Joseph D. Roman, 61

Writer, music promoter

October 13, 2006

Joseph Dennis Roman, a former music promoter and writer who was working as a salesman, took his own life Monday in Baltimore's Wyman Park. He was 61 and a resident of the Roland Park neighborhood.

"He had been diagnosed with and was being treated for depression," said his former wife, Paula Roman, a Baltimore photographer.

Mr. Roman was born and raised in Louisville, Ky., and earned a degree in sociology from the University of Louisville.

He was drafted into the Army in 1966, served with an entertainment unit in Vietnam and wrote articles for the military's Stars and Stripes newspaper .

"He toured with Bob Hope and was in the cast of The Soldier's Play," Ms. Roman said. After leaving the service in 1968, Mr. Roman moved to Southern California and was a contributing editor for Rolling Stone.

In 1970, Mr. Roman moved to Atlanta and with a partner converted an old coffeehouse into the Twelfth Gate jazz and rock music club, where such bands as the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead performed.

After the club closed in 1974, Mr. Roman became a contributing editor for The Atlanta Gazette and later Creative Loafing, both underground newspapers.

"He played a little guitar but was a wonderful wordsmith who did so much for music in Atlanta. He had a lot of soul," said Stephen W. Wofford, a longtime friend who is a vocalist with the Atlanta-based Thermos Greenwood Band.

Mr. Roman moved to Baltimore in the 1990s and worked for Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC.

He enjoyed performing in community theater productions and visiting art museums. He was a member of Creative Alliance, Walters Art Museum and Contemporary Museum.

"He was an avid University of Kentucky basketball, Atlanta Braves and Orioles fan," Ms. Roman said.

Mr. Roman donated his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board. Plans for a memorial gathering were incomplete yesterday.

Also surviving are his parents, Joseph T. and Agatha B. Roman, and a sister, Kathy Sheppard, all of Louisville.

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