Johnny Took a Jetpack


On June 18th, 2005, I was invited to a get-together in Bloomington, Minnesota that would change my life. At that house, whose address read ‘9800’, I found and befriended a group of guys and gals that from then on would be the best, closest, and wildest friends anyone could ever wish for. I was 17 years old.

It was at 9800 that I met Johnny Nyquist.

Johnny was warm and welcoming from the moment I met him. An easy person to be around, an easy person to laugh with. An optimist. We had a shared interest in skateboarding – we were both extremely mediocre, but that never stopped us. Johnny’s talent with computers and photography was a marvel to be seen. He loved chicken wings.

On October 22nd, 2010, an X-ray revealed a mass in his chest near his heart. The mass was a football-sized germ cell tumor. In February 2011, after an unbelievable series of surgeries, the germ cell tumor was defeated. But follow up scans showed problematic lesions and Johnny was diagnosed with cancer again, this time angiosarcoma. Angiosarcoma is an incredibly rare and aggressive form of soft tissue cancer (less than 0.1% of all malignant cancers). Because this type of cancer is so rare, there is very little we know about it. Johnny underwent experimental treatment which was at times very painful, but he had the faith and courage to be an instrument to gain more knowledge about this cancer. It was a noble fight.

On December 22nd, 2013 our Johnny took a jetpack to the Moon. His family was with him when he took his last breath. He was 29 years old.

Johnny’s memory is survived by his father Jack, mother Maureen, sister Keely, his dog Bernie, and a sea of friends that loved him dearly. I miss my friend so much it hurts. I feel ever grateful to have been one of the lucky few that got to spend time, laugh, share art, and fall down skateboarding with him.

My hope in releasing this song for free is to raise awareness and funding for research on angiosarcoma in our friend’s name. Continue John’s noble fight against this cancer.

Share the song, share the page, and continue being excellent to each other. In Johnny’s words, “You guys go enjoy.”


Big thank you to the following people for donating time to this project.

Matt Brady