Back in second grade, I wrote a report on a Dr. Seuss book. I am not sure which one it was, but most likely I got a good grade on it (in a car. And in a tree. It was so good so good you see!!) Not long after, Theodore Seuss Geisel, the man behind Dr. Seuss, passed away. The children of the world mourned, and I felt badly, given that this report incorporated some information about him as well. However, I chalked it up to a freaky coincidence and went about my seven-year old life.
Flash forward to 10th grade. I wrote a report on Shel Silverstein, another beloved childhood author. The report focused on his life and contribution to the arts (Playboy work not included; this was rural Virginia after all). About a month later, Silverstein went to where the sidewalk ends. I then deduced that I have some sort of crazy power that kills beloved childhood authors, and I unleash it through my eloquent words. From that moment on, I resolved to only write about authors who were dead if at all possible. This was obviously a completely reasonable response and one that would have made Uncle Ben proud.
Well, despite my best efforts, it seems this curse is striking again. A fortnight ago I wrote a piece called Death Jamz 2012, in which I created a playlist that features songs from the artists that have died this year so far. I concluded the piece by saying:
Given the fact the year isn’t even halfway over, I’m sure this list will continue to grow. So check back early and often to find the celebrities you lost in 2012 in one easy location.
Since then, we have lost a number of notable artists. Donna Summer. Robin Gibb. Dietrick Fischer-Dieskau. Doc Watson. In just a short amount of time this list has grown. And it’s led me to believe that, like Phoenix, the power I had as a child/teenager has now taken a different form. By writing about dead musicians I have inadvertently caused the deaths of other, beloved artists. It is the only logical conclusion.
So to all the musicians out there, I just want to say: I’m sorry. It was never my intent to kill you off. But there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I can only hope that the black hand of death does not close around you and your guitar. If it does, know that I will eulogize you through my spotify list. Also, I will probably sing your song(s) at karaoke, which as I found out this past weekend, is a great way to pay respect and impress your friends.
Godspeed, musicians. Stay safe out there.