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Nine Inch Nails Superfan and Photojournalist Andrew Youssef Dies at 38

Andrew Youssef

It was only two weeks ago when we wrote about Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor using Facetime to interact with a terminally ill fan onstage during a performance in Las Vegas. That fan was esteemed concert photographer and journalist Andrew Youssef, and we’ve just learned he passed away from colon cancer on Nov. 30.

Youssef was diagnosed with colon cancer in early 2011. He worked as a hospital pharmacist by day, but despite his struggle with stage four cancer and an estimated 6 percent chance of survival, Youssef kept photographing concerts until he was no longer physically able. The man even turned his cancer battle into the OC Weekly in-depth column ‘Last Shot,’ which he updated regularly throughout 2013.

In a Sept. 26 post from Youssef, the journalist revealed that he only had months, if not weeks, left to live, jotting down an emotional parallel between his situation and the Nine Inch Nails track ‘In This Twilight.’

Youssef’s final ‘Last Shot’ post was published on Oct. 10. At that point, having learned about Youssef’s column, Trent Reznor and the rest of Nine Inch Nails befriended the ailing superfan. The band even invited Youssef to check out their ‘Tension’ 2013 tour rehearsals, where Youssef regularly ate lunch and dinner with the band and had conversations with Reznor about everything from ‘Breaking Bad’ to fighting cancer.

“Saying goodbye to everyone was definitely the most difficult part,” Youssef writes. “I felt as though I was now a part of the Nine Inch Nails family. One of the crew members even suggested I should just jump on tour with them, which was beyond flattering. As I left, the band showered me with guitar picks and drumsticks and signed the Dave Smith Prophet 12 keyboard I recently purchased as a treat for myself. I would like to thank Trent, Mariqueen, Alessandro, Nine Inch Nails, Eric, Jim, Courtney, Rob and the entire crew for such a life-changing experience. Those were honestly were the best days of my life.”

Youssef attended Nail Inch Nails’ Nov. 8 concert in Los Angeles, but was unable to make the band’s Nov. 16 Las Vegas show due to his condition. Because of this, Reznor Facetimed his friend Youssef, giving him a 360˚ view of the crowd who chanted “Andrew! Andrew!” After promising to call Youssef after the show, Nine Inch Nails performed ‘In This Twilight’ as somewhat of a tribute to their dying friend.

Andrew Youssef was 38 years old. Our thoughts go out to all of his loved ones. In his memory, check out his fascinating ‘Last Shot‘ column for OC Weekly. Rest in Peace.

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