Discovered Postmortem

I’m sure this has happened to you, because it has likely affected every genre one can be a fan of.  Have you ever felt sad that you discovered you are a fan of something or someone that no longer exists?

Probably the first time I really thought about it was the time I bought my first Jeff Buckley cd in 2002.  Damn.  His voice was pristine and emotional.  I’d never get to experience it live.  He died in 1997, young and still so much untapped.

He wasn’t the first artist I’d appreciated after their demise.  I had listened the Beatles early in life and shuffled through Mom’s albums before Kindergarten, but because they were “old” to me, I never expected to see them.  There were also three of them that toured and alive for so much of my life.

Buckley was the first time I felt mournful that I hadn’t experienced something, not because I couldn’t get a concert ticket or I’d be out of town, but it just could never be.  Beyond that, once I’d purchased all his music, which there never seemed to be enough of, that was it.  There would be no more waiting to get the new album at midnight at Tower Records (RIP) or anticipating his release dates in Rolling Stone.

Sure, there are artists who seem to put out a never ending stream of music postmortem.  There are paintings discovered in little old ladies’ European cottages decades after artists have died, or in a local flea market.  There is always hope that there is more.  Sometimes, there just isn’t.

And sometimes other artist try to find ways to “collaborate” and ruin something amazing, which only makes one pine more for the original.

Not to be a “Debbie Downer”, there is something to be grateful for.  Sure, there is always something and someone new to look forward to, and sometimes maybe it’s just nice to know something beautiful was captured and we are lucky enough to enjoy it, rather than never discovering it at all.

1 thought on “Discovered Postmortem

  1. There are two in particular that I mourn for the same reason. I would have loved to hear them live, maybe even get to meet them. Susanna McCorkle was a fine jazz singer who spoke several languages. She ended up jumping out her 14th story apartment window in New York. And Fred Neil was one of Bob Dylan’s cohorts in the Greenwich Village era, with a fabulous deep voice I still love to listen to. He wrote the theme to “Midnight Cowboy,” called “Everybody’s Talkin’.” But he quit drugs and alcohol, turned his back on the music scene, went to Florida to start a foundation to save dolphins, and died of cancer.

    The only consolation is that we will always be able to listen to them sing.

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