Strumming past the graveyard

I attended a funeral on Monday. I didn't know the deceased, but it was nice to be there to support his grieving widow.

Her husband died Friday night from pancreatic cancer. All tremendously sad. There were many tears as a silken-voiced guitarist strummed out a balm of gentle notes.

It occurs to me that the departed took his final bow as Coyote and I were enjoying a rare concert by the incomparable Daniel Johnston, a cat who's probably used up at least five or six of his nine lives.

I found the show inspiring, in part because Johnston has long struggled with mental illness. Everyone from Nirvana to Bright Eyes has covered his songs. Some are heart-tuggingly touching. Others are just plain fun, even when it comes to death. As a prelude to the funeral mass, it seems fitting that Johnston sang his cheeky little gallows-humour riff on Bruce Springsteen's Cadillac Ranch: Funeral home, funeral home / Got me a coffin, shiny and black / I'm goin' to the funeral and I'm never comin' back.

1 comment:

coyote said...

Dude! Now you tell me there was a cat onstage! No wonder you wouldn't unzip that duffle bag you were carrying me in. I wouldn't've chased him, honest. Uh, okay, maybe.

Terrific concert, though. Wierdly sweet, sweetly wierd. Ya can't go wrong with a guy who gets the whole crowd cheerily singing along to a song called Devil Town...