Boston’s Billy, A Fan For The Ages

Billy Ruane wasn’t a legendary concert promoter, an iconic agent or even a roadie.

Ruane was the music fan of Boston and, after he was found dead in his Cambridge apartment Oct. 26 at age 52, Beantown’s music world and media saluted him, as did New Yorker music critic Alex Ross.

Ruane became part of the scene’s history in 1987 when, while planning his 30th birthday party, he convinced the owners of the Middle East restaurant in Cambridge to use their stage space for live music, according to the Boston Globe’s music blog.

The 575-capacity Middle East remains one of the region’s most important live venues. He also helped organize concerts in the state’s prisons and would help promoters determine the order bands should play at club dates. The urn of his ashes will be kept at the Middle East, according to his sister.