Don’t Look Back

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Body Count, Fridge Note, It's not the heat, it's the humanity, Shovels

mikey and I got into the tall weeds about Boston albums in a faceHell thread about Robin Williams’ suicide.  We all deal with loss and terror different ways, and mikey and I started arguing about shovels and overproduced arena rock.

I was shocked by the news about Williams’ suicide.  As I have said in several locations, if the wealthy and successful who have access to the best in drugs and treatment can’t deal with the lying motherfucker that is depression, what hope do we normal fucking people have?

Here’s what mikey turns to:

Here are some of mine:

and, of course:


So, to keep RLJ’s FaceHell from getting too weird, here’s a place to talk about how you deal with brilliant people who take themselves from us, or how you you deal with depression and death, or how you want to hire me to design your multi-million dollar residence.

  1. . The Boston Radio channel needs moar Boston.

    HAH. not a problem with my Boston library.

    • …which, now that I look at it only contains the first album. Makes me wonder what happened to my vinyl copy of Don’t Look Back. I though I ripped all the vinyl I had in that crazy frenzy a year or two ago.

      Oh well. Not like I’ve missed it.

  2. RLJ says:

    Thank you, ZRM! I’ll play the soundtrack eating my comfort food of choice: Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream. Many sad peeps tonight….

  3. M. Bouffant says:

    This (& I’m not a huge fan of B.M.) helped a bit once when one of my friends died.

    Boy howdy, that mikey’s smart, & apparently a decent human being now, but he is one musical square.(Then again, so is Queen.)

  4. One of the personal favorite soundtracks for Wife Sublime and me when someone crucial passes, is Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut.

  5. mikey says:

    I can’t ever say how close to that edge I skated a few years ago, when I realized there was no hope and no future and I was going to be the weight at the end of the anchor chain for the rest of my life.

    I can’t say because people might misconstrue and freak out. It really could be quite the clinical discussion.

    But whatevs. First people who love me stepped up and refused to let me sink, then the fine people at Kaiser mental health gave me pillz and skillz and after a few weeks I realized that it was just another fucking disease, and you could treat the goddam thing.

    Then, this crazy Israeli wingnut who I worked for in the foggy, fuzzy, terrifying past, came and got me and gave me a job and a paycheck.

    And just like that, a year and a half later, I feel like part of the world, like there’s some kind of goddam connection, and maybe, just maybe, there’s something like magic in love and hope…

  6. mikey says:

    Holy crap on a sawdust sammich!!

    RLJ posted a blog comment!

    Y’know, she’s NEVER commented on my shitty little blog.

    I stand in awe…

    Shock & Awe.

    Shock & Awe & Ebola….

  7. M. Bouffant says:

    Also, the drugs are very hit & miss. In some cases I don’t think it’s even know exactly why/how they help. (Or don’t.)

    I took some crap that didn’t improve anything but did give me apparently permanent tinnitus, for example.

  8. Regarding the Pink Floyd connection:

    Wife Sublime and I had a nephew (adopted by her sister and BIL) who was one of the smartest fucking kids we had ever known. He was a proto-geek, before nerd-dom became cool, all about computers and sci-fi and learning and reading and just trying to figure out how the universe works. His great misfortune was that he wound up in a small rural community where that kind of intelligence was considered uncool and targeted for bullying. Being a smart kid (and, frankly, not having the resources of a city to tap into his intelligence [further aside: we offered to his parents to let him spend summers with us, so he could take advantage of all the summer programs at the museums and colleges; which never went anywhere]) he soon learned that intelligence was frowned upon. So he never went to college, and bounced through several low-level jobs and eventually spending a short time in jail. Eventually, he couldn’t get a better job than at McDonalds, and took the Robin Williams Exit with a bullet on his mother’s back patio.

    It was hard, and WS had a work event at the Milwaukee Public Museum shortly after; at which we mostly took advantage of the open bar and talked about how Michael’s life might have been different had we tried harder to get him into some of the college level programs.

    I still weep about this tragedy; and if anything has stopped me from the rope or the bullet, the idea of Michael’s useless and needless end has been it as much as anything.

    …well, that and the Mekons. Of course.

  9. You know what? I started playing the Final Cut Utube link I posted, but convenient as it is, is t sounds like shit. Time to restart with the Zombie Library version.

  10. OK. On this evening when I SHOULD be spending time working on marketing drawings for a client, instead I post this other superb album on death:

  11. another kiwi says:

    I’ve never been close to suicide, get a bit down due to being a screw-up at most things but something keeps me here. Fabulous Kiwi daughter had a school friend hang herself earlier this year. I don’t know what anyone could have done. Kiwi daughter (truly fabulous) has coped and shows no signs of anything beyond maybe going into psychology at University to help.
    I’m really sorry about Robin Williams. One guy on twitter said “If only he could have held on for one more day” but who knows how long that has been happening. Some other cockwomble told us all to shut up about it, we didn’t know him and we should worry about Gaza more. Fucking 14 year-old boy empathy is a great thing.
    What helps me is music (Dylan, Bragg, XTC,The Who, The Sex Pistols, The Clash,The jam, P.J.Harvey), poetry (Oliver, Heaney, Mack) and my internet bubble of people. Thanks y’all.

  12. mikey says:

    Look, to understand the Boston phenomenon you need to go back to that moment in time. It wasn’t about the songs, and it wasn’t even about Brad Delp’s soaring vocals. It was about hardware, and Tom Scholz, a genius electronic engineer and inventor who changed EVERYTHING about rock n roll in that one magic winter of ’76.

    It was a magic moment in music, with Fleetwood Mac in stride and Heart coming of age alongside Boston. But we all stopped, and our jaws dropped, and we were stunned by the recognition that familiar instruments could sound so…different.

    Come on. How far is it from Tom to Jack White? We learn tactics, but we can’t pretend that hardware and software doesn’t evolve too…

    • Come on. It HAS to be about the songs, or else why not just go work for AT&T?

      The songs were great, even I admit that. The technology supported them but the songs carried everything.

      jack White knows it is about the songs.

    • Look, you can’t claim it’s not about the songs and at the same time reference bands like Heart, Fleetwood Mac and the White Stripes. All of those bands, while taking advantage of production (and I would dispute Heart; their early albums were pretty low-tech) are completely willing to work within and without technology; in fact, I would maintain that Jack White is more concerned about working in older realms of technology than he would have to.

  13. Moving on from the Pink Floyd, it is now time for the Mekons “Journey To The End Of The Night” which features Neko Case and Kelly Hogan on vocals, and is not available in a full version of UTube. But all of you dudes really should have it; post-apocalyptic post-punk neo-folk concept albums really are rare.

  14. mikey says:

    I’ll try it this way. Boston just SOUNDED different than any band we’d ever heard before, because Tom put microprocessors in the guitars, and programmed them to sound the way they did, and in a moment when the sixties poured into the seventies and just seemed to be another moment in another human’s time, Tom showed us how technology could make rock n roll something it had never been and could never be.

    And THAT’S what we left behind and never looked back…

  15. Tom showed us how technology could make rock n roll something it had never been and could never be.

    Wait, what? Maybe you want to rephrase that in a way that I can understand your point? I mean, I get the first part, but the second seems to be unfinished.

  16. Tom showed us how technology could make rock n roll something it had never been

    Of course, the Mekons fully embraced this idea in the album “ME”

    But it was moot. The Mekons had already taken folk and American country music into new realms in the early 80s, producing the “Fear and Whiskey” and “Honky Tonkin'” albums, and establishing the Americana Alt-Country genre from the English side of the pond. It wasn’t so much the technology in that case, it was the ability to learn from all the crappy, cheap, compilation albums that you could purchase for next to nothing. Which is also where the Clash picked up the politiocal leanings and love of reggae.

    Technology is one thing, but you still need to have the SONGS. Boston had the songs on the first album, I am perfectly happy to concede. The got the radio play with the second album, but I will maintain that the songs themselves were hit-or miss.

  17. Well, now I am fully into a Mekons shift. So, that’s what you get. And thank you.

    The mekons are like a band that was mashed up from Joe Strummer, Woody Guthrie, Half of Bruce Springsteen, The Band, Lenny Bruce, Johnny Cash’s bones, The Sex Pistols, and the Firesign Theater.



  18. Last Night On Earth:

    but the system is sick. The robber barons roam
    buying up the land beneath your feet
    putting kids in the ground
    you can’t live alone
    last night on earth
    they can’t hurt you now
    last night on earth

  19. Here’s the lyrics of an awesome song that is not available on GoofleShit:

    A hologram of a naked man’s eyes batters round the room
    Fix you in their sites, proof of existence
    A giant stirs to swat a fly that’s lost its best defense

    Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t
    Don’t drink that coke, It’s really bad for you

    A word slips out in Dallas in 1963
    Spawns an industry – Conspiracy
    Initials ten feet tall just reenforce and underline

    If they can kill, what would they do to me
    Stumbling into their attention

    Walk into the shadows – dim concealment
    Down in the valley, the rich and the powerful

    Blood runs down the blood hole
    Here’s the burden, here’s the proof
    It’s disappearing

    A giant stirs the whirlpool as it closes on the truth
    Insignificant, insignificance

    You have the right to lie awake at night
    Don’t think that I am paranoid enough

    Walk into the shadows- insignificance, insignificance

    Well the future is empty as a dead girls eyes
    Eve Future staring into clear blue skies
    She takes a lick from the carrot on the stick
    History says, there’s always got to be a fall guy

    Another white belly up
    Another name to forget
    We’ve been to Memphis
    Now let’s see what we’ve got left

    I will be a civil servant
    You can be the bad cop now
    False dawn on the horizon
    The whole thing smells, but she can’t even tell
    Here’s the good news, here’s the bad
    To feel no guilt, to hold no
    Like a night in chess with tunnel vision
    Wanting history to ….. the blame

    We been talking underwater
    Down in the valley, gasping for breath
    Eve future, she lives in the future
    She’s in a wheelchair, she don’t really careDown in the valley – the rich and the powerful

  20. mikey says:

    I don’t think you know what it’s like
    you should be careful what you’re wishing for
    and try to set your ego aside
    you will find
    a false piece of mind
    you fall behind
    and everybody’s getting tired of you
    standing in the shadows i hear
    people say

    I’ve got confessions to make
    listen up!
    no one sleeps when i’m awake….

  21. Oregon Beer Snob says:

    25 year old scotch on the front porch. Knew there was a reason. Don’t look back…

  22. Sirius Lunacy says:

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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