Adam Hill reads the Obits

I do the intro thing every week because I was told it’s a good idea. Adam Hill is me, I used to write songs. I still could but if you ain’t buyin' I ain’t drinkin'. I wrote a novel called Old Timer’s Blues. Same deal with that. I started another book but if no one wants the first one what do I need a second one for? The doing it for fun boat sunk in the harbor and probably crushed a school of fish. Writing a book isn’t even fun, it feels like being in school. I’m like an old person now. I read the obituaries.

If someone famous dies, I read the article. Actress dies in her 40’s? I read it. Actor dies young? I’m on it. Luke Perry? He died. Had a stroke. I knew he couldn’t be much older than me. Pop star in the UK I’ve never heard of OD's? I read it. Illness headlines? I read those like dark chocolate. I’m looking for the “At least I got it better than them,” high. Ages like 42, 45, and 52. Those get my attention.

I think it’s because I’m looking for the comfort. Someone else died and they were famous! It could happen to anyone. You sit in a room and you think everyone around you is killing it, they are ready to run like Jason Bourne as far as I can tell, but I don't know what they feel like. But I feel the aches of being 45. Celebrity headline misfortune is the “it’s not just you” drug

Ken Rozcen motocross rider, broke his hands. No idea who he is but I saw the article headline and read it. He needs his hands to ride! Art Alexis has MS, he was in a rock band so of course I’m going to read it. Ruthie Lindsey has more orthopedic issues than I do because she got hit by an ambulance, which has to be some irony prize. Greg Oden’s body never let him play hoops. Selma Blair has MS. Slim Dunlap had a stroke, hit his head on the bathroom sink and is in a wheelchair. The Game of Thrones girl almost died twice making the show from brain issues. A few weeks ago, Morrissey cancels shows due to Emergency illness. Before that, The Rolling Stones had to cancel for Mick to have heart surgery.

Some band called Her died in a car crash while touring the US last week. Paul Walker died in a car crash, ok, which is like Mark Sandman dying on stage. Go doing what you love right? Philip Hoffman died from drugs. The drug ones, you know those were hard. But the illnesses out of nowhere, those are what get me. Dolores O'Riordan died. WTF?

Conway Savage, member of The Bad Seeds died. He should have lived forever based on his name alone.

“Do we want this guy in our band?”

“What’s his name?”

“Conway Savage”


Prince died. I was in a meeting? My friend Rob had just sat down for a burrito. I texted him. It ruined his burrito. We met for beers later. I dug Prince. Then Tom Petty. Petty was a gut punch. How did this happen? He OD’d on his meds. Again we met for beers. Anthony Bourdain killed himself. I still don’t like it. He’s not going to be on Instagram. He’s not going to film a new season. The world is changed. This stretch of 45 to however many years, is no longer the same.

I was listening to Mark Sayers and he said, “Death; we have no culture to deal with it. Talking about it is our taboo.”

Notre Dame about burned down last night. I’ll never be able to go see Notre Dame as it was.

Rock n Roll is dead so says Nick Cave. This is the last time it’s dead, I think it is dead, dead. It’s like jazz now. 80’s bands might as well be like The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Rock n Roll has changed. Jason Bonham recently told Howard Stern that Jimmy Page gave him coke at 16. Then a few days ago, this statement was released,

“I unconditionally retract all derogatory and defamatory comments relating to Mr J Page that I made in that interview. In particular it is wholly untrue that Mr J Page offered me any illegal substances either when I was a minor or at all.”


This is where we are. But shoot, do I think it’s a good idea for an adult to give a teenager cocaine? Heck no. Maybe Rock N Roll is dead to me because I also think singing “Sweet Little Sixteen” is creepy. Maybe it’s dead to me because I don’t think giving coke to a 16 year old is a good thing. But we are too precious about everything now aren’t we? We are because we fear death. Patsy and Edina are long gone love.

Can I go to south Florida and wear white linen shirts and khaki shorts. Drink Topo Chico and write haiku? Then sing them along to my tenor Stella. Is that it?

I just watched The Highwaymen. Old dudes. Old dudes that don’t feel good. Old dudes that have to piss a-lot and don’t like riding in a car for long. Old dudes that would really rather be sitting on the front porch. Old dudes that understand their role is to do the mean things to the meanness in the world. Is that a sin eater?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

It’s 2019? Someone made a movie about two old white dudes looking good? They made bad guys look bad? They made the good guys good, but properly complex? Old cars. Everyone wore suits. Smart ass kids were properly thwacked. Dirt roads. No cell phones? Ethics of “shame on journalists for wanting a story out of agony?” Did Clint Eastwood make this movie? Was it made by robots for middle aged white dudes? Did they fill out an excel sheet? Drop down menu algorithm. It felt like that.

I finished reading The Border by Don Winslow. For the best timing on a title he prize goes to Don. Dang dude. Kudos. The book? It’s good. It’s a little hinky for the last quarter of the book because he’s trying to end his character and there’s no way to wrap it all up and because 95% of the book is from real events and there is no real event for his characters end. It’s more politics and back room malfeasance than the other books gangland gothic spree thus less fun but way sobering.

I got the new Shovels and Rope. I wish a few things. Every chorus their voices are at 11. I get it, you mean it, you are heartfelt and you both have killer voices. But damn. All that saves it is they really do sell it. Even so, dang gang, lay off the volume, your going to burn your larynxes up. Real talk? It makes some of the songs grate, that could have been great. “Come On Utah,” with just a whiff of Marty Robbins cool would be a good tune. The John Lennon’s hoarse scream outtros on every doo wop esque tune is a challenge. You like The White Album. Me too gang!! Ugh, I hate to feel this way because I love that band. Great songs, I wish they’d have chilled out a bit. I wish the guitars sounded a little more roomy. I love the drums. Rattle trap. They figured out how to sound like The Walkman a bit? The Wire is radtastic. They talk about time. The talk about death. “Hammer” is great. “I’m Comin’ Out” is arena rock. Last thing, Michael Trent needs to produce a Paul Westerberg comeback album. The Sho Ro sound is Grandpaboy fat gussied up. The drums would work. The guitars would work. The punch would land.

Everything keeps changing.

Death is coming. I’m not ready.

#shovelsandrope #thehighwaymen #thebadseeds #nickcave #marksayers #rocknroll #donwinslow #thborder #shovelsandrope #bytheblood #theborder #donwinslow #newnoir #slimdunlap #gregoden #therollingstones #paulwesterbergcomebackalbum


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 All writing © copyright 2016 Adam Hill. All rights reserved.

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