08 February 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 56

Several weeks ago, while trying to choose a song for SOMETHING 4 THE WEEKEND, I asked myself why S4TW had to be a song. "Why can't I share a bit of comedy, or perhaps some spoken word lumpen, or even a famous speech?" I asked myself. Yes, I mulled over this question for awhile that evening, then ended up uploading a couple of Lou Rawls tunes.

So, here we are, a month or so later, and finally I pulled the trigger on some yucks.

Mitch Hedberg: Strategic Grill Locations: "Pancakes" [mp3]

But the thing is, tonight I first uploaded a Townes Van Zandt tune, "Cocaine Blues", because I had been listening to alot of TVZ this past week at work...But as luck or fate would have it, my eyes happened upon the Mitch Hedberg folder on my harddrive, and I thought about the fact that Hedberg died of a drug overdose in 2005. Specifically, cocaine and heroin, a combo better known as "speedballs".

Speedballing is a wicked, often lethal combination. First the cocaine hits you, raising the pulse, but that drug quickly wears off, leaving the effects of the heroin trailing in it's wake, which lowers yr heart rate, which is typically when yr respiratory system fails, and yr body is found the next morning in a trashed room of a Motel 6.

Townes Van Zandt didn't die of a drug overdose, though he did battle alcoholism most of his adult life. Instead, he died of a blood clot in one of his lungs following hip surgery. He was 53.

Townes Van Zandt: Live At The Old Quarter: "Cocaine Blues" [mp3]

You probably see where this is going. Hedberg. Speedballs. Cocaine. Heroin.

The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground & Nico: "Heroin" [mp3]

VU's guitarist, Sterling Morrison, died of Lymphoma in 1995.

Despite a deep and dark history of drug abuse, Lou Reed is still with us, as is John Cale and Mo Tucker.

So, anyways, I don't really intend that this S4TW be some sort of downer. Mitch Hedberg was a damn funny guy, Townes Van Zandt was a damn fine songwriter and a damn compelling performer, and The Velvet Underground were a damn excellent band.

Three damn fine lumpen for the price of one.

Hotcha Damn! Hank

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