Gregg Margarite of LibriVox, Iambik Audio, The Drama Pod, and SFFaudio has died

SFFaudio News

SFFaudio MetaI’ve just heard that Gregg Margarite, my good friend, and a friend to humanity, has died.

Here are the facts as I’ve been told them.

Gregg died of a sudden heart attack on Friday morning (March 23, 2012).

__

I’ve never used an emoticon in a post on SFFaudio. Emoticons, I thought, were for when words couldn’t be easily employed. And I figured that was never.

I was wrong.

If there ever was a day for a frowny face that day is this day.

:(

I became a friend of Gregg’s after listening to his recordings on LibriVox. I said to him that I wanted to be his friend because he was narrating so many of the audiobooks that I wanted to listen to. I told him that meant we had to be friends. And he believed me. And so we were.

We did several podcasts with Gregg. All of them were really fun. And, we were planning more. My last communication with him was about Philip K. Dick’s The Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford – which he wanted to narrate. Gregg wrote:

“I have 3 holy grails when it comes to PKD short stories, Brown Oxford, Electric Ant (not gonna happen in my lifetime) and Not By Its Cover.”

I was also waiting to hear his thoughts on the first episode of Black Mirror. I know he got it, but I don’t know if he saw it. I guess I’ll never know.

I told Gregg I had started listening to his narration of the novel Couch by Benjamin Parzybok. He asked that I tell him about it after listening. I won’t get that chance now.

Gregg was also planning on narrating The Ganymede Takeover, a novel by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson. I don’t think he’d actually started it yet though as I hadn’t yet sent him my copy.

The last update on Gregg’s site says that he’d recorded 205 hours, 58 minutes, and 30 seconds of audiobooks. Most of that was for LibriVox. I figure that’s one hell of a legacy.

In the many times we spoke I learned many surprising things about Gregg. He said he used to build “surrogate penises for Ronald Regan”, he was a musician, he was an artist and he was a fiction writer too (but under pseudonyms). I never learned his pseudonyms.

Gregg’s website, Acoustic Pulp, offers no comments section. So I invite anybody wishing to communicate any kind thoughts with Janine, Gregg’s wife, to comment below.

Update:
Mark Nelson has started a LibriVox forum thread.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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38 thoughts to “Gregg Margarite of LibriVox, Iambik Audio, The Drama Pod, and SFFaudio has died”

  1. just posted your notice About Gregg on google+
    I will always enjoy his catalog, and will miss his humor on your podcast.
    Best Journey Gregg

  2. The world is richer for his having been in it, and poorer with him out of it.

    But I suspect that PKD is showing him around the afterlife.

  3. Met Gregg some years ago through friends. Knew him primarily as their “neighbor”, close compatriot, hot shop assistant, and big dog owner. I cannot believe the news. What a lovely tribute – thanks.

  4. I’m really sad to hear this news. One day I hope there may be some consolation for his family and friends in that through his audiobook readings he has entertained many of us all over the world.

  5. Thank you for your article. We were all very sad to hear of Gregg’s sudden death, and our thoughts and sympathies go to his friends and families. Gregg was one of the first ten narrators to produce for Iambik Audiobooks, and of course we knew him from years at LibriVox. Gregg read a collection of Gordon Lish short stories for Iambik, Couch (which you mentioned, and which I also just started listening to last week – it’s great), and Thought You Were Dead, a crime novel. — He’ll be very much missed.

  6. This is such a shock and I am really sad because I’m going to miss Gregg so much. He was pervasive in my life, whether via his many LibriVox readings, his conversations here, or our sparring on the occasional podcasts we would share. I am doubly sad because I always cherished the hope that I would get to New York City and be able to have cocktails with him. Although Maureen’s comment that PKDick is showing him around the afterlife made me laugh. Just think of the wonderful authors whose work he read and who he can now meet.

  7. I’m very saddened at the news of Greg’s passing. He was a fine reader and gave much with his talent. From the podcasts, I learned he was a smart and considerate person too. My sympathies to his friends and family. He will missed, but his voice will be heard for generations.

  8. I’m stunned and saddened by the news. I had the pleasure of being on an SFFaudio podcast with Gregg and in that short time found him to be smart, well-spoken, funny, and personable. I will listen to one of his recordings in tribute to the man. My condolences to his family and to his friends everywhere.

  9. How very sad. I really enjoyed working working with him on our podcast for Donald Westlake’s Memory and always figured we’d work together again someday.

    My condolences to his friends and family.

  10. Every time I got to hear Gregg on SFF Audio it felt like a real treat and he was my favorite narrator. He will be missed. :'( I’m glad that in the short time I subscribed to the podcast, I was able to hear him and the stories he narrated.

  11. Terrible news. I hadn’t realized how many of his narrations I’d listened to and truly enjoyed until I went to his page and started going through all of them. My heart goes out to his family at this difficult time.

  12. I have known Gregg for almost 40 years. From high school, college, and the early days as a musician/writer, to the many conversations and discussions where he railed on Catholicism and embraced existentialism (although he ironically grew up Catholic).

    No one I know read more, knew more or could speak authoritatively about so many subjects. I watched hundreds of TV shows and movies with him as bachelors in Philadelphia, hanging out for hours. We went spelunking together, got into trouble together (youth, not recently!), hung out together as a core group of friends growing up in Pennsylvania.

    Gregg and Janine moved to the Pacific Northwest a year or so before my family, Even as we moved back east, we always stayed in touch. You could pick up the phone any day, even after months of no communications, and you could be right back together where you left off.

    This loss hits me hard, as it does his closest friends and none more so than Janine, No matter what she needs, I know Janine can reach out and find support and answers, help and healing through any of us.

    Gregg and I once pledged that whoever “got there” first (crossing over to the great afterlife — whatever that might have been according to Gregg’s definition that particular day — we would do our damned best to “punch through the time-space continuum” and let the other person know they had arrived.

    Well, I had a very strange, apprehensive and somewhat disconcerting feeling last Friday, and only when I later learned from Janine that Gregg had passed on, did I start to think that he had at least put a fist through the web of the continuum.

    Gregg, I’m still waiting, Send me a rainbow, or the inspiration for a song or poem, or leave a book you think I should read laying around somewhere unexpected.

    Finally, please know that the time you spent with my son Nathan teaching him guitar, and subsequent things you mailed or e-mailed to him — CD’s with what you considered to be representative of classic styles — was instrumental in Nathan pursuing guitar like I’ve never seen before. He has reached savant-like levels of competence, and it is scary because he is only 14. I thought you’d like to know. Who would have thought he would actually like Frank Zappa?

    Someday soon, when the time is right, your age-old friends Glenn, John and I will tote a case of Rolling Rock to that spot in the woods, or some other appropriate place, and rekindle the memories from so long ago — in your honor, of course.

    That might be a great time for you to join us. I’ll give you a heads-up so you are not late…..

  13. I first contacted Gregg after a period of poor personal health, I listened to his narrations avidly while in hospital. He was a gentleman in every sense and a part of my own artistic world. He was a gift to us all.

    Raymond Gallacher

  14. I have had a chance to become familiar with much more great sci-fi literature because of the work that Gregg Marguerite and his colleagues have done. I add my gratitude and condolences to his family and all others like myself who have been enriched by his contribution. He will be missed.

  15. I just heard the “news” today. I feel surprisingly bereft! He was an incredible reader, and based on his reply to my fan email a year ago, quite a guy all around. :( indeed. Condolences to his loved ones.

  16. I was just listening to my umpteenth book by Mr Margaraite and the thought occured to me to put a face to the voice i know so well. I am so saddened to hear of his death. He is a favorite narrator of mine.
    I have tears to shed for the comforting voice in my dark.

  17. I’m only learning of Gregg’s death a few days ago. Very shocking to hear this. I only know him as a voice on SFF Audio Podcasts, but remember him clearly because he always took the discussions beyond the analysis of a story with intelligent, witty observations of the world. I always got the impression that he’d been around, had plenty of things to say. We had only traded a few emails, but his emails were insightful, eloquent. I was always looking forward to his replies to my emails. He was a fascinating person, and I was looking forward to some day meeting him in person, perhaps working together on a project. It’s comforting to imagine him engaged in a heated discussion with Philip K. Dick about the real meaning of The Electric Ant, and The Short Happy Life of Oxford Brown.

  18. Please accept my condolences Mrs Margerite. Your husband’s narrated stories on librivox have entertained me for hours on end. I am sorry I didn’t know about librivox earlier – I’d have thanked Mr Margerite personally. Thank you maam.
    Respectfully,
    Catherine Bumgarner

  19. Gregg was fucking awful and ruined every free recording of a Philip K. Dick story that is available. His ridiculous robot annunciation was dreadful. The best thing about his death is that he has been stopped from destroying literature.

  20. I just found out about Gregg’s passing while checking out the new Librivox site. I have listened to 100’s of audio recordings over the years and would rank Gregg as among the very best of those to whom I’ve listened. He had a unique cadence that made his recordings both distinctive, interesting and fun! I always got excited when I’d download a recording and find out that Gregg was the speaker.

    Too bad you can’t always tell a guy with his talent how truly great he was while he was alive, so I guess my tribute to him will be to keep listening.

    We miss you, Gregg!

  21. Hi Jesse,

    I am really sorry to hear this very very sad and terrible news.Really , he is a great friend of humanity, as you said it.I was searching for his recent works ,when I saw the dateline(1957-2012) today. I heard many of his recordings and it is hard to believe that great voice can not make any future contributions.The solace for us,family,friends and fans is that , he will be heard by many for a long time by many gererations.My heartfelt condolences to his wife ,children,parents and close friends.May his soul rest in peace.

    Narayana,
    Hyderabad,
    India.

  22. Few things are as satisfying as listening to a great story online while producing a graphic project on my Mac. When I’m lucky enough to be in that position, I immediately rev up some of Gregg Margarite’s audio and enjoy the day. I grateful to him for the pure pleasure he has added to my life. Thanks for your work and thank God for giving you the ability to produce it.

  23. I am so sorry to hear that the wonderful Gregg Margarite has left us. And so proud to have been among the readers fortunate enough to have had contributions collected with his brilliant readings into a compilation. Gregg’s voice was a companion on many long journeys. I enjoyed his stories so much that I emailed him to say so and was delighted to receive a grateful reply, which he signed “your disembodied voice, Gregg Margarite”. Thanks to Librivox and other repositories to which he contributed, we have a permanent reminder of the sympathetic timbre of a fine reader and a thorough gentleman. With huge affection, Roger Clifton

  24. It is with great sadness that I have read of Greg’s passing, again and again I was drawn to the stories he read, the timbre of his voice was such that I was always drawn to his reading.

    To his family and friends I offer my condolences, I hope you can take some comfort from all these messages.

    Fare well Greg Margarite, thank you for the gift of your reading, I always have and always will appreciate it.

  25. Suffering from chronic pain I find myself awake off and on most nights. I began listening to
    Librivox audio books to pass the time between sleeping and waking. Of all the books I listened to over the months there was something engaging about Greg’s narrations. His voice helped me to relax while at the same time, it drew me into the story and took my focus away from the distraction of constant pain. I decided to see if I could locate an email address or web site where I could contact and thank him for sharing his talents. I am deeply saddened that I will not have that opportunity. That said, he lives on for me in the frequent times of night where I find myself unable to sleep and too tired to leave my bed and remains a companion and comfort to me through his contributions to Librivox. Thank You Greg.

  26. This is very sad news. I just read this while searching for this wonderful talent. I listened to many of the audio at LibriVox and Greg Marguerite was the best imo. His voice was so smooth and had a mysterious quality to it, making listening to anything Sci-Fi a treat! My sincerest condolences to Janine and the family. Your husband inspired many people. Count myself a fan forever!

  27. I just found out that he has passed away today. I am greatly saddend about his passing . What a great loss. I always listen to sci fi stories at beg time. I have a hard timing gettin to sleep. Then I found Internet archive. And some of the books he reads aloud. His voice would put me to sleep or stay-up because I get into the story. He my have left this world. But the stories he read will live on for a long time. I thank you for that. You will be greatly missed by me. RIP thanks for the memories.

  28. I arrived upon Greggs readings last year and was saddened to see he had passed away in 2012 as I enjoy his style and enthusiasm for each piece he did. I had never come across “Beyond lies the wub” before and boy what a brilliant way to find out about it! Thank you Gregg for your work.

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