Rest In Power, Dave Murdock

Leo Newcomb wrote earlier this week for, “It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the unexpected passing of David Murdock earlier today of natural causes. David has been one of our beloved leather club members for decades as well a leader and a longtime devotee to Palm Springs and greater LGBT and leather community.”

As so many of us mourn the sudden death of our friend, I would like to revisit my “PS I Love You Because” column from October, 2014, as well as an one of my podcasts featuring Dave.

Dave Murdock grew up in the small Midwest town of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Yes, it really exists. The legend goes that Glen Miller was on the train between Detroit and Chicago and saw the station name and wrote “I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo”.

He had been (as of October 2014) in the Leather/bdsm scene for over 39 years (he started very young doing play piercing with his diaper pins). He served as Vice-President and then President of Avatar Club Los Angeles, representing the club at many local and national events, including serving on the organizing committee of Leather Leadership Conference V. He was a proud member of Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert and for the past several years served as media chair and contest chair for Palm Springs Leather Pride which takes place in late October  or early November each year.

Dave judged Leather contests around the region, and presented demonstrations at many venues including Avatar, OCLA, Threshold, San Diego League Of Gentlemen, Club X, Las Vegas, Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert and anywhere else he can get up in front of a crowd and talk about fun kinky things. Probably a holdover from his almost 18 year on Broadway as a production technician and/or Lighting Designer for dozens of Broadway, Off Broadway and touring companies, and for many years served as the resident lighting designer for the world famous HB Studio where he was privileged to work with renowned authors and directors and actors like Hal Holbrook, Orson Bean, Uta Hagen, and Matthew Broderick among many others. 

He was also a member of the Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus and served as their Marketing Chairman on the Board of directors as a singing member.

As featured in the 2014 column (clearly proud of his sexuality so I'm not editing this out now), his favorite favorite fetish proclivities were electricity (TENS units and Violet Wand), Clips/Clamps/Clothespins, flogging, paddling and caning.

Here is why Dave said “PS I love you because” in 2014:

  1. The community supports our diverse gay culture, young, old, rich, poor, from all walks of life and all aspects from Leather to feathers!
  2. The gay business owners, like Dick Haskamp of Streetbar, are extremely supportive of many cultural and charitable organizations.
  3. The thriving nightlife!  With over a dozen gay bars and many more nightclubs and entertainment venues there's always something to do.
  4. Palm Springs is a “big” small town.  Everything is within an easy driving distance and it's small enough so that it's easy to meet a wide variety of people and yet large enough to give you breathing room when you want it.
  5. THE WEATHER!  I grew up in a cold climate and I like snow, but these days I like it from a distance.  The top of the tram is enough snow for me.  I've been all over the world and the weather we enjoy here is the best anywhere!

Here's an encore presentation of Dave's appearance on my podcast:

One thing that stands out for me, Dave was a man of service, to so many, and his legacy lives on.  To see the constant outpouring of love for Dave, please visit his Facebook page.

Rest in Power, Dave.

…Nicholas Snow