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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Where Were You?

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the car listening to Fresh Air with Terry Gross who was interviewing one of my favorite singer songwriters, Vic Chesnutt. He was talking about his latest album, his career, his atheist beliefs & lastly his battle with doctor bills since he became a paraplegic in 1983. Chesnutt, despite his following & his relatively successful recording career was in debt $50,000 to hospitals that he had no way of paying even though he had "health insurance". I knew quite a bit about Chesnutt's career, but I had no idea that he had trouble with doctor's bills. Driving in the car, I had a pretty good thought to send him an email, but as always happens, life gets in the way. Here's what it would've said:

Dear Vic,

I've been listening to your music for the last ten years, & it's meant alot to me. Thank you. I recently heard you on Fresh Air with Terry Gross & was blown away by the song Granny. I was sad to hear about your doctor bills. It's shameful that we live in a country where we can't take care of our basic needs. I know you are an atheist, but, if it means anything to you, I'm praying for you & I hope everything works out okay. Take care.


Vic Chesnutt committed suicide yesterday.

The sad irony is this sad fact from spinner.com

"Chesnutt first grabbed national attention in 1996 when his songs were covered by an impressive list of musicians -- including Madonna, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins and Indigo Girls -- on a compilation for Sweet Relief, an organization benefiting musicians without health insurance. Chesnutt was grateful for the exposure but told Spinner, "When I talked to Sweet Relief about my problem recently, they were just like 'Woah, that's too big of a problem for us. You're going to have to talk to somebody else about that.'""

Vic Chesnutt also performed on a benefit CD for Alejandro Escovedo, who several years ago was in a similar predicament.

Life is short, friends, lend a hand.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Kick My Ass-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

Kick My Ass

I'm so sorry you had to kick my ass
You said I ruined your life
I didn't mean to do that
I had to untangle where we was entwined
I was strangling me...were you breathing so fine
the jam I was in when things weren't working out
led me to the brunt of your swinging bout
I'm so sorry, I regret everything
what can I do to take back that swing
I'm so sorry a scuffle ensued
but things are so much better I guess thanks to you
I'm so sorry you had to pull my hair
I had to take care of business
there was a lot of business giving there

Cutty Sark-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

Flirted With You All My Life-Vic Chesnutt

In My Way, Yes-Vic Chesnutt

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less-hymn



Joyce said...

My saddest thought is that his most basic need, understanding God's love for us, was not met.

andrew! said...


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...