john ryan pike is the person you thought couldn't possibly exist; although he did, and we were lucky enough to have known him, to have loved him. he was the perfect balance of compassion, talent, humor and intelligence all wrapped up in one great package with an infectious smile as a bow.
he passionately pursued his interests that varied from musical composition to innovative home-brewing and agriculture. he took advantage of every opportunity presented to him and created many of his own along the way. he packed more life into his twenty-three short years than most do in a lifetime, and he left us all wanting more.
a respected drummer and lyricist long before his days with ra ra riot ©, he independently wrote and recorded more than 400 songs. in addition, he has countless others in the formative stages of his journals and hundreds of saved notes scribbled on post it's and scraps of paper; which were often found in his pockets when his mother would do laundry. saving each and every "scrap", his family encouraged his talent, and he was lucky enough to have access to various musical instruments as well as mentors who were able to nurture his talent. music allowed an outlet for his creativity. he was able to express himself through lyrics and melodies, finding resolve in his musical constitution.
john’s interests were abundant and certainly not limited to his music. he was an autodidact who perpetually sought to better himself and his intellect. loves which ranged from gardening, family, friends, crossword puzzles, animals, and the preservation of the environment, he was an avid reader and used this to become an "expert" on any topic he became interested in. he was a true testament to the old adage "you learn something new every day." even after graduating magna cum laude from newhouse school of syracuse university, he did not see his education as complete. he always saw himself as a "work in progress", an inspiring notion to us all. as a natural ‘helper,’ an aspect of his personality that could not be denied, he has inspired those left to mourn him to give back to the community that gave rise to such an amazing individual.
john himself was a gift and his sudden and tragic death was not a loss felt exclusively by his family and friends, but rather by an entire community of neighbors, supporters, and fans. everyone who knew him felt the need to "do something" in his memory. john brought out the best in those around him and in everyone he met; and in the spirit of all that is john, friends and family felt it necessary to share john’s gift and love of music with his community.