Monday, July 25, 2011


Recently I returned from vacation, to discover a friend, a former co-worker, had passed away. He was a good man, decent, kind, and funny, and one of the sharpest business minds I've ever met. His passing is a loss to the world.

There have been two other recent untimely demises, both musicians, although in different spaces. You've likely heard of Amy Winehouse, but you may not know of Bill Morrissey, a singer-songwriter (and a writer) who could touch your heart and tickle your funnybone. Both Winehouse and Morrissey had enormous talent and made contributions to music, with devoted followers. Much of modern-day commercial music is swill, but these two performers made music a joy and an art.

Bill Morrissey chronicled the human condition with songs that were deep short stories. He also had a wicked sense of humor and could make you laugh with his recitation of character insights. He performed around New England for many years, and will be sorely missed in the coffeehouses and where folks make real music from the heart.

In the course of their lives, all three of these deceased folk battled an inner pain that they sometimes dealt with by self-destructive choices. Winehouse, especially, has been criticized and ridiculed for her lifestyle and choices. Think for a minute, though, of how much pain someone must be in to go that far down the hole. Money, success, and fame are of no use if one cannot control the inner demons. And those with no pity have likely never suffered from an addiction. If you haven't, consider yourself lucky, and pity those who are afflicted. It's hard to win against an addiction, you more often just have a lifelong truce that can break at any moment.

Most of us have some kind of pain we deal with in various ways. Some are socially acceptable methods, and some are illegal. Life's pain can get to be too much to handle, and folks will use just about any crutch to get themselves through the day.

Three lives untimely snuffed out, from three who added something to life. Damn.

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