“When someone passes away there is a tendency for the rest of us to put that person on a pedestal and glorify them in a way that is not necessarily representative of the way they lived their life. When it comes to Ali, I truly believe this is not the case.” ~Ben Drysdale
Ben Drysdale, frontman for the Australian band East Row Rabble met Alison Colclough, whom he lovingly referred to as Ali Koko, in the theater program at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. They became fast friends and kept in touch even after Ben returned to his home in Australia. A few years after graduation, Ali contacted Ben to say she was coming to Australia and although he was living in a tiny place with three roommates, he invited Ali to stay with him. Ali spent several months in Australia, using Ben’s place as her home base. “We did a bunch of trips together, chasing festivals and fun times up and down the east coast between Melbourne and Brisbane. She was just an awesome fun-loving, caring person that everyone loved immediately,” says Drysdale. “She didn’t even mind when her first dip in our side of the Pacific Ocean landed her with a sting from a Blue Bottle jellyfish on Christmas Day. She just laughed at the fact that none of the rest of us who’d lived in Oz all our lives had ever been stung and went about her day. I couldn’t resist buying her a necklace with a jellyfish on it shortly after at the Woodford Folk Festival.” If you listen closely, you’ll hear about the jellyfish incident in the song.
On one of her trips back home to Canada, Ali found a lump in her breast and began her fight against cancer. Even after she was diagnosed, she made a trip to Mexico to help build mud-huts and made a surprise trip back to Australia to visit Ben & the rest of her Aussie friends.
Just before she died, Ben saw a Facebook post saying Ali would be spending her birthday in the hospital. He messaged her and asked if she needed to talk, but didn’t hear back until a few days later when he received his last text from Ali with just three words – so much love.
In November 2013, at the age of 29, Ali lost her battle with cancer. “The only way I can wrap my head around it is to think that maybe each person is only allowed to bring so much light, love, and general awesomeness into the world in a lifetime. And the way she lived, I can see how she may have used up her quota,” says Ben.
“One For The Kokonut” is the third single off the upcoming debut EP by East Row Rabble set for release in late 2018.. Visit the East Row Rabble Unearthed page and leave a rating or review and download this poignant track for free: https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/east-row-rabble
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