In Memoriam: Carl Monzo

November 17, 2020
In Memoriam: Carl Monzo

On Monday, Nov. 16, Carl Monzo – who worked as a head-of-security for some of the jam scene’s biggest acts and events – passed away. But it wasn’t long before the likes of Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir and more recalled his impact on their lives.

“Phish is a family, and Carl was a beloved member of that family,” Trey Anastasio recalled of the late Monzo, who fronted Phish’s security team. “Whenever I arrived at a venue on the bus, Carl’s smiling face was always the first to welcome me. In the hallways outside of our dressing rooms, when we showed up at a venue and when we left at the end of the night, Carl was everywhere. He was always laughing and smiling, and made us feel safe and relaxed.”

Monzo was the president and CEO of National Event Services, which provided event staffing and medical services for some of the biggest touring acts and largest concerts in America, including Dead & Company, Phish, Bonnaroo, Coachella and Stagecoach. 

“Incredibly sad day in our rock and roll world. Our dear pal Carl Monzo is now working the Great Gig in the Sky,” rock photographer Jay Blakesberg wrote via social media. “Carl was head of security for Dead and Co, Phish, all the Cloud 9 shows, and so much more. He was kind, fair, gentle and always had a smile for you. The teams he put together to keep us all safe are the best in the business(second photo is the core Dead and Co security team with Karl in the center). I know every single person who has interacted with this man is very sad today.”

Added Phish creative director Julia Morduant added via Twitter on Monday, “We unexpectedly lost a huge part of the Phish org today with the passing of our dear friend and co-worker Carl Monzo, Phish’s head of security. RIP Carl.”

Monzo is survived by his wife Pattyann and the rest of his family.

“Security will never be as secure or as warm again without this wonderful human,” Dave Schools of Widespread Panic recalled.

Longtime destination event organizer Dan Berkowitz wrote at length about Monzo’s work ethic and kind disposition, saying, “We lost a great man. Carl Monzo made everyone he ever met feel seen, feel important, feel worthy of his attention. And of course, he made us feel safe. He was so kind. He was direct. He was honest. He had integrity. He never ever lost his cool. We all want more time with him. We all want to feel the way he made us feel again. He was so special.”

He added, “I take comfort knowing that Carl lived a great life. He had so many people in his professional and personal life that loved him so much. He found his place and was loved and appreciated by so many. He had inner peace and we were all drawn to that. He was happy until his final moments: adorning his home with Christmas decorations. He loved spending time at home and he loved his family so much… As Carl would always remind us, we’re all human beings that can make each other feel good if we try.”

Or, as Bob Weir put simply, “Via con Dios, Carl. Thank you for all you did for us.”

Check out some memories of Monzo below: