Gregory Michael Amov

(Nov 6th 1959 - Nov 3rd 2009)

Greg Amov, musician and programmer, 1959-2009.

Greg Amov, a noted Southern California electronic musician, computer programmer and instructor, died at his home in West Hollywood on Nov 3rd after a three month battle with brain cancer. He was 49.

Greg was born in Los Angeles but grew up in San Diego where his father was a college professor and his mother taught piano. He attended Patrick Henry High School and Grossmont Junior College before going to UCSB on a Regents Scholarship for music. After one year he transfered to Cal State Northridge where he completed his BA in Music Composition and Theory.

On returning to San Diego in 1984 Greg put aside his viola and keyboards to become involved in the database computer industry, working with midrange systems such as Microdata, Pick, Mentor, Prime.

In 1986 he moved to Orange County to be part of a software team headed by his best friend, Steven Davies-Morris. It was shortly afterwards that he met his future wife, Diane.

In the early 90s Greg became involved with Windows NT, Unix and then Linux based systems in Orange County and Los Angeles. During this time he began teaching database fundamentals, administration and programming workshops with JES & Associates in Newport Beach.

During his professional career, Greg was heavily involved in the development and support of applications for medical claims processing, prescription drug tracking, manufacturing, distribution, retail sales, film processing and point-of-sale for dry-cleaning.

Greg never gave up his interest in music, continuing to write using synthesizers and then computers. In 1998 he formed the electronic music trio Systems Theory, becoming a pioneer in the use of PC-based recording tools and the internet to create music in different parts of the world.

While producing several internationally distributed albums in a band context Greg also created three highly-regarded solo albums, and provided music for healing arts videos and corporate projects.

Greg was notorious for his sense of the absurd and his ability to produce a really bad joke or pun. He would frequently call friends from his car and start the conversation with "Did I tell you the one about...".

In 2006 while working for the LA Unified School District Greg was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He survived it with the aide of surgery at USC, but never fully recovered his health. In August of this year it returned, having become systemic, settling in his brain.

Undeterred by his cancer Greg continued to work on computer and music projects until he could no longer physically do so. The music will be released carefully and respectfully over the next few years by his Systems Theory bandmates.

Greg is survived by his wife of 21 years, Diane; and in San Diego his father Mel; his mother, Diana; and his sister, Rachel.

Of Greg, his wife Diane has written this:

One of Greg's favorite authors, Spider Robinson, once wrote, "Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased—thus do we refute entropy."

With these words, I hope to refute entropy just a little.

Greg Amov was a loving husband, a sympathetic brother, a steadfast friend, and a true companion. He was the glue that held us all together -- all of the strays he had gathered with such care and concern.

Sometimes, he was the glue that held us together as individuals. He could do that with a joke, and he was always ready with one. He could also do it with one simple question: "How can I help?" And, he wouldn't just ask; he would follow through, no matter how tired or hungry or beset or depressed he was -- always. If his death has taught me anything, it is to live like he lived in that respect.

Greg had his faults, but they will never change the fact that he was the best, most loving person I've ever known. Not a day goes by that I don't miss his wise, gentle, helpful presence in my life. His picture should be in the dictionary under the word "partner".

Indeed, there aren't enough words in the dictionary to convey who Greg was and what lasting effects he had on all of us who knew him. Everything I've said here seems cold and inadequate. But, words are what I'm left with, so I'll end with this:

I have never met anybody like Greg Amov, before or since. His passing has left gaping holes in me and in the universe itself. There will never be another like him. I will miss him until the day I die.

Diane Amov


San Diego Troubadour's Obituary to Greg