The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

People Who Died #46

Pete Ham


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Seriously underrated PowerPop. But man, 27 is a dangerous age.

Fred said...

Badfinger ruled. Too bad the nasty nature of the record industry led Pete Ham and, later, Tom Evans, to commit suicide.

Jiggy said...

[Long time reader, first time commenter -- great blog!]

I agree, the story of what happened to Pete Ham and Tom Evans is a tragic one. Pete Ham was of course another member of the infamous 27 club.

Everyone needs to hear the 1974 album "Wish you were here" before they die.

It is a seriously underrated lost classic, up there with some of the best albums by the fab four.

Steven Augustine said...

I long ago knew a guy (a rock journo) who knew Pete Ham when Ham lived in Mpls and he told me that Ham killed himself thinking he was broke when he, in fact, had a million in the bank that his wife had stashed to keep him from drinking it away. She was planning on surprising him with it one day, is what I recall this feller telling me. Sad stuff, eh? "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue" were big, romantic chunks of my adolescence.

Steven Augustine said...

No, wait, that was Molland who lived in Mpls, but the story the feller told me was definitely about Ham (or, um... Evans)... *one* of them who died. In any case: sad.

swac said...

If Ham had hung on, the royalties from Without You would have been enough to keep him going, considering there have been a few hit versions of it (only one of them any good, Nilsson's of course).

I've always liked the fact that Nick Lowe is comfortably well-off from the simple fact of a cover of (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding winding up on the soundtrack to The Bodyguard.