He walks through the door. Heads turn. Eyes open widely and people start laughing in anticipation of jokes that haven’t been told yet. Someone throws up his hands and yells, “Yo!” Rob, in his Kangol hat, t-shirt and jeans, makes his way through the crowd, greeting every person in the room. The greetings are genuine. He makes eye contact with everyone, kissing cheeks and shaking hands. There’s a lot of hugging. He asks how people are doing. Inside jokes are told. Quick impressions are performed. Finally, he gets to you and hugs you forcefully. It’s a little jarring. He’s full of energy, and suddenly, so are you.
Robert McAllister was many things. He was a partner, a father, a son, a brother, a musician, and a friend. No one who knew Rob had a neutral opinion of him. He lived life passionately, and his passion was contagious. His presence changed things. You laughed a little harder, drank a little more, and felt a little more alive when he was around. He loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his music, and he loved a good story.
And with Rob, you could become part of a good story at any moment. Clothing might be removed, prank calls might be made, and beers would certainly be involved. For some reason, Rob helped you get caught up in the moment. His spontaneity was part of his charm. This could mean getting a spur-of-the-moment tattoo, or ordering one more drink before you called it a night. When Rob was involved, you didn’t want to miss out. You wanted to be involved, too.
Music was central to Rob’s life. It was his mode of expression, and the bedrock on which his friendships were built. He loved a good song, and he showed it emphatically- no, aggressively. I can see him now, pursing his lips together as he violently air drums a fill, pumping his fist to the rhythm of a crash cymbal. I mean, he absolutely loved music. Never a casual listener, he obsessed over his favorite records, learning riffs and memorizing lyrics. He traveled to shows, sang along up front, and bought t-shirts from the merch tables. Eventually, he played in his own bands (Capital, Iron Chic, The Reformation) and wrote great songs, songs he wanted to hear that hadn’t yet been written.
As a friend, Rob made everyone feel special. Because to Rob, everyone was special. He would tell you he loved you often. He reminded you how good it was to see you. He was eager to help, to give advice, to laugh at your jokes. He would urge you to make plans and keep them. He would show up and watch your band play when the room was mostly empty. He would visit you at your job just because he was nearby. He would change your oil, offer you rides, and buy your drinks. Rob was the kind of friend that inspired people to be better to their loved ones.
Family meant everything to Rob. As the sole breadwinner of the household, Rob worked hard to build a comfortable life for his family. When he passed away, he left behind his partner, Marisa, and his daughter, Ramona. Living on Long Island is expensive, so Marisa and Ramona are going to need our help. It’s important that we rally and support Rob’s family not only through the initial shock of loss, but also through the difficult days ahead. For all of the times that Rob took care of us, we owe it to him to take care of his family in their time of need.
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Friends of the McAllister Family and the entire Long Island Punk and Hardcore Community