Left Behind, For the Best


Do you know the feeling of some artist being intimately yours?  And then they are everywhere and they are everybody’s and it’s not so special anymore?  Did you ever love a writer or musician, obscure and fresh, who then becomes popular and remote?  I’m thinking of the band, Wilco, right now.  I was onboard from the breakup of Uncle Tupelo in 1996 and I’ve watched and listened to Wilco grow in popularity with pride and dread.  Were the hipsters always there?  Was I blinded by love?  Now our relationship is strained and we are apart.  They have moved on into the world of aficionados and curators.  I occasionally hear Wilco songs at CVS on the pleasant-retail-experience channel, (“Spending Trance”, channel # 266).  The gulf between us is permanent and un-crossable.  I still go to shows but there are no smoke-filled rooms and no pushing to the front anymore.  There are theaters and seats and artsy people at well-organized festivals.  Not my thing.  So I watch and listen from a distance, still in love, but realistic about the future.  Of course I wish them the best, all the success and prosperity I would wish for any old lover.  Meaning I won’t lose any sleep if they fell back to the herd a little.

Here’s a cheesy 90’s video.

Hey! Share a band or writer who has sadly moved on beyond your grasp.  Do it, whydontcha.

4 thoughts on “Left Behind, For the Best

  1. Tom Rush. A thousand years since he was at the top of the folk food chain but when I was in college his lonely songs and guitar captured regret and loss like no other. “No Regrets” still stands as one of the most moving break-up songs ever. He brought notice to the writings Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne with “Circle Game” and “These Days”
    (“These days I sit on corner stones
    And count the time in quarter tones to ten”)

    He was an inspiration to everyone who was depressed and ready for life to be over by 25.

    A few years ago, I saw him at a small club and this is how he introduced “No Regrets”: – “Well, I love this song because it paid for my daughter’s college tuition”. That was it. Done. Can’t listen to him now. We know, Tom, you’ve played the song 8 million times and it can’t possibly carry any emotion for you, but play your part. It’s not really your song. It’s everyone’s and you just happen to be the messenger so stop fucking with it.

    Then he sang a song which everyone loved and became a viral video and it was about how forgetful he was becoming and everyone in the audience laughed and laughed because they could identify. The sentiment was cheap and easy. Even if it had been funny I would not have laughed.

    He was there to make us cry. But there I was, surrounded by my forgetful peers and I forgot I was one of them.

    For a moment I felt that we all should have died at 25.

  2. Get off your high horse, Dave Ferland. You try to come across as sensitive and regretful here, as though you were facing the inevitable reality of two lovers who have grown apart. But I KNOW how you treat your “old lovers” — and it’s not with “wishes of success and prosperity”. Here’s a hint – leaving a chocolate-covered mint and a note that says “Thanks for the memory, Babe” on someone’s pillow as you sneak out the door in the middle of the night does not make you a Sensitive Guy.

    I only wish I hadn’t fallen for your transparent lines every single time. The worst part is that, even after years of hard work and growth since that last night, I know I’d take you back again in a second.

    You bastard.

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