Had I known Kudzoo would be no more, and why, this would have been my last submission. I will miss my column, the magazine and, most of all, the creator, editor and producer.
I am not easily impressed by people and choose to keep my inner circle small. It’s not often that a new person makes it in. Michael Buffalo made the cut! He was my soul brother and a kindred spirit.
I work as a private, in-home caregiver and was in school to be a certified health coach. I wanted to help musicians live longer and healthier lives. I told a mutual friend that I wanted to save rock stars. I was told about Buffalo, that he had a southern music magazine and that I should offer to write about eating healthy on the road. I contacted him, pitched the idea and he accepted. I was so excited to be published in Kudzoo, a beautiful online publication packed with interviews, photos, CD reviews, recipes and everything southern music fans could want.
My debut was in the June of 2017 Charlie Daniels’ edition of Kudzoo. Buffalo then offered me a regular spot, and The Rock-n-Roll Health Chick column was born. I began writing about more personal and more general health topics. I was always hugging the deadline, and Buffalo would patiently prod, wait and sometimes extend. I was supposed to write under 1500 words. I quickly hovered around 2500. Buffalo acceptingly printed whatever I submitted. Sometimes I forgot to send accompanying photos. Buffalo would ask for them or put in something that worked.
I started Rockin’ Your Health on FM radio about the same time as The Rock-n-Roll Health Chick column began. I was on a mission to save musicians! Buffalo had been working very hard on his weight and health, and I especially wanted to help him, too. I knew his struggles and the toll they had taken on his body. I wanted him to be around a long time.
We became closer friends over the years. We shared a love of radio, music, no bullshit and the word “fuck.” I once asked if it was ok to use profanity in my articles, specifically the word fuck. His response was “FUCK YEAH!” From then on we used it a lot, any pretense we had was gone and we were comfortable being ourselves. He was the most humble, down-to-earth, kind, loving man.
We also shared a love for the band KISS. Destroyer was the first album I bought with my own money, in 1976. I was 9. Buffalo had an extensive KISS memorabilia collection that he lost. He never got over that, although he did build some of it back. He had interviewed Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley. When Buffalo found out I also loved KISS, he sent me a copy of his book “First Kiss: My Forty Year Obsession with the Hottest Band in the World.” My son brought me a KISS Kola bottle from one of his trips to Colorado. Buffalo admired it and said he always wanted one. I had planned to have my son get him one on his next trip there this Fall.
Buffalo was known as the Ambassador of Southern Rock for good reason. He knew almost everyone in southern music and was very well loved by so many of them. He was also a musician, publisher, writer, DJ, humanitarian and would probably give anyone the shirt off his back. He was always struggling financially and had several GoFundMe campaigns over the years to pay for the bare necessities after one of his MANY health issues and hospital stays.
My husband and I started a radio station some months after my radio health show and magazine column came to life. We did an album release for Buffalo’s Makin’ It Back to Macon and put his logo and a link to Kudzoo on our website. We tried to promote him when we could. I bought his books for my husband for Christmas. They are a must-read for any music fan. For promotional trade, he gave us two, full-page ads in Kudzoo. What a generous gift that was.
Buffalo worked tirelessly on Kudzoo. He had submissions from a few of us, but he did most of the work from start to finish. And it was all free. He also did a weekly podcast and was writing another book. He did it all for the love of music and because he had so much knowledge, wisdom and experience to share. He said he was worried about his legacy. I wish he had known just how impressive and special it all was. I tried to tell him.
For me he was a cheerleader, mentor, confidant, advisor, friend, counselor and someone I could trust. He could lift my spirits and make me feel special and “good enough.” He sent me cool stuff about music, radio stations and other findings he thought I would like or learn from. We bitched about the state of our world, people and the insane politics of our country. He didn’t show his personal hand to just anyone. I was honored to be included.
My last Kudzoo article was titled The Show Must Go On. I sent it on the day of the deadline, as usual. I didn’t hear back, which was unusual. I worried that maybe he didn’t like it. He didn’t publish when he expected to. I tried to reach him several times with no answer. I posted a message on his page asking if anyone had heard from him. Finally, a friend of his sent me a message and told me he was in the hospital and had basically died but had come back. Two days later I was off to Tennessee to say goodbye to my dear Doris, knowing that Buffalo might be next. The day after she passed, I missed a call from Buffalo in FB Messenger. I tried to call back but got no answer. I messaged and emailed. Still didn’t hear back. I guess it was a pain-killer butt dial, but I was so grateful to see any sign of life. I finally got an email almost a week later. He was still struggling, but I was so impressed with his cognition and ability to express himself in words.
In the article I talked about how I never feel like I’ve done “enough.” I never feel like it’s “good enough.” I always feel driven to be and do more. In my email, I included that I was afraid he didn’t like the article when I didn’t hear from him. He wrote back that we were the same! He said the article was “brilliant” and invited me to do CD reviews, interviews and write about anything else I thought readers would appreciate. I know he was tired, and he probably knew he needed more help. I am so honored that he enjoyed and valued my writing and trusted me to contribute more to his “baby.” His words of friendship and encouragement are so dear to me. I hope I told him enough.
We started a series of old school DJ interviews on ElectraLandRadio.net. The interviews started taking place late last year but didn’t start airing until May. Buffalo was excited to participate. He connected us with one of his radio heroes he had worked with. His hero connected us with a whole stream of top-notch guys who were a big deal in radioland. The shows aired four times a month, one guest per week, one month on and one month off. Our producer/host usually decides the order of the airing of shows. Once it became apparent to me that Buffalo might not be long for this world, I changed the date of airing his interview so he could hear his show.
I asked Buffalo for a specific photo that I wanted to use for his posters that would accompany the show. He was going into the hospital for surgery the next morning and wanted to wait to send it when he got out. I knew his body was too tired and couldn’t understand how the medical staff could schedule his surgery. I pushed him to send it beforehand. He obliged. I also asked him to let me talk to the medical personnel on his behalf. He didn’t. He survived surgery and was later moved to rehab, keeping in touch throughout his fight. He seemed to be recovering. It was miraculous. He was like a Timex watch and took a licking and kept on ticking. I was stunned. His show aired from August 3rdthrough August 8th. He got to hear his show, got many others to listen and was happy. His personality came through, and his show was well-loved just like he was.
He soon posted that he was back in the hospital with pneumonia and couldn’t text or talk. I waited a few days, hoping to hear something from him. I messaged him and looked for posts from or about him. I posted a get-well wish on his page, hoping by some chance he would summon his super-human strength yet again. His friend who had messaged me about him in June, messaged and said he was almost gone and that it wouldn’t be long. A few hours later she told me he had passed.
The world lost a very special and great human. I lost a very special and great friend. I fucking love and miss you, man! I hope with all my heart that you are pain-free and have reunited with your love and soulmate. I know you’re jammin’ at that great gig in the sky, have reunited with so many of your friends and loved ones. I’m betting you will interview the stars you missed while you were here and will write about it in your next edition.
Catch ya on the flip side my friend.
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