A Springfield musician was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 55 in Bloomington Monday night, authorities said.
John M. Brillhart, 44, was the lone occupant of the sport-utility vehicle involved in the wreck, McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis said Tuesday afternoon. […]
Mike Naylor, an owner’s of Abe’s Old Hat Antiques and Country Store, 111 N. Sixth St., said Brillhart played at several of his open mike nights. Brillhart hosted last week’s event at Abe’s, and his name was still on a sign Tuesday that advertised the event.
“I haven’t erased it. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m looking at it right now. It says, ’Open pick tonight. Host John Brillhart,” Naylor said.
Naylor said Brillhart was a great guy who was well-liked.
“He was a good performer, a good songwriter and a good friend to everyone,” Naylor said. “I never heard him ever say a harsh word about anyone. He was always jovial.”
John was a good friend to everyone, and he was more than just a talented local musician and songwriter. He was one of the most active supporters of the Springfield music scene in this town. He was pretty much everywhere you could find decent music. The last time I saw him was Friday night during Larry Stevens’ gig at George Rank’s. John left early to go see another show downtown, mainly to make sure that people were in the audience to support the musicians. He was that kind of guy. Sweet, humble, accessible to all and not an enemy in the world.
John’s friends, and he had so many, threw a heck of a party for him last night at Rank’s. He did an open mic there every Tuesday and last night the place was jam packed with people. We cried and laughed and danced and hugged each other. He would’ve loved it.
The family will meet friends for a memorial gathering from 3:00pm-7:00pm on Friday, November 10, 2017, at Bisch Funeral Home West, 2931 Koke Mill Road. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to www.grammy.com/musicares. Please visit John’s online “Life Remembered Story” at www.bischfuneralhomewest.com.
* There are a few language issues with this video, so be forewarned. But here’s John…
I’d never met John Brillhart, but this week I learned that he played an instrumental role in a series of events that culminated with one of my favorite bands sticking with it when they might otherwise have folded. So unbeknown to either of us, my life has been not-just-a-little better than it would have been but for how John Brillhart lived his.
Not much of a story, I know — but it feels like there might be an important lesson in there somewhere…
Saw him last at Ranks during Cubs playoff. He walked in and all his friends were all, “there he is!!! Where have you been??” He was a friend’s friend and will be missed. Met him for first time at Hut when he was playing years ago. Just a sad day yesterday when I heard.