Will Stewart, left, grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan, and, after earning a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University, moved to Ann Arbor to work at the Ann Arbor News. After a 13-year run covering all manner of local news, he left daily journalism in 2001 to open a record store, write freelance music criticism, and live a life of Bohemian disregard for conventionalism. Then financial reality hit, and he closed the record store and got a job in public relations, where he toiled in blissful obscurity. He was an unreconstructed record collector, finder of yard sale treasures, and musician, and loved by most everybody he came into contact with. After a lengthy courageous — and gracious — fight against an aggressive form of cancer, Will died on February 10, 2017. He was 50.
Bay City native and the2Williams creator Bill Hanson is a Deadline Detroit contributor. He worked as a journalist at the pre-strike Detroit Free Press, where he wrote the weekly “Homegrown” music column. A graduate of the University of Michigan and resident of Ann Arbor for nearly 40 years, he has written about music for Deadline Detroit, the Detroit Sunday Journal, and was a contributing editor on MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, and the anthology “That Devil Music: Best Rock Writing 2014.” Follow him @wilhan on Twitter.