Monday, December 28, 2009

So it begins...

When Vic died on Christmas, I was overcome with a sense of if the world had come off of its axis. A stabilizing factor in my life had left me, and I felt as if I might never recover my equilibrium. I still feel that way. Vic has been a constant in my world since I first discovered him in 1993. Vic was an inspiration. Here was a man, although crippled and frail, who possessed such a strength and formidity, that his candor and presence belied his tiny frame. He so eloquently embraced the esoteric. Lyrically, he glorified the mundane and shunned the contrived. He nourished a love for language, and personalized it in a way that only Vic could. He accomplished such amazing feats, while all the time battling the demons that he finally succumbed to. I couldn't help but be drawn in and admire him. My relationship with Vic wasn't idol worship or fandom. No, it was admiration and respect, awe and wonder, and later on reassurance and comfort. I am so proud that I got to know Vic on a personal level. It wasn't just fan and artist was a friendship ..and for that I am ever grateful.

I first met Vic the day before Valentine's Day, 2002, at 12th and Porter in Nashville, TN. I had driven 6 hours to see him open for Jonathan Richmond and Tommy Larkin. I didn't know what to expect...just that I was about to see my musical hero on stage...for the first time. Prior to the show, I was sitting there, with Laura, who accomponied me. Out rolled Vic, along with Tina, his wife, and they sat not a mere 10 feet from us. I'm not too sure what I looked like when that happened, but I for certain felt exhilerated, nervous, and "star struck." Laura encouraged me to go over to his table and speak with him. I eventually mustered up the gumption to do just that. Unfortunately, my arrival coincided with the arrival of Vic's meal, so the meeting started of a tad bit akward. I hated to interrupt, but felt like I couldn't just turn away. I politely introduced myself, said I had driven several hours to be there and that I was a huge fan. Vic was charming! He was so amazed that I had made the trek that far, and politely signed my CD. He wrote "Thanks for diggin it.- Vic." The show was fanastic and I was elated for weeks.

Now I won't recount every Vic show that I ever attended, or every moment that I was able spend time with him. There are far too many, and that isn't the point of this endeavor. I may, from time to time, recount little memories or incidents that come to mind. In fact, I can almost promise that. This blog is my form of grieving, if you will. A way of processing my inherent need for understanding and explanation of what made Vic so important and relevant to my life. I will focus on an individual work by Vic everyday for one year...reviewing, relistening, rethinking, reflecting and reacting on each one. My hope is that, during this experiment, I will be enlightened, entertained, inspired, and walk away with a greater love for the man than I had already, and eventually, regain the balance that I lost that day he died.

Even though it is my journey, I hope that you, as the reader, will come along with me..and form your own understanding of this friend and my hero.


  1. I think this is an excellent way to help yourself through this rough time. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and memories of Vic.

  2. Thanks for doing this. Maybe you'll be able to help others (me) as well.

  3. Hey.
    Just discovered your blog.
    I only ever saw Vic once. It was when he supported The Cowboy Junkies at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool.
    I got my first album the next day.
    Since then I've gradually grown to love Vic's music, but sadly missed his more recent live shows due to lack of time/money (I have two young kids who take up all of my time and money! - but they're worth it..)
    During the later part of 2009 I'd found myself listening to him more and more, really getting into his work (I still don't have it all)and then suddenly.. he was gone. I've listened to him so much since Xmas and every time his music makes me feel so good. I know he had his problems and I respect his decision to leave, so whilst his passing makes me a little sad, it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of his music.
    It's good to read your recollections of him. Gives me the knowledge of the man that I wish I had.
    Keep it up, I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.
    Peace and love,

  4. Dear Charles Fontaine.

    How do you do?
    My name is Hamatani Shunsuke. I'm Japanese fan of Vic.
    I have read this blog since 2009. I'm so glad to read these writing tells someone(close friend) loves his music.
    So I want to tell this blog on my blog's link page. Only one motive is I love his music and humanity .
    I'm happy if you give me permisson.

    Hamatani Shunsuke.

  5. Hamatani.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Of course you can link this blog on your page.

    New entries are on their way, by the way.

    Thanks again!