page revised July 10, 1998
text reprinted from the LA Weekly, April 10, 1987
written by Craig Lee
Portrait by Perpetua,
...was a quiet, shy, handsome young man with a passion for underground music and an amazing record collection. As a DJ, Jim went from playing vintage oldies to playing Joy Division to playing whatever was new and interesting and different, spinning his eclectic tastes at the Theoretical performance/music parties and at the various new music events put on by the original Anti-Club proprietors, Jim Van Tyne, Jack Marquette and Russell Jessum. Churnick passed away last weekend from AIDS-related illnesses. Like Klaus Nomi and Ricky Wilson of the B-52's, he's not the first person in the rock music scene to have contacted this deadly disease, and he won't be the last.
photo: Rob Allen.
Churnick (left, front),
and friend Jay (middle)
and Jim Van Tyne (right)
"I would like to arrange a memorial benefit for musicians and music lovers like Jim who have died from AIDS. I'd also like to serve notice to the rising hoards of homophobic idiots out there in the club scene that AIDS isn't just a gay disease and that it's time to quit calling names and start taking affirmative action to help combat this plague. Feeling that something can be done to both battle the disease and increase people's awareness, instead of catering to retrogressive attitudes, might make the pain of death's like Jim's a little more bearable. If you'd be interested in either playing or helping out in organizing a Rock Against AIDS benefit, please contact me through the Weekly."
-Craig Lee (1987)
what Craig probably did not know
at this writing was that he, too,
would fall prey to the same plight
just three years later.
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