Craig Wayne Lieske, age 48, of Athens, passed away on Friday, Jan.18, of a heart attack.
Craig was an incredible musician as well as an author, bookseller, songwriter and so much more. He was born in Lima, Ohio on Dec. 30, 1964. He also lived in Athens, TN, & Florence, SC, but has lived in Athens, GA, since 1982. He graduated from Clarke Central High School, class of 1983, and attended UGA in the eighties.
Craig was a bookseller at Avid Bookshop, played in countless bands, including Garbage Island and Echo Canyon. He was an extremely well regarded musician in experimental rock and freeform jazz circles. He was a former manager at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club and a long time employee of the band Drive-By Truckers where he elevated to role of merchandise wrangler to that of an ambassador and liaison between the fans and the band. He was known for an encyclopedic knowledge of music, art and literature. He recently finished writing a novel and was shopping for a publishing deal. He was as happy, kind and thoughtful a man as could be, and universally loved.
He was preceded in death by his wonderful and loving wife, Janet Bond.
Craig is survived by his beloved soul mate and companion Melinda Cook; parents Dale and Elaine Lieske; sister Gretchen Lieske Hill; brother-in-law Shawn Hill; niece Sierra Veal; cousin Ryan Hetrick and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
There has been an outpouring of love and grief from friends all over Athens and the many towns he traveled while touring with Drive-By Truckers, as well as from his many musical collaborators and dear friends from Avid Bookshop and The 40 Watt Club. Many people regarded Craig as the glue that helped to hold our very vibrant and diverse music scene together and he will be terribly missed.
The Official Memorial Service will be Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 2-4 p.m., at the Fabulous 40 Watt Club,
285 West Washington St., Athens, GA 30601.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Craig's name to Nuçi's Space, 396 Oconee St., Athens, GA 30601.
For more information on Craig and how to help Melinda & Craig’s family please go to http://drivebytruckers.com/craig.html. Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com. Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.