The untimely death last week of tech advocate and digital media pioneer Alan Weinkrantz in Tel Aviv shocked the San Antonio tech and startup community, but friends and colleagues will turn tragedy into celebration at the Paper Tiger on the North St. Mary’s Strip Monday evening where the Blue Note Ringos and other local musicians will perform Beatles songs in memory of the man, his life’s work, and many friendships.
The event, open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m.
Weinkrantz, 63, died last Saturday from injuries he sustained when a vehicle crashed into the Tel Aviv cafe where he and others were seated after the driver apparently suffered a heart attack and lost control. Two others, including the driver, died in the accident, and six other cafe patrons were seriously injured. Funeral services for Weinkrantz will be held in Dallas, his hometown, on Friday. He is survived by a son, Aaron, and a daughter, Lauren, both of whom live in New York and will attend the Monday memorial service here. Friday’s funeral service will be livestreamed here.
(Read more: San Antonio Tech PR Pioneer Dies in Israeli Accident)
Weinkrantz, himself an enthusiastic garage band performer, loved the Beatles and other iconic ’60s bands. He seldom missed a local concert by touring acts that reunited decades after their original success. He reviewed for the Rivard Report concerts by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, Dave Mason, and Art Garfunkel, all of whom appeared in recent years at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Monday night at the Paper Tiger will not be a somber remembrance.
“I think Alan would have gotten a huge kick out of people celebrating his life in this fashion rather than a mournful event. He was not a mournful guy,” said Chad Carey, the club’s owner, who is donating all bar proceeds to the family. “I knew Alan before I got into the restaurant business. We were introduced by friends in the tech and PR world at a dinner. Alan was random and strange and highly entertaining.
“Six years ago, when we opened the Monterrey, I wasn’t even on Facebook or other social media,” Carey recalled. “I asked Alan what I was supposed to do. I didn’t have any money, but he said not to worry about it. He got us set up and taught me how to do things. Monday night will be a celebration of Alan Weinkrantz, who we will miss terribly and who is gone too soon.”
A GoFundMe campaign launched By Lorenzo Gomez III, CEO of Geekdom, where Weinkrantz was an early member, has raised $16,976 in three days with 191 individual contributions as of Wednesday afternoon and an end goal of $25,000.
The Blue Note Ringos, a local Beatles feature band, will be the lead performers at the memorial, but Carey and David Heard, CEO of Tech Bloc and one of the event’s organizers, are encouraging other local musicians to show up if they would like to either perform their own mini set or possibly perform with others.
“Alan had a very childlike spirit and that is what drew people to him,” Heard said, “and at the end of the day we are trying to throw a memorial that Alan himself would have liked to attend. There are a couple of Beatles cover bands that play at the Cove regularly, and we had originally envisioned some of the top local musicians coming together because they all have a repertoire of Beatles songs they can roll out. I ‘d love it if musicians showed up and sat in or we had small sets with various musicians and bands playing.”
Carey is hoping for the same kind of spontaneous remembrance.
“The Beatles were Alan’s jam,” Carey said. “It would be wonderful if this party turned into something magical.”
Top image: San Antonio tech pioneer Alan Weinkrantz with Nan Palmero of The Denim Group. Courtesy photo.