Adam Parker Block, 56, died Sunday morning January 27th at his home in San Francisco after a protracted pulmonary illness. A fifth generation Seattleite, he was born at Swedish Hospital February 7, 1951. He attended high school at Lakeside and Putney Schools and college at Reed, California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), graduating from Harvard.
Adam was a writer, avid reader and keen social observer and critic whose deep curiosity and insights crossed many disciplines. He lived in San Francisco for the past 30 years. In the 80’s Adam was popular music critic for The Advocate where he wrote a regular column, "Block on Rock". His writing also appeared in numerous publications including Mother Jones, the San Francisco Examiner magazine Image, the Bay Area Reporter, the New Musical Express and Creem. During that time, Adam interviewed virtually every pop star from Elton John to Bono.
Adam was a challenging and unforgettable friend, in turns fiercely loyal and loving and breathtakingly selfish, combative and self absorbed. His curiosity, knowledge, humor and spirit were contagious. Adam believed punctuality, deadlines and being awake during daylight hours were vastly overrated. He loved to outrage and often bragged that being gay, Jewish and half Texan (on his mother’s side)---he had something to offend most everyone. Adam loved literature, art, music, film, news, politics, humor, ideas, food, drink and travel---but most of all, smart lively conversation and animated debate.
Adam is survived by nine siblings; Jonathan, Daniel, Kenan, Susanna, Mary Judith, Tamara, Christina, Melinda, Newton and his step mother, Mary Lou Block as well as 13 nieces and nephews. Adam’s father Robert Jackson Block and mother Dorothy Wolens Block preceded him in death.
With Adam’s death, the lives of those who knew him will be calmer and quieter but far less interesting.
I met Adam and Kenan on the beach in Puerto Vallarta in the early 1980's. Adam read from the book, "Confederacy of Dunces" while I knotted the fringe of his Mexican blanket. Sunscreen flew and splattered all over his body and anyone else who was nearby. We rented a ponga boat and set out to sea. All the way I kept saying that I wanted to run into John Huston and sure enough, as our little boat pulled into Boca de Tomatlan....there was John Huston, all dressed in white. A true gift. On the way to the circus, Adam twisted his ankle, no slowing down, bought a cane and some meds and walked on. I have thought about Adam and Kenan many, many times over the years. I am honored to have met them both. Nancy McKee