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School of Seven Bells co-founder Benjamin Curtis dead at 35

Posted 8:46pm on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013

Benjamin Curtis, who cut his teeth in the Dallas rock scene before joining nationally recognized acts like Secret Machines and School of Seven Bells, died Sunday.

He was 35.

Curtis had been battling T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, since early 2013, and musicians around the world rallied to help him pay his prodigious medical bills.

With stints in beloved North Texas bands like UFOFU and Tripping Daisy, the one-time Lake Highlands resident and Oklahoma native, who moved to New York in 2000, told DFW.com’s Cary Darling in 2012 that he always had fond memories of his time living in Texas.

“There's a certain kind of attitude [in North Texas],” Curtis said, ahead of a spring show at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. “I really respond to it. There's something about the way you deal with people that is pretty genuine and pretty real. But, in reality, there's something I like about every city I go to.”

On its Facebook page, the surviving members of School of Seven Bells thanked fans for their support.

“We can’t thank all of you who supported him and his music through the years enough,” read the statement, in part. “All of you who attended or participated in the various benefits in and around New York City over the past year since his diagnosis, and of course those who contributed and gave generously to help support him throughout that journey. You made it possible for all of us, and for him, to see how truly loved he was and how many lives he had touched through his music by your gestures.

“We will all miss this incredibly talented and rare person every day, but we are fortunate enough that he shared with us his music, and that is something that we can keep forever.”

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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