Music+Clubs » Features

Locals pay tribute to Richard 'Box' Bachschmidt, celebration of his life set for Sunday

Saying Goodbye to Charleston's 'Morning Mayor'

by

comment
As the community comes to grips with the death of DJ and host of the Box in the Morning podcast, Richard 'Box' Bachschmidt, tributes have poured out on social media and venues, musicians, and more have pulled together to organize ways to remember him.

Tonight, the already-scheduled Box Jam, the final Box Jam, will still take place at Tin Roof, with cover proceeds ($5) going to help the family with expenses. Performers are Jamison Alley, Jump Castle Riot, Glass Mansions, and Meis&Men. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. A celebration of Box's life is set for this Sun. July 1 in the Royal American parking lot, from 2-5 p.m. with performances from Stop Light Observations, the High Divers, HoneySmoke, Daniel Crider (Dead 27s) & Friends, Danielle Howle, Finnegan Bell, and See Water. Family, friends, and anyone who fell in love with Box on the air are invited. The Critic from 105.5 The Bridge will broadcast the show live. All ages. No cover.

If you can't make either event and want to do something to help, you can make a donation to his family to help with expenses. We spoke to a few members of the community today and asked them to open up about this great loss. Here's what they shared (and we'll continue to update this page with more tributes):

Kelly Rae Smith, City Paper music editor

When I first met Box, it was at the Music Farm several years ago. He was wearing a High Divers T-shirt, which immediately got my attention and made me think, 'Hey, this guy must be a pretty good guy.' Getting to know Box better over the years via his emceeing at our City Paper Music Awards and his invitations for me to join him on the air, I would learn that Box was actually much better than 'good' and that him wearing a local band T-shirt was just part of who he was — someone who constantly championed the Charleston music scene. You couldn't take that away from him — that passion consumed him and was his identity.

Box had an enormous heart for his community. I was humbled every time he — and he did this often — made it a point to make me feel appreciated, loved, and supported. He knew I also cared deeply for the music scene and so that became our common bond. He was the kind of person who'd read in the City Paper about, for instance, Anfernee, a musician who'd shared a story about his homelessness, and Box immediately wanted to bring him into the station for a chat on The Bridge so he could help that story have even greater impact.

105.5 the Bridge is where his voice brightened up so many of our mornings for six years until he left the station just earlier this year. But that didn’t stop the force that was Box in the Morning. For a minute, he thought he might go to Florida to be near his family, but that idea faded quickly, like, within maybe a couple of hours.

If anything ever held Box back, it was the amount of resources he never had to do as much as he wanted to do, for no one else but the community, which is why he risked it all to go out on his own. He didn’t give a shit about money, at least for himself, but he fought for others to have more, including former co-workers. His favorite band was Human Resources, but so much music made in Charleston excited him. That’s why when he left his old radio job in February he decided to stay right here and build a new venture, Box in the Morning the podcast, that would further champion the local music scene as well as local charities, businesses, and the community at large. Within days, he had purchased boxinthemorning.com, had a logo made, did a photo shoot, and met with resource after resource before swiftly bringing his dream to life.

He built his podcast from the ground up, purchasing his own gear, securing a headquarters, and working himself to the bone to further his vision every single day. He was bursting with inspiration and ideas that never centered around himself but always focused on building a better community, soundtracked by local musicians making everything from metal to country to hip-hop. He loved it all. He loved us all. Thank you for making us laugh, for loving us with your big heart, and for just being, so uniquely, you. You made a difference. We love you back and miss you so much.

Daniel Crider, Dead 27s

Box was a true friend and supporter of every musician in this town. If you had a song, he’d spin it. If you had a show, he’d emcee it. If you had troubles, he’d listen. He was incredible at his job. The first time I went on air, I was nervous and he had this gift to coach you right through it and make the interview great. He knew how to save your ass if you went blank. It was a gift I didn’t see often while touring and doing radio interviews in other markets. Charleston truly was blessed to have such a talent and supporter of our music scene. When he thought about going to Florida after leaving 105.5, I reached out to him and said, “Please don’t leave, our music scene needs you. You’re our outlet to reach an audience!” Today, we lost our outlet for an audience and it can’t be replaced. I just hope he’s air-guitaring to his favorite Ghost song right now, while puffing on cigs and laughing.

Lowcountry Local First

Box was one of the biggest cheerleaders we knew for the local community. He welcomed our team, business members and coworking community into his mind and heart each month for several years, furthering this grassroots movement immensely. He rooted for the success of our local business community and the Lowcountry's unique identity just as much as we do.

The last interview we had with Box earlier this month was one of great joy and excitement as he pushed into a fresh, creative phase of life. He energetically spoke of the importance of the local businesses who stuck with him during his transition from broadcast to podcast. He spoke bravely of plans to engage more indie businesses, of the need to support one another through thick and thin.

Our hearts are heavy as we realize the community will never be the same. It is our promise that we continue to share the stories and and passion Box had for this place. He will be missed.

Nate Merli, Heyrocco

The few times we hung out, Box was an extremely cool, unique guy. The 'rocco boys send all our love.

Michael Flynn, Slow Runner

It’s hard to fathom that someone practically bursting at the seams with energy and life could ever vanish like this. He was an irrepressible force of nature, unable to sit still if any music was playing. And he was so supportive of me and the Charleston music scene overall. It’s a gut-wrenching loss for all of us lucky enough to have felt that energy up close.

Kevin Crothers, Former Station Manager at WYLA-FM

Within the generally constricting confines of commercial radio, Box probably did more for local music than anyone I've ever known in any market.

Dave Ellis, HoneySmoke

I wasn’t extremely close with Richard Box Bachschmidt but I know I loved him. I don’t know if he was ever able to convince himself of how much the people and musicians of Charleston loved him and cared about him. He made us laugh. He woke us up in the morning. He played our music. He wore our merch. He went out to shows. He had us on his radio program. He loved music and he busted his ass for this community and this city. He was a champion of local musicians and businesses. He was a rock star in his own right and I’m utterly heartbroken that he is gone. Cheers to you, Box. I hope you’ve found peace and rest at last. 

Katie Wells, Box's roommate

Box was my roommate and came into my life at a difficult time; I was going through a divorce. He not only helped me move on, he helped me do it laughing, crying and keeping it real. We had so many “real” talks about life, love, depression. He always called me “Katie, the Roommatie.” When I walked through the door every day, he had a huge, infectious greeting, “Hey gangsta!” He had this way of always making you feel better about yourself. He put everything he had into his work + his fans; maybe he didn’t leave any for himself. At home, he could be quiet and reclusive. That was the depression talking. Box was a complicated person — a huge heart, a unique talent, and a tortured soul. Box, I wish I could have done more for you, my friend, but more today, I promise to roll down the windows, put on some music really loud, and rock out in your honor. Love you, Katie The Roommatie

Crystal Bruce, friend

You always had the most upbeat and positive outlook on life. Literally nothing could seemingly get you down. You saw the beauty and humor in everything, that's why this is so damn hard to believe. I'm sorry I didn't pin you down to go on our grand adventure to a car junkyard. You always just seemed so busy ... I never wanted to impose, but now ... God, now I wish I had. I'm so thankful for all the times you said "yea! let's go!" to my nutty adventures. Whether it be to Bull Island, Shem Creek biking, touring old homes in the Old Village, Mepkin Abbey ... Or just to meet for brunch. I never, ever expected our adventures to end. Sleep well, friend. Be at peace.

Hunter Boone, friend

Somehow Box became an instant family member with my family, always over for pool parties, Thanksgiving, or just a random night out with us downtown.

A memory I'll always remember was at a house party my parents were throwing in the summer of 2015. I was working insane hours on Vice Principals and moved back home because I knew I was moving to NYC that end of year.

At the house party, I was so tired and not in the mood to hang out but wanted to hang with Box. He noticed I wasn't downstairs and came up to my room and we smoked a joint out of my bedroom window... lol

One memory I do regret was a night we all went out as a family at Merc and Mash (Bar Mash) and it was a month before I moved.

Box looked at me when I was getting in my car "We should hang out more man, I want to know your friends and not just Tylers".

I said of course but then when I moved, it was so abrupt for a job I got I didn't say bye to him. I always figured I would see him back home when visiting or he would come up to NYC.

Always take that time to see your friends. Always tell them they're loved.

Add a comment