the nation.
While touring bands enjoy playing at the North Shore’s Crown Room, they especially appreciated Beeman’s alacrity to make them sound their very best. Beeman, with his arms behind his back, paced across the room checking the sound from various locations for hundreds of shows.
Beeman played with the Beer Gardners since the 1990s but was also a one-time soundman for the Grateful Dead. He also took care of the music at Humpty’s in Tahoe City and North Shore’s summer concert series at Commons Beach. He even played at Casino Manager Bill Wood’s 1984 wedding with the band the Headliners 20 years before they formally met each other.
A benefit concert and silent auction to raise money to go toward Beeman’s medical expenses was held Jan. 15. Beeman insisted the night would be upbeat and happy. He the first song he played with the Beer Gardners was “Oh Well.” (“Don’t ask me ’bout the shape I’m in …”)
“This is not a pity party,” Beeman said, admonishing a glum concertgoer.
Beeman also certainly would have hoped the celebration of his life Saturday will be a happy occasion. This time he won’t be around to stop the tears.
Celebration of Life for Blake Beeman
Tree Dedication and Concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2
Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room
Ages: must be 21 or older