Monday, March 18, 2013

18/365 - Don't you get forgotten

Jason Molina, who died today at age 39, didn't often write songs that you would like on the first listen. His music could be more challenging than many of his contemporaries whom he recorded and toured with. But if you stuck with them, you would be rewarded with an appreciation of dark, heartfelt and nuanced music that would play in your head long after the song had finished. If you gave it a chance, it would find you.

“Don't you get forgotten” is a lyric from “Twenty Cycles To The Ground.” It is the first track on a record that Jason recorded in collaboration with Will Johnson, and is sung by Will. I bought this record because of Will's involvement but, after a few listens, became as fond of the songs sung by Molina.

The official word from Molina's website is that he died of natural causes. I have to wonder, though, if his addiction to alcohol played a role. Molina spent time in and out of rehab facilities after canceling the tour that had been scheduled in support of this record. About a year and a half ago Henry H. Owings, a close friend of Jason's, wrote a plea to his fans to donate money so that he could afford this treatment, as he had no health insurance. Indeed, this morning, Owings wrote, “What many of us were slow to find out is that Molina had a pretty significant drinking problem. This disease, which snuffed out his life, controlled Jason for most of the last decade.”

I make no secret of the fact that I'm in recovery for my own alcoholism. A significant reason why I chose to get sober had to do with hearing of tragic ends, like the one today. There is no way a body or mind can survive an addicts brutal self abuse. “Jason leaves behind him an enviable body of work that will be continually rediscovered because what Jason wrote wasn't fashion. It was his heart. It was his love. It was his demons. And ultimately, it brought his life to an end,” is what Owings wrote, and what is true.

Here are resources for musicians, and others, looking to get clean and sober:

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