The Walkmen’s Walter Martin Pays Tribute To Jonathan Fire*Eater Bandmate Stewart Lupton

Stewart Lupton, the musician and poet best known as the frontman for the influential New York rock band Jonathan Fire*Eater, died over Memorial Day weekend at age 43. Three of Lupton’s bandmates in that group went on to play in the Walkmen, including Walter Martin, who has shared a heartfelt remembrance of Lupton with Stereogum today.

In his eulogy, Martin remembers Lupton as “a magical guy and one of the closest friends I’ve had in my life.” In praise of Lupton’s creative output, Martin writes, “Whatever the hell that thing is that happens when you see the best art or hear the best music or read the best lines — that other-worldly beauty and that feeling that you are in the presence of something that is magical and real — Stew’s poems had that. And he spent his life looking for other things that had that.” Read the full remembrance below.

Stewart Lupton was a magical guy and one of the closest friends I’ve had in my life. I have endless great memories of growing up with him and becoming mischievous musicians together. He was brilliant and hilarious and I will always hear his voice in my head saying those amazing words and I’ll always smell his terrible body odor on my clothes he borrowed. I last spoke to him a few weeks ago and we talked about music and movies and he read me some recent poems he’d written. As always, the poems were brilliant and sad and beautiful. They had a dreamlike quality but spoke very clearly to me. Whatever the hell that thing is that happens when you see the best art or hear the best music or read the best lines — that other-worldly beauty and that feeling that you are in the presence of something that is magical and real — Stew’s poems had that. And he spent his life looking for other things that had that. I just saw on Facebook that after we spoke he sent me a Helen Frankenthaler painting he’d found. It was beautiful. I love you Stew.

In addition to the statement, Martin sent along one of his favorite Lupton poems called “Clear Blue Tea.” Read it here.