News: Guitar hero
Story by Sgt. Zachary Gardner
TACOMA, Wash. – Aside from being an auto enthusiast with sleeved tattoos, Daymon Fritz, a Tacoma native, is also a talented musician. He jams an acoustic guitar at a local tea and coffee house during open mic nights and is a member of an up-and-coming band, DedElectric.
Fritz’s lyrics range from topical to deeply personal, covering relationships, religious jewelry, and even siblings. After finding out that his brother was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, he begrudgingly promised to play at his funeral.
The song turned into a celebration of his life, said Frtiz. His brother likes to live fast and take life head on and he wanted the song to reflect that passion. Like his brother, Fritz is no stranger to life in the Army.
During the day, Fritz, a U.S. Army specialist and a systems administrator for the 42nd Military Police Brigade, maintains, processes and troubleshoots Army computer systems.
The job is both structured and challenging for Fritz. His day-to-day routine is governed by regulations and operating procedures.
Though good for vacation planning, a predictable schedule comes with a price, little creativity outside of his desk. So, to regain his vitality he spends most evenings playing a guitar outside his barracks in an effort to better define himself.
“His parents bought an electric guitar for his sister for her birthday,” said Shayna Yarberry, a Bellingham native and Fritz’s friend since the sixth grade. “She didn’t end up using it. So, he started playing it and that’s how he got introduced into music.”
By watching him play now, it would be hard to tell that there was a time when Fritz went weeks without touching his guitar. Work was busy and other things began to take priority. It was hard to find time to play.
At the persistence of his girlfriend, he started to regain his enthusiasm for music. He soon started playing again, and before long he was playing at local venues and approached by bands.
“She gave me the idea to start going to the open mics,” said Fritz. “I was nervous at first, but I went up there and it was well received, so I kept going back. I’ve become a regular.”
Through his music, Fritz has met people from all walks of life, and it has allowed for him to gain a stronger connection with his neighborhood. But, Fritz doesn’t just move people with his music: he also just helps them move.
Fritz said that he enlisted the help of his friends to help the owners of the Olive Branch Cafe move once he heard they were changing locations.
He said that the cafe is a small business and that he wanted to help, “build a sense of community.”
When he’s not in uniform, you could easily mistake him for one of the hipsters that roam the Northwestern landscape. He has slicked hair, tattoos, and drinks craft root beer. His music and his duty for country run deep. While stationed at JBLM, Fritz will continue to play at the Olive Branch Cafe’s new location in the Theatre District.
“The thing I love about music is that it’s for everyone,” Fritz said. “It’s kind of ubiquitous. Everyone can relate to music in some way. Everyone loves a certain kind. I’ve never met a single person in my life that doesn’t like music.”