Remembering Clif Garboden

The life and times of an alternative-media true believer
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  March 4, 2011

Garboden BU_800

One of the great traditions of the Phoenix is that it promotes passionate advocacy -- for diverse viewpoints, for appropriate skepticism, and for journalism with an edge. I was blessed with the opportunity to work and learn in this environment for four years early in my career, and it has shaped everything I've done since. I know Clif shared this sense of opportunity and the obligation to be worthy of it because we talked about it at the memorial service for another great Phoenician, Caroline Knapp. I miss them both and am proud to have shared office space with such talented people.

SCOT LEHIGH (Boston Globe)
Clif was absolutely hilarious to work with. His sense of the ridiculous, his droll observations about the events of the day, and his slyly subversive comments regarding the latest decision by the company made him a delight to be around -- and rendered "Did you hear what Clif said" the attention-getting introduction to a not-too-be-missed moment of levity.

JOHNNY ANGEL (California talk radio host and roots musician):
The greatest legacy any artist or communicator has or leaves is that of "by their works you know them" and that was Clif. In the 25, maybe 30 years I knew him, I might have had a pair of conversations that lasted more than a paragraph -- but by reading his stuff in the BP all the time, I knew where he was at far more so than if we'd argued at the water-cooler everyday. He loved language and never pulled punches when it came to his passions, the latter being the bane of so much "irony-drenched" prose in these dark times. What you read was what you got from him.

When I read of Clif's passing, the first thought I had was how much Clif and his writing was like the also recently departed Captain Beefheart and his music -- unmistakable style from the first notes and statements. One-of-a-kind-ness is the best and rarest gift of them all.

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