Yonstock 2010

Posted June 28, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Video


June 26, 2010: a beautiful day celebrating Jan at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, put together by our radiant Liz Mitchell. Video clips for Jan’s friends & family w/ love from Chris Rael


International Day of Jan 3.5!

Posted June 14, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: General

(click to englarge.)

International Day of Jan 3.5

More Pictures

Posted May 31, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Pictures

Jan Kotik with the boys

Jan with Adam

Jan with kitty

Jan at art school

Posted February 1, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

Jan and Jack Risley at Cooper, 1990.

I was lucky to have met Jan in 1990, we were in in the same section at Cooper Union, which meant I had pretty much every class with him for that year. It’s hard to imagine what that year would have been like without his presence. People took things pretty seriously, and while Jan did too, he had a way of breaking things up with the subtlest humor and shenanigans. So when photo assignments came around with all the other stuff we had to do, Jan was more than willing to throw on some helmut or bathing cap, grab some fake fur or tape some CD to his lapel, and pose for me. I could barely hold the camera steady, shaking with laughter, tears streaming down my face as he stayed there, unflinchingly funny.


Sue Havens

Brooklyn, N.Y.

JanNight 3!

Posted January 25, 2010 by janfriend
Categories: General

magic tricks

Posted November 29, 2009 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

The first time I ever heard of Jan Kotik I was sitting in my friend Caleb Brown’s living room in Cambridge Massacusetts and holding a copy of the Mommyheads album “Acorn” in my hands. It was winter 1990. Caleb and I were enthralled and inspired and wished we knew these people who sounded this cool, weird, smart and fun.

Two years later in 1992 I was living with Daniel in Brooklyn and we listened to Acorn together, and also to some tapes of  unreleased Mommyheads recordings he had gotten from Jenny Toomey of Simple Machines. We sat in awe listening to  Jan’s drumming and the creative genius of the songs and arrangements. The fact that they were all teenagers when they made these tapes just added to the mystique of this band. One of us had heard that Jan still lived in Brooklyn. We wondered if we’d ever be lucky enough to meet him or to hear him play. We never dreamed we would get to play music with him. A few years later, thanks to the urging of Tim Thomas, we did get to meet Jan, who was then playing with the mighty Beekeeper. We quickly became family and the rest is our history.

I don’t know if I ever got over my awe of Jan. But if I didn’t, it was my fault, not Jan’s. Unlike other people who possess staggering intelligence and talent, Jan never used it to make others feel inferior. He never did to me, and he could have! Instead we were family, traveling and touring together for a few precious years, enjoying the absurdity and beauty that life on the road in the USA has to offer. And I got to listen to him play every night. Every inch of his body played those drums, every beat spontaneous, alive and bursting.

The pictures above are from a lunch we had at the Moondance Diner in NYC in 1997, with Daniel and Matthew and someone took pictures- was it Austin or Elaine?- I can’t remember. Jan and I shared a love for fake magic tricks. I would put a scarf over my hand, and then dramatically pull it away. Jan would gasp in amazement that there wasn’t anything under the scarf. Of course there was never anything there in the first place. We could laugh about this kind of thing for an hour. In the picture you can see that the scarf is placed over a cup, and then Jan pulled it away. Nobody else had the patience for this joke of mine but Jan. Why did he? I’ll never know. But I think it had something to do with the sweetness in his heart being as immense as the brilliance of his mind and the talent in his hands.

Elizabeth Mitchell

Woodstock NY

Jan with Church of Betty 1991

Posted November 2, 2009 by janfriend
Categories: Uncategorized

Jan with Church of Betty 1991

Butthole Surfer Jan w/ Chris Rael, Claire deBrunner, Cindy Rickmond, Ed Pastorini. Photo by Robert Barker