Farewell to a Friend • David Morse Horton (1958-2021)

A Creative Legacy Spanning Print, Video, Music, Time, Space, and Friendship

Posted In: Culture, ,   From Issue 909   By: Robert E Martin

18th February, 2021     0

Listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world.

All of life is a foreign country, so be in love with your life, every detail of it.

I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money.

I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because that far down we are all the same.

-        Jack Kerouac (assorted quotes)

Only a few hours before the commencement of Groundhog Day on the evening of February 1st, my close friend and colleague David Morse Horton passed away into the open canvas of what I like to call the Unseen World; and not only did this publication that I started back in 1979 lose a pivotal visual force who served as the REVIEW’s graphic designer since 1986  and who designed nearly every one of its covers for the past 35-years, but I lost one of the most remarkable friends I’ve had the pleasure to experience in this lifetime. 

As for the world-at-large, it lost a self-styled and self-described visual artist, observer, minimalist, reader, writer, and occasional visionary, who unlike many other far more notable ‘Renaissance-styled’ iconoclasts, was distinguished first and foremost by his humbleness, humility, and self-deprecating sense-of-humor.

As with most people who are not only gifted but deeply involved with the many challenges the world poses to the human condition, Dave occupied many divergent occupational arenas, interests, and involvements with those whom he cared about because his world was not built upon narcissistic pride and self-involvement, but upon engagement with the many magical arteries that allowed entry not only into  human consciousness, but multi-dimensional pulsations of the human heart….not only through his work, but more importantly through his actions.

Dave possessed a mind that worked like a fusion of Einstein's neurons firing off as they met splatters of Jackson Pollack's thought fragments inside his head. He was a keen observer, well-read for what Dave used to call a ‘picture person’; and he was also a philosopher and a multi-talented visionary poet closely aligned to the likes of Laurie Andersen - as his videography, graphics, writing, recording, and mixing techniques so brilliantly demonstrated on so many of Dave’s wonderfully original creations.

Dave was a renaissance maestro of the Beat Ethic - Kerouac on laughing gas; Ginsberg as a member of the Goon Squad. He possessed his own unique brand of absurd and unconventional humor and a particular fondness for Beat Generation writing and music.  

As an equally enthusiastic advocate of all things musical, I shall never forget how Dave would often send me special mix-tapes, such as the one he made out of M.C. Hammer’s Can’t Touch This, adding his own lyrics to create an entirely new dance track titled ‘Bob Martin Thinks He’s Hip’.  Or the time he took recordings of Jack Kerouac reading his poetry and spliced them over various jazz stylings by Charlie Parker.

As the cover designer for REVIEW Magazine Dave pulled together the imagery and created the visuals for approximately 730 of our 909 covers. The legendary Art Paul, art director & designer for Playboy Magazine spent 29 years finding way to hidden the iconic ‘bunny’ logo on each issue of that iconic publication; but Dave spent 35 years with the equally daunting challenge of making each issue of The REVIEW look fresh enough to actually entice readers to pick up a copy and  read what the words conveyed within.   Dave was also one of the most loyal associates I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with to build this publication.

In his own words, Dave was also “a broke beat wizard’. But he was also an incredibly loving son, brother, uncle, father, and friend.  Dave served in the United States Air Force as a bomb navigational systems technician and received an honorable discharge before earning a degree in Journalism with a minor in Art from Central Michigan University. In addition to working at The REVIEW, Dave later went on to work as a graphic designer at Zehnder’s Restaurant in Frankenmuth, moving to Grand Rapids in the mid-2000s to expand his involvement, not only as a weekend disc jockey on a public radio station WYCE 88.1 FM, but also teaching computer and internet classes to seniors in an adult education program.  Dave also volunteered in community theater and at Habitat for Humanity in Grand Rapids.

Recently, Dave began compiling his original writings, poetry, illustrations, music and photography and his daughter, Diana, looks forward to completing this compilation and releasing a final book.

RIP my dear friend. Row your boat gently up that stream to eternity. May you share your mad and magical vision with the heavens for eternity.

Here are some links to Dave’s works and creativity.  And of course, you can see all of his REVIEW covers in our archive section online.







Please login to comment



Current Issue


Don't have an account?