Randy Beckham, the owner and artistic director of Pyrotex, a North Texas fireworks company, has died. He was 60. His name may sound familiar: Art&Seek recently profiled him for an Artist Spotlight.
Beckham entered the world of professional pyrotechnics in 1979. His first clients were the Bee Gees. He toured with them and created fireworks shows for their concerts. One of the perks: His work was featured in the 1979 television special that the band recorded for NBC.
Prior to that, Beckham had little fireworks experience. He told Art&Seek that he’d only made shows for small family functions.
“I grew up in far North Dallas – the Hillcrest and North Haven area – and if you wanted to get fireworks, you had to travel to the city limits,” Beckham recalled. “Anyway, I was given $100 and I came back with a bunch of fireworks. I put on a show in the yard. I would do this every year. That is until I accidentally shot a bottle rocket under a car and everyone said, ‘No More!'”
Even though he loved fireworks, Beckham didn’t grow up wanting to work in pyrotechnics. During college at Southern Methodist University, Beckham studied journalism and media. He also had a great love for the theater.
That passion helped him see his own craft as art.
“Theater is art. Dance is art. Pyrotechnics?” Beckham asked. “To most of [people], it’s still just a 4th of July show, and they don’t see any of the other things we do all year long.”
Pyrotex’s slogan is “Every Show Is A Work Of Art.” Beckham told Art&Seek that potential customers sometimes told him that all he did was blow things up. He had a standard reply: “Pyro is art, and ours is with attitude.”
And boy, did Beckham have a whole lot of attitude. During his conversation with Art&Seek, Beckham made a handful of “dad jokes.” Some of the jokes landed, others did not. Paige Mejia, Pyrotex’s Sales & Marketing Manager, says everyone remembers his “corny jokes” and that they will be missed.
Mejia reached out to Art&Seek to let us know about Beckham passing. She said he died on the morning of July 6 — just a couple of days after Pyrotex performed more than 30 shows across the state for the Fourth of July.
“We were lucky to have him witness one last successful 4th of July weekend,” said Mejia.
Beckham had planned to retire in September.
He’d been dealing with health issues and died from congestive heart failure, said Mejia. Beckham is survived by his wife, Linda; his son, Matthew; his brother, Doug; his two stepchildren, Gretna and Isabelle; and two grandchildren.