In Memoriam: Susan Curran


SUSAN & I IN NYC, 2005

Just days after she had received the diagnosis for the cancer that would end her life, my best friend Susan Curran gifted me with a magnet that proclaimed (in a jokey retro font): “I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands.”

At the time it was a joke between us, since we were both reaching “that age” where early shows are a blessing and SEATING is a fucking godsend.

Now that she’s passed away at the untimely age of 41, I want to say, “We’re NOT old, and you had way too much time left. SHOULD have had so much more time left. Damn it, who’s going to see the 20th anniversary LAST SPLASH shows with me?!”

But she didn’t, which seems radically unfair. Fate works in some twisted ways. It hasn’t sunk in and probably won’t fully for a long time to come.

Susan started WARPED REALITY with me and rapidly became someone I considered an essential collaborator. The two of us had a kind of wonderful mind-meld: each of us spurred the other to greater creative heights. And we unfailingly trusted one another’s creative judgment and advice in all things: editorial, aesthetic and personal.

More than that, we were best friends who had more adventures than I can count. Usually, music was the spark but we loved seeing the world together when and where we could. Travel to Glasgow to see Prolapse and Arab Strap at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut? Why not. Take two weeks to go to London for the 1st time and celebrate 4AD’s 13th anniversary? What the hell.

Once we graduated from college and settled into careers, those spur-of-the-moment adventures became fewer and far between. But we still found the time, whether it was spending New Year’s Eve in Paris with Susan and her husband Matt or meeting up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to attend the first-ever Smorgasburg, we MADE the time.

I’m thankful for all those wonderful memories now as I contemplate a Susan-less future. Much love into the ether, Susan — we all love you and miss you.


Glowing Abstractions from the Basement


NYC Adventure: Mission Chinese, ‘Experimental Jet Set’ + WD~50


  1. Michele Ferrell

    I am truly sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. Glad I had an opportunity to get to know her when living in Somerville!

  2. mdnell

    Andie, this is beautiful. Thanks for writing it.

  3. Jon

    Susan will be missed.

  4. Gail

    Thanks for this, Andrea. I think everyone who knew her is in shock. Susan and I met back in about 2004 when we did the same job, she at MIT and I at Caltech. And then we both moved to Oxford, amazingly, within months of each other. She was one of life’s wonderful people, and I will miss her lovely, easygoing manner and her beautiful smile. – Gail

  5. Sharon Wolff Tatulli

    So very sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. My thoughts are with you, Andrea. I remember what good friends you two were in high school, and what a smart and witty young woman Susan was.

  6. Matthew K

    Oh no. 17 years ago Susan and I traded issues of our zines, tapes, e-mail and a couple of letters. Living in Tasmania, I never met her but she wrote like an old friend (funny and very direct) and always sent me more things than I was expecting. I would bet she’d be an irreplaceable presence. Sharing a tiny fragment of your loss here.

  7. So sorry to hear about this, Andrea. Susan and I were both on the same online mailing lists circa late 90s. When I posted that I wanted to see a specific episode of MTV UK, she not only sent me a VCR of that, but a bonus VCR of other videos by bands she loved. (I especially remember Prolapse.) This isn’t such a big deal in the file-sharing age, but consider the work this took in 1996. She had to get a couple of blank tapes, manually dub all this stuff, and get an envelope and stamps. I don’t recall her asking for anything in return, either – she was just happy to share it all with me. She’ll be missed.

  8. Barbara F

    A tribute that made me realize more than ever what a special friend she was and how much she will be missed. There was so much fun still to enjoy that has been taken away. A wonderful piece. Thanks.

  9. Andrea — I’m so sorry for your loss. Susan will be greatly missed; she was a vibrant and lovely person, and I’m glad I had the chance to know her, albeit so briefly. Thinking of you.

  10. Stacey

    This makes me think of my own best friend. We used to do everything together in high school and we went away to college and became roomies for 4 years before we had a year or two that we almost drifted apart. Thinking about it, I don’t ever want to let go of all the memories that we had and I am fully determined to make more with her. Thank you for sharing your story.

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