ARVADA, Colo. — Officer Gordon Beesley’s life reached beyond his role as a school resource officer; he was a drummer at heart and played in notable bands, like Brethren Fast and The Railbenders.
Nathan Nicholson says Beesely shared his drumming skills with him and later selected him as his replacement with Brethren Fast. The two became friends in 1995.
“I just saw this guy behind the drums with a big smile on his face, and he was loving what he was doing,” Nicholson said. “He was a singing and playing drums — he could do both and the crowd loved it.”
Nicholson still plays one of Beesley’s original songs, “Greese Ball Creeper.” It’s a song about an oil change that Beesley wrote, played and sang. Picking up his custom Brethren Fast drumsticks, the memories come flooding back to Nicholson.
“Something special about him, he had a strong connection with the drumming, with music,” Nicholson said. “Drumming was important to Gordon. He knew what to play during the verse, the chorus, the bridge, and that’s what made him an in-demand drummer.”
Beesley started playing the drums when he was a kid and marched to the beat of his own drum — not the stereotypical musician.
“I don’t think I ever heard the guy use profanity ever, so he was a different type of musician,” Nicholson said. “He was good-looking on the stage.”
He loved Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley. Nicholson can still recall one of Beesley’s favorite songs, "Fever" by Presley.
Nicholson says Beesley’s big smile was a glimpse into his big heart.
“He had a passion for community, for service and for his family,” Nicholson said.
Beesley's friends say he also used music as a bridge to connect with kids at school.
The officer's friends are still processing his murder, which came as a shock. Beesley was shot and killed in Olde Town Arvada on Monday.
“Overall, the music community lost a family member, a brother,” Nicholson said.