The Day the Music Died
John Clark celebrating by sharing the life of one amazing guy. I’m not sure about where I first met BeBop. I suspect it was at a meeting on Sunday night in Gardiner, but I really didn’t get to know him well until we moved to Hartland in 2003. After that, he was a frequent reminder that recovery really does translate to “Happy, Joyous and Free.” When Bob shared his experience, strength and hope with others, he had a strong and expressive voice, one that I’m hearing in my head as I write this. His cadence was such that you paid an extra bit of attention, even though you often knew what was coming next. One of his trademarks was building to what the uninitiated thought would be a bit of profanity, then he’d pause and morph it smoothly into something much cleaner, but you got the point.
BeBop wasn’t perfect, but he had thirty years of working on himself to be better and it showed. One of my most recent exchanges took place a couple months ago. I’d spotted a request for proposals in the Bangor Daily News from the Penobscot Job Corps. Included was one asking for DJ services, so I cut out the ad and gave it to him. When I asked him later whether he’d heard anything, he frowned and said no response had been forthcoming. Too bad. Bob had a way of pulling kids (hell, adults as well) out of their shells and gertting them to feel good about themselves. He would have been perfect for this gig.
While he was a stalwart in the recovery community and an excellent chiropractor, it was his love of music and incredible memory for who wrote/performed/covered what, that I found most intriguing. A year ago, I took my neighbor Larry to get an adjustment. While Larry was no slouch when it came to music trivia, I sat in quiet amazement while he and BeBop had a 45 minute conversation about songs and performers after the treatment. Bet your healthcare provider never offered a similar service.
Bob’s love of music and giving to others blended perfectly through his DJ services. Need someone to do music for your wedding? No problem. Likewise for birthday parties, anniversaries, you name it. Whenever there was a recovery themed dance or gathering, you could expect Bob and his equipment to be there and very seldom did he ask for, or expect payment. He was a fixture on Labor Day for the all day recovery picnics at Lake St. George in Skowhegan. When someone requested a song, 99 times out of a hundred, Bob not only could pull it up and play it, he could tell you a bit of its history as well as who else had recorded it. He played for my retirement party at the library as well as at the end of summer reading celebration for the kids.
They make very few people like Bob and now the universe is one great guy short, but somewhere in heaven, BeBop is sipping coffee and talking music with Bo Diddly, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Lee Lewis…And loving every minute of it.
I’ve copied part of his obituary, followed by three entries from his online guest book so you can know more about this man.
WATERVILLE – On Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, Dr. Robert Adrien Carignan, loving father, grandfather, and community cheer-bringer, passed away at the age of 74. Bob was born Aug. 31, 1944, in Lawrence, Mass., to Adrien and Edith (Berry) Carignan. Known by many names, “Dr. Bob”, “BeeBop Bob”, and “Beepa”, to name a few, he graduated Tenney High School in 1962, and shortly after, joined the United States Navy as a Corpsman. After leaving the Navy he entered Northern Essex Community College. Bob’s love of holistic medicine guided him to Palmer College of Chiropractic where he received a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in 1972.
He received several commendations for his chiropractic service including a Merit Award from Palmer College in 1972, an Ambassador Award from Palmer College in 1977, and he was Maine Chiropractor of the Year in 1984. He was a member of the Maine Chiropractic Association (MCA) and State Representative for both the International Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Bob was a member of the Maine Radiologic Technology Board of Examiners. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, and the Health Officer for both Hartland and St. Albans. In 2003, he received a Service Award in recognition for his energetic service to the MCA as “Mr. Entertainment” which merged his two passions of chiropractic and DJing.
Bob joined his love of nature, people, and health when he opened Hartland Family Chiropractic in 1974. If you knew him, you could appreciate his musical passion, which he pursued later in life. He opened BeeBop To Hip Hop DJ services and brought the joy of music to nursing homes, weddings, and family holidays. Many knew about his 30 year survival with alcoholism. In 2018, he received his 30 year chip; he was a true friend of Bill W.
“I walked into your office and you took one look at me and said, well…. your jaw is dislocated. I was in pain for a year and you fixed me. You were the best Dr. C ever! I will always remember you and your cute smile and very happy demeanor. You will be deeply missed by everyone Dr. C.
So saddened by the news of Bob’s passing.”
“Thoughts and prayers to Theresa, family, friends and patients of “Dr. Bob”. I’ve been a patient and friend of his for over 25 years. He always found time to fit me into his busy schedule when I’d call because I was in need of a good “snap, crackle, and pop” of my body. We’d laugh, talk and share our love of music during my visits with him. Between his DJ gigs, and my concerts, we had some wonderful chats about the tastes of music people had. I always felt better and my spirits were lifted after a visit with him. A big supporter of communities near and far. He will be missed by many for sure. Fly high and play music for the angels my friend. Till we meet again!!”
“Doc thank you for being you. I still can not figure how you made me talk when I did not have anything sensible to say (early on). Then later when I was all busted up you laughed at me and fixed me with a snap to get me in place. No more words, fare thee well, my friend.”
So many people have shared their thoughts on Bob’s passing that I’m including his Facebook page link for those who want to know more about this amazing man. https://www.facebook.com/bob.carignan.7
I didn’t know Dr. Bob well but each time I saw him perform, his warmth, humor an love of the craft were evident. The stories behind the music were fascinating. A generous and multi-talented man.
John, your tribute to Dr. C. is perfect. I did many weddings as a notary where he was DJing. He was my friend, chiropractor and all over inspiration. The other day when I went to get my records, it was hard to think that one of those doors wasn’t going to open and his smiling face would be heading towards the counter.
Thanks again for the beautiful tribute. He climbing the Stairway to Heaven.