Guiltless and Free: Remembering Collier Pearson, A Man So Alive
THIS STORY WAS INITIALLY RELEASED LATE JUNE, 2017. IT WAS TIMED TO RELEASE AHEAD OF THE SUMMER GOD'S TOUR SHOW IN PHILLY.
For many fans, this show would be the highlight of their Summer. For many fans, it was just going to be a fun night. For a group of 50 or so in attendance, it was so much more. The family and friends of Collier Pearson attended that show at Penn's Landing to honor his life, one lost far too early. They were having a wake for his young soul.
This was the first in-depth story that I had written about someone else, for someone else. Something that started from a simple tweet turned into hours of talking, researching, and putting together the article below. The story of this young man, a fan, a true expert... It hit my heart in a deep place. It touched me. It made me cry, multiple times. It did the same for others in our community as well. Collier's story is real, it's raw, and it's deeper than bones.
Today marks the one year anniversary of Collier's tragic passing. The initial writing of this story was to help honor him. We'd like to honor him again, today, by rereleasing this story in place of our typical Expert of the Week interview. Today, Collier is our Expert.
For those who didn't have a chance to read it the first time around, I hope you are touched by Collier's life. The world really lost someone special here. For those who did read it this past June, have another look and prepare yourself to get all those feels again.
Our thoughts are with the Pearson family today as they are missing him. As we know, the Third Eye Blind community is a family. While Collier was not personally known to many of us, we still recognize him as part of our family and what a great soul he was. We are missing him today, too.
“I like fun, music, friends, embarrassing myself to make others smile, good food, poker, sports..learning, playing guitar hero”
This is how Collier Pearson described himself on Facebook. Taking a minute to look at his photos, I have no doubt that this description fits him to a tee. My first impression? He’s vibrant and adventurous. A love for life just radiates from him. He’s talented, strong, and someone who truly lives the days he goes through. He’s the guy that’s irrefutably so alive - and he’s gorgeous for it.
I’m The Sound That’s Buzzing Round Your Head
Collier’s love for Third Eye Blind came early. He memorized all of their songs and he “especially loved Motorcycle Drive By. That song he would play to death when we would drive to school back when we were in elementary school,“ recalls his brother Riley. Later, being a musician himself, Collier was part of a cover band that was “supremely influenced by 3EB. I think Stephan really captured the teenage angst everyone is feeling in that time of their lives so it really resonated with him and all of us. Collier would learn all the songs on the guitar, since that’s what he played. I’d come home and hear him playing Deep Inside Of You because that was one of his favorites, too.” You could say that Collier was an Original Expert.
Can I Graduate?
In 2007, Collier graduated from Governor Mifflin High School with honors. He’d also been an athlete, playing both football and volleyball. He continued to play sports while attending West Chester University where he studied Economics and Finance. He graduated from college in 2011 and began his career as a Staff Accountant. He also worked late nights as a bar back. With everything he was involved in, Collier had a huge social sphere. “He had the biggest group of friends I’d ever seen,” said Riley, “and he maintained them like he was the kindhearted staple in their relationships.”
Summer Gods Got Me Screaming
With the 20 year anniversary of Self-Titled approaching, Collier was excited about the upcoming Summer Gods Tour. An avid concert goer, Collier had already seen Third Eye Blind play a handful of times. This would be his fifth or sixth show. He purchased tickets to the June 25th show in Philadelphia right away and planned to attend with his brother Max and some old friends from college.
A Sadness I Can’t Erase
On February 16th, 2017 Collier finished a long night of work and was headed home to get some rest. It was a Thursday morning, just past 5 a.m. A tractor trailer on the same route suddenly jackknifed, causing Collier to collide with the rig. The SUV he’d been driving was crushed between the cab and trailer, robbing the world of another young soul. He was 27 years old.
Wake For Young Souls
In his obituary, Collier is remembered as someone who “made the most of every moment. He didn’t leave any “leftovers.” He was a fearless adventurist who loved hanging out with his friends, playing music and watching Philadelphia sports teams.” Services were held for Collier on the following Tuesday, February 21st, at his home church. Riley said that, “his funeral service was incredible because so many people came. The church typically holds around 250 people and all the pews were filled and people even stood in the back. You could see that so many people cared and loved him to have that kind of crowd.” A special tribute was performed by his brother Max - a cover of Motorcycle Drive By. Riley said it “was something incredible because we could all feel his spirit with us when we heard that song.”
We Can Bridge The Distance
So what about that Philadelphia show? If you follow Stephan on Twitter, this story may have sounded familiar. Riley had posted about their loss and that over 50 friends and family members now plan to attend the Philadelphia stop of the Summer Gods Tour in Collier’s honor, a plan thought up by Max and their parents. “He had tickets to go see 3eb at the show we’re going to on the 25th so we thought it’d be a great way to kind of fulfill that for him. Like a last concert to him to listen to through us,” is how Riley explained it to me when we spoke.
My Thoughts Are Warm
That Twitter post was how we at Lifestyle first became aware of Collier’s story. I got in touch with Riley shortly after Stephan’s retweet to find out more. After speaking with him and doing some research of my own, I have to say that I’m more than honored to have had the opportunity to find out about Collier and his beautiful soul, and I’m truly saddened that we lost a true treasure with his passing. Riley told me that, “overall, Collier was just a genuine, full-hearted man who never held back when it came to anything that he faced in life,” and I couldn’t agree more. My heart and the hearts of all our Experts here at Lifestyle go out to the Pearson family for your loss. We didn’t know Collier, but he was one of us. We hope that you find healing and closure this week in Philly .
Some People Scream And Some People Are Gracious
To close, here’s a last word from Riley: “I just wanted to say I’m so proud to have been lucky enough to be his family and to have known him my entire life and I’m so thankful for bands like 3eb and people like Stephan Jenkins that can create such beauty through lyrics and music that could make him and us feel so strongly and now he’ll be that little image that sparks in my mind whenever I hear any song of theirs.”