Rest in Peace, Black Cat Bill (Updated: He’s Still Alive.)

Black Cat Bill by Erin Williams

Update (8:30am, 30 November 2011) Black Cat Bill is alive. Ryan Little from the City Paper was able to track down Bill in the Deanwood Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, and confirm he’s still with us. Sorry, Bill. We’re glad you’re alright.

Photo, with permission, by Erin Williams

Dave Stroup reported on Twitter last night that Black Cat Bill, unofficial doorman for the Black Cat on 14th street, has passed away. Bill was an institution on 14th street for years and years, panhandling in front of the rock club, his signature call of “Black Cat, Black Cat, how bout a little change for the homeless,” is familiar to anyone who ever caught a show at the Cat.

In 2009, Bill sat down for dinner with Erin Williams, who documented it for her blog, Journal of Rock Photographer, and the piece is too good to spoil with even a pull quote.

Peace, Bill. 14th won’t be the same without you.

There’s word brewing that there might be a benefit for homeless charities at the Cat in coming days, but no details are yet available.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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6 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Black Cat Bill (Updated: He’s Still Alive.)

  1. He will be missed by many! One of the few people in DC that a looked forward to giving a dollar to every time I saw him.

  2. For the record, the only evidence we have of Bill’s death right now is one person’s tweet. There has been no other confirmation as of yet.

  3. FWIW I received the information via multiple sources that I trust. It’s difficult to verify; as no one including myself seem to know his last name, etc.

    I worked at the Cat, and heard it from people I absolutely would believe.

  4. I hope there will still be a benefit in his honor for the homeless in DC since it is still such a great need and Bill can enjoy it while he is still with us!