So the last 48 hours have been an absolute goddamned rollercoaster. I check Facebook on Christmas eve and the news of Vic’s overdose were already abuzz with all my Athens folk who were still in town. Shortly thereafter, a reliable source told me that Vic, in fact, had died. A couple hours later, and a number of phone calls from grieving friends later, I find out from a friend that he was still alive, but only barely. But at 3pm EST on Christmas Day, however, Vic died peacefully. And I know I’m not alone in saying this: I’m fucking destroyed.
Vic was one of the first ten people I met when I moved to Athens. He was at Club Fred over on Baxter Street for some local show. Maybe Roosevelt or Porn Orchard. I can’t remember. But the man I met that night did little wavering in the next 18 years I knew him. A wildly funny curmudgeon who happened to be one of the most talented musicians that Athens ever had the privilege to call their own. A fucking genius if there ever was one who had more inner demons than few people I’ve met.
I won’t pretend to be one of VIc’s closer friends but we were always friendly with each other. The last time I saw Vic was almost a year ago in Seattle when he was out touring with Elf Power and I was promoting the Rock Bible. The whole crew went for pizza and about half way through eating, he began to tell me a borderline unbelievable story about Live (a band from my hometown), their label and the band’s annoying idolization of Vic. Out of respect for Vic (or Live, whichever) I’ll refrain from telling the story on this site, but you can rest assured it was a trademark 100% Vic story. Goddammit, and now he’s gone. Life was really unfair to Vic, but I don’t think that ever stopped him from being one prolific SOB.
I think there’s plenty of places to find information about Vic out there, but go check out the his label for the most factual info out there. Additionally, and actually, far more important, Kristin Hersh has set up a site for those who’d like to give money to go towards Vic’s estate. Now, I know this has been a hard year for all of us, but come on, this is Vic Chesnutt. Vic. God, this is all so sad.
This year has been a hard one for losing friends. Frank Mullen, BJ Womack, Jack Rose, Jerry Fuchs and now Vic. Christ, can 2009 just end already? This year has been a MOTHERFUCKER.