Brian Spear (wearing sunglasses)
BRIDGTON — Brian Kenneth Spear, 63, passed away on July 24 after two-and-half weeks in the intensive care unit of Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston. The cause of death was the failure of vital organs resulting from a rampant blood infection (sepsis).
Brian was the adopted son of the late Norman Spear, a high school math teacher and restorer of classic cars, and his late wife Thelma, a social service worker and master gardener. (He was conceived, they were told, as a love child, out of the passionate union of a very young man from a prominent Portland family and an engaging young waitress.)
In any case, Norm and Thelma fell in love at-first-sight with this personable little red-head, and they doted on his every antic thereafter — setting the stage for the emergence of a totally free spirit.
Before long their imp grew into a tall, strong young hunk who led his Lake Region H.S. basketball team to a state championship. (By the way, Brian kept in touch with Coach Hughes, who still lives in Windham, right up to his [Brian’s] fatal illness.)
During his teens he was also a summer camper and lacrosse player at Moose Cove Lodge on Moose Pond.
A bit after high school, Brian joined other young friends from this area in a sow-your-wild-oats migration to the Lake Tahoe resort mecca on the California/Nevada border, where he worked as a hotel houseman, met celebrities, and enlarged his horizons.
Both before and after that adventure, Brian was pursuing his interest in, and talent for, music. He was a highly-skilled (and largely self-taught) guitarist, who played in and later led a number of regional bands, including Flow and Ethereal.
Brian himself composed much of the music, a rock/jazz fusion, and he wrote the lyrics as well. His most notable success came in Boston, where one of his groups won a highly-competitive contest at the Tam O’Shanter club, and another appeared at The Channel, which booked major acts. (After that appearance a studio owner even raised the possibility of the group opening for the hit band Bad Company.)
Lesser known was Brian’s piano mastery, a result of professional training by the virtuoso Jeffrey Furst, who had a summer camp on Long Lake.
Furst, it turned out, was not only an accomplished pianist, but a multi-business entrepreneur from a family long-established on the Boston restaurant and entertainment scene. He quickly made Brian a protégé, not only enrolling him in his urban music school, but also hiring him as a professional chauffeur in his charter company and as a general aide — so trusted that he became a courier for large amounts of cash between the various enterprises.
Brian considered Jeffrey Furst “a mentor to be studied” as he put it, and he thought the same of a man …….