Monday, June 07, 2010


Farting around as one does at the dreg-ends of the weekend, I looked up videos by Boston, particularly Don't Look Back and More Than A Feeling. I know I'm not special in that music is deeply woven into the fabric of my life, but there are a few bits of music that for various reasons I identify with so strongly that I can't in my mind and memory consider a period of my life without thinking of that music, and vice-versa.

My older brother was really into Boston, and by extension, I heard the first two albums quite a bit, but Don't Look Back I strongly associate with the last year living in Arkansas and then the move to Texas and the opening of a whole new vista in terms of the positive possibilities of life. This was a very Good Thing.

When Dad and Mom gave me my first car in 1984-- a bitchin' 1974 Camaro-- Don't Look Back and Rush's Moving Pictures [driving fast to Red Barchetta is the best when you've got a bored-out .350 (thanks, Dad!) and gasoline was .63 a gallon *nostalgia moment*] were my concessions to Rock which rounded out my edgier not-found-on-radio imports I scraped out of the bins at VVV and Metamorphosis record stores in Dallas.

I loved Boston, and still do. I love the melodic guitar-heavy compositions and the soaring, beautiful vocals of Brad Delp.

So I have to say that when I went to the wikipedia entry Sunday evening and found out that Brad Delp committed suicide a little over 3 years ago, well, I was gutted. I'm sad someone would feel so hopeless, someone with such a great and unique capacity to give joy. Being a singer, too, I know that you don't always feel like making music. It's hard for singers to put it out there all the time, because they're not just pushing air through a horn or pushing keys or strings-- their body is the instrument. Maybe he needed a tune-up or something, but the thought of his despair makes me want to say something preachy.

All I know is that if you are sad all the time, there is something you need to fix in your life.

There are medications. Maybe you need to get a hobby, fer fecks' sake.

You have to give your own life purpose-- no one can do that for you-- and if you sit around feeling like a sadsack and blaming everyone around you for your misery, well, it's your own fault. You are your own responsibility. Yes, it's a lonely road, sometimes, but we each have to make our way in life. So, you screwed up in the past? Move on and stop screwing up. And if you have a chance to be kind or helpful to people who love you, then do so and do so in good cheer. Don't scuttle your chances at happiness by thinking the world owes you a favor or a plush, luxuriant existence. Get on with life, do the best you can, try not to be an asshole, stay busy and get medicated if necessary. That is all.

Whatever road Brad is on, I hope the sun is shining.


Joanna said...

Boy oh boy if that ain't the truth, sister. I know a couple people who should be taken by the shoulders and made to write "You're responsible for your own happiness" at least 500 times on the blackboard.

Jon said...

In our strange society, daredevils and other suicidal endeavors are championed as heroic feats of skill. Do the same thing with a bottle of pills, and you're a dangerous nutcase. Sad thing is that both are signs of something lurking that needs some attention, which can mean a little professional help, including some medications.

Bleh. Life's hard enough without having to live it alone, or without hope.

Kris, in New England said...

Ah, Boston. Having grown up outside that famed city it was very natural - indeed required - for us to love them.

It was easy. It still is.

And I too was very upset when Delp took his own life. The artistic temperament can be a wonder to behold and an unbearable burden.

(Oh, I've been a daily reader for some time now; I may have commented once a while back. In case I didn't, I want to follow appropriate blog-ettiquette and say I came here from Buck.)

Jay G said...

Interesting side note: One of my co-workers lives in the same town in NH where Delp lived at the time of his death. Apparently he was pretty well-liked around town...

Shoot me an e-mail and I'll tell you about my own personal brush with fame from the rock 'n' roll biz... ;)

Keads said...

It is truly sad when one's mind thinks that suicide is the best solution. I too grew up with the 8-Tracks and that music was the background for some typical teen angst way back then.

Thanks for the link!


Shannon said...

Hellz yeah Phlegmmy...AMEN!!

steff66 said...

Ummm...yeah about that car, a not-heard-on-radio song, goat mountain...and thinking I was gonna DIE!!!

Anonymous said...

The bats have left the bell tower... *wink" @ Steff.


steff66 said...

AAAAAAGGGGHHHHH...running, screaming through the house!!!

Eli the Ice man said...

Like Jay G, the folks I know from the town where Brad Delp lived said he was a super nice, down to earth guy. He was so considerate, he left warning notes to the first responders that he took his life by CO asphyxiation. It was very sad news indeed for the area in which he lived and for his fans, as he was still playing live music often.

Tom Scholz on the other hand is a real piece of work by most accounts. He's still suing other band members, Delp's family and anyone else who dares to look upon him.

Funny thing is that as big as their first album was, internal strife (Scholz) made them miss catching the wave they had and the length of time between albums 2 and on tossed them into the one hit (well many hits on one album) category of Boston Rock history.

Nice Dead Milkmen reference, intentional or not.

phlegmfatale said...

Eli - I have to tell you Bucky Fellini was the first CD I purchased. Totally intentional.

phlegmfatale said...

and btw, is Tom Scholz Manorexic?

John B said...

When Boston changed publishers, I bought the first album, Read all the back pages where Tom Scholtz was telling all the fans how to live their lives, took it back to the store where I bought it and demanded a full refund.

I bought the album to listen to some music I liked, not to support someones inner Hitler.

I got all their stuff, but only cos the pawn shop had a sale.