Mark Linkous Tribute (Save A Friday In Memoriam)

From the juiced-box and one of the greatest cigarette songs of all time: Radiohead (feat. Mark Linkous) – Wish You Were Here

[Press ‘Play’ for the most beautiful thing you will hear today.]

i’m not going to pretend i knew who Mark Linkous was. i’m not going to ramble on about what a big fan i was of Sparklehorse. i had no idea who he or his band were before i read that, on March 6, this 47-year-old musician, singer, songwriter and playmate of Tom Waits, Radiohead, Iggy Pop, Black Francis, David Lynch, Beck…walked out of a Knoxville house, sat in an alley, put his rifle to his chest and shot a bullet into his own heart.

i did not know who he was, but i know him.

In 1996, while on a tour opening for Radiohead, Mark Linkous OD’ed on alcohol, antidepressants and valium in his London hotel room. He passed out with his legs pinned beneath his body and stayed that way for 14 hours. When he was finally lifted, the potassium buildup in his blood caused his heart to stop beating for several minutes. Subsequent surgery saved his legs, but he had to stay in a wheelchair for six months and never fully regained full use of the limbs.

On March 06, 2010, at 1:20pm in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mark Linkous was drunk. He became angry after trading texts with an unknown person. He went upstairs in the house of two friends he was staying with, came back down a few minutes later, said he was gong for a walk and left through the back door. A short time after, a witness saw him sit against a wall, place a rifle to his chest and pull the trigger.

i want to focus more on his music and his fans and his gifts than his death. i would love to talk about his contributions and not his demise. i’m not going to fake something i know nothing about. There are much better-informed sites that will do that more poignantly than i ever could. What i do know, though, is the damage that drinking can do. i’m an expert on making mistakes when i’m drunk.

For example, i made a ton of mistakes last Friday. i drank too much, got in a fight with Miss Demeanor over nothing, posted a blog so acerbic and absurd that, fortunately, one of the regulars called me on it so i took it down. The day after, the mood in my apartment was ugly and i had no energy to spend quality time with my children. i fµcked up in a major way. But i’m still here to whine about it, feel guilty over it, and do something about it.

i made a schlitz load of mistakes but i’m human. i’ve heard rumors where even nonalcoholics screw up from time to time. All i can do about mine is learn from them and try my damnedest not to repeat them.

i know there are several things i need to learn not to do when i’m drunk. i can’t e-mail, post, telephone or argue. More importantly, there are two things i never do when i drink. The first is i never ever drive drunk and the second is suicide. Dear D.R.I.N.K.E.R.s and members of this D-Generation, my fellow alcoholics, i wouldn’t trust y’all with picking out a video after you’d been drinking, so death is way too grave a mistake to make, life too hard a decision to take when we can’t think. Live to drink another day and wake to fight another way.

i’m gonna leave you like a New Orleans jazz funeral, coming in with a dirge and leaving with something more upbeat. From the juiced-box and off Dark Night Of The Soul: Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse (feat. Nina Persson) – Daddy’s Gone

[Press ‘Play’ for a fitting tribute]

In Memoriam and in honor of Mark Linkous, i’m going to learn from a mistake and Save A Friday Night. This Friday night, i pledge not to drink a drop of alcohol. i’m doing this for Mark, for my kids and for Miss Demeanor. And if i end up doing it for me too, well, there’s nothing i can do about that.

What about you?

Mark Linkous After Hours In The Bar None

On a completely different note, there were some posting problems with The Booze Talkin’ Interview with Nellie Sciutto, who has appeared in three Martin Scorses films. If you missed it, you might want to check it out here.

6 thoughts on “Mark Linkous Tribute (Save A Friday In Memoriam)

  1. I cannot speak to the demons Mark battled, but for every time I desparately wanted a new life, the answer was never to end the one I have (had a brother who did and decades later still do not really know how I feel about it)

    • “for every time I desparately wanted a new life, the answer was never to end the one I have”

      Well put.

      i didn’t know about your brother, Brother. i wish he were here and i sure as shit am glad that you are.

      Thanks for patronizing me, man,

      Al K Hall

  2. I’m with you all the way, baby. 🙂

    Here’s the thing: what you are doing here is so important. “All i can do about mine is learn from them and try my damnedest not to repeat them.” This is all *anyone* can do, and you are demonstrating that you can learn and are learning actively from yours. Me, too.

    I understand Mark Linkous, too. I’ve been in his drunk shoes. Thank god/dess I was half-assed in my attempt, eh? Something held me back from being more fatal about the whole thing. Maybe it was/is the real love we share, no matter what seems to happen to you and to me. You and I have had to exhibit a whole heapin’ helpin’ of forgiveness between one another, but that’s just it: there has been forgiveness and a return to keep on keepin’ on where I think others would have thrown up their hands and said, “I quit!”

    Unfortunately, Mark said “I quit.” I completely know how he feels, I really know deep down that feeling of wanting to, I am just so sorry that he was successful. I am sorry that he got to the place with his substance abuse that it got fatal.

    I know this learning curve, too: “i know there are several things i need to learn not to do when i’m drunk. i can’t e-mail, post, telephone or argue.” For me, it finally got to the point where I realized that I had no control of not doing the things I don’t want to do when I drink, so the logical conclusion was to stop drinking. I wish I could handle my booze, but I can’t. I go to “the bad place” every time I am drunk or at least I used to.

    It was one year ago today that I learned that lesson the hard way.

    But here I am, a year later, better off from having learned my limits, better off for making the changes I have made. And here we are: still together, my dear. 🙂 I love you.

    A little note to my buddy Ken up there: I am sorry about your brother. I am so glad, though, that your answer has been to keep the life you have no matter what. 🙂

    Miss D

    • i’m glad we’re both still here, so deeply in love and fighting to make our tomorrows better than our todays, which are already pretty kick ass.

      i love you,

      Al K Hall

    • Yeah, well, sometimes in trying to get the best out of life, life bites us in the ass. It’s not life’s fault, it’s ours for over-reaching, brother.

      Thanks for the props on the post,

      Al K Hall

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