Ted Collins was a beloved Boston rock musician who died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes in 2017, just shy of his 50th birthday. Well regarded within the Boston rock community, his wife and friends felt his legacy must live on through music. An avid player and “rock talker”, Ted was well regarded for his taste and discretion in all matters related to rock. All kinds of rock. If rock was involved, chances are he had an opinion on it and a deep love of, or at least appreciation for some aspect of the music, be it classic, punk, soft, prog, indie, or straight up rock and roll.
An avid vinyl record collector, there was always music playing in his home, often critically listened to and discussed with friends. When not listening to music, Ted was playing it, on piano, guitar and bass, and even a short stint on accordion (much to the chagrin of his rock-loving wife). Above all, music was the core thread in Ted’s life that tied together his friendships, his passions, and now his legacy, through The Tedrock Fund.
Ted began his musical journey as a young kid with piano lessons at the insistence of his mom Joanne, who recognized that he had latent talents. This exposure to music education literally changed the trajectory of his life as he discovered at an early age his life-long passion. While his initial foray into piano through the guidance of the legendary piano teacher “Ms. Mudget” was somewhat reluctant, Ted quickly became proficient in this instrument and gained confidence. He discovered rock and roll soon after, becoming obsessed with Led Zeplin and the Rolling Stones. Hearing the proficiency of Jimmy Page and Keith Richards motivated him to develop his musical skills further, and Ted became an accomplished guitar player and bass player, in addition to piano and keyboard.
As a young adult, Ted began playing live music in bands formed with friends in high school, and was in multiple bands simultaneously his entire life. The friends he made through music were life-long. The connection Ted shared with friends and bandmates through the communal experience of performing live music was a bond that was deep and abiding.
A sweet remembrance of Ted, written by Nick Blakey, booking agent of the Midway Café of Jamaica Plain, captured his essence so beautifully:
“Some very sad news came in over the weekend that our beloved friend Ted Collins – keyboardist extraordinaire for both The Figgs and Ship Of The Sun – has passed away.
Ted was a beautiful guy and a stellar player as he was multi-talented on several instruments including bass and guitar. His smile could brighten up a room considerably and his laughter could instantly make your blues disappear.
There is an old saying that holds absolutely true: if you knew Ted, you loved him. The light that Ted brought to the Boston music scene may have been dimmed but he will never be forgotten.
Rest easy, sir, and rock on. Thanks for the music Ted; we miss you already.”
Admired for his song writing, and his tasteful performances, as well as for his deep knowledge of rock music and rock performers and performances, Ted’s absence is keenly felt by everyone who had the pleasure to play with or listen with him. Ted will be forever missed but never forgotten.
Ted played in the following bands:
- Seth’s Family
- Molly McGuires
- Cement Bunny
- Bob and the Dickheads
- The Oxycontinentals
- The Punk Monkeys
- The Barn Owls
- The Diamond Platinum Rings
- Surf Riders
- Cult of Point Break Society
- The Silver Lining
- Highway 9
- The Rotary Profits
- The Rapid Shave
- The Figgs
- The Ship of the Sun