Davin Seay: An appreciation

From left: Bob Merlis, Randy Travis, Davis Seay and me, at the CMA Awards

The hardest thing about getting old is seeing those dear to you leave.

Davin Seay’s death a week ago (July 15) was particularly hard for a lot of us, that is, everyone who knew him. The long thread of condolence posts on Bob Merlis’s Facebook announcement showed how loved Dav was, as a writer, friend, and person, and while he excelled as all three, maybe it was as the third that was most noteworthy.

“He was a guy absolutely incapable of artifice,” Bob wrote. “What you saw was always the real thing and his ‘thing’ was always heartfelt, genuine and enlightening. No two ways about it: This is a huge loss.”


Dav was Bob’s writer at Warner Bros. Records in Los Angeles for many years—and one of his closest friends. I was close enough that he gave me one of my best freelance gigs—a Bee Gees bio–when his own work schedule was too crammed to allow him to do it. It meant a trip to the Bee Gees’ compound in Miami Beach, where coincidentally, I did the first interview with them following the death of brother Andy Gibb.

In my own work, no one was more supportive than Dav, same with my eclectic music tastes. I especially appreciated that whenever I posted a polka video he was always right there to “like” it. Which reminds me of the time when we were at a black-tie Nashville BMI Awards dinner, when Davin, one of the few friends I know to have been religiously (but never insufferably) spiritual, referred to Steve Popovich, who turned me on to polka and whom Dav now joins among the handful of those dear ones I miss terribly, as the “divine afflatus”—afflatus, according to Wikipedia, being Latin for “inspiration,” and derived from Cicero’s De Natura Deorum, (“The Nature of the Gods”). He also designated both accordion-based polka and Cajun music as “The Accordion Grail.”

Davin, Bob, I and four other WarnRecs execs were also part of what Tony Pippitone, then president of Warner Special Products, called “The Magnificent Seven,” being that the seven of us always attended John Fogerty events whenever we were together. One of them, a Fogerty concert at the Ryman Auditorium, took place the same night as another BMI Nashville dinner, the one that bestowed upon Kris Kristofferson BMI’s ultimate Icon Award.

The dinner prior to the awards presentations had begun, and I was torn: I desperately wanted to be there to see Kris get his due, but I had to be at the Ryman with The Magnificent Seven for Foge. So before leaving, I interrupted Kris mid-bite, and apologized profusely for having to walk out and head over to the show.

“John Fogerty at the Ryman?” Kris queried, then paused, eyes gleaming. “I’d rather be there myself!” When I got to my seat just as Fogerty hit the stage, I was in the same row as six others, likewise in tuxes, likewise BMI refugees. Davin, of course, was among them.

For no one was more of a music person than Davin Seay–and I can’t say anything better about anyone. So it is with greatest sadness that I must try to process that we are now The Magnificent Six.

16 thoughts on “Davin Seay: An appreciation

  • July 22, 2019 at 2:49 pm


  • July 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Condolences on the passing of your friend …. touching sentiment.

  • July 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks Coati!

  • July 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks Geno!

  • August 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Davin was such an excellent writer and lovely person. I’m so sad to hear of his passing.

  • August 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Beautiful Bessme.

  • August 9, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you Teenie!

  • December 26, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I was at his & Diane’s wedding in Carmel Valley. I think Clover played…

  • January 5, 2020 at 12:48 am

    How absolutely sad I was a friend of Davin and Diane’s from the 70s and I wanted to contact Davin about writing my life story Mary Saving Grace but I guess that will have to just wait I pray for Diane and the family

  • April 1, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Sad to read of Davin’s death, been thinking of him lately and now I find that he had passed. I grew up with Davin in Monterey, Cali. We went to San Francisco in 66′ got involved in the Haight Ashbury community and we lived in 2 communal houses together until 68′. He turned me on to Dylan, the civil rights movement and politics of the day. We had a blast checking out the music of the day, surfing and having long hours of great conversation. My condolences to his family. Happy trails Davin

  • August 23, 2020 at 1:07 am

    Thanks for the memory! Sorry took so long to respond!

  • August 23, 2020 at 1:07 am

    Thanks for sharing. Sorry took so long to respond!

  • August 23, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Wow! Sorry took so long to respond.

  • January 23, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    First met Davin at Walter Colton School in Monterey.
    We were two of the three male singers in the school choir.
    Gavin was different, I liked his humor.
    Now and then I would visit him at his house on Del Monte Beach.
    We would bang on percussion instruments while reciting “ Gashlycrumb Tinies”
    Sorry he gone.
    Memories keep him alive in our hearts.

  • January 28, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Thanks, Jim!

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