A few weeks ago I was working on some research about songs that had been written about other people, specifically about other famous people. You know, like how “In Your Eyes” is a song Peter Gabriel wrote about Rosanna Arquette. While I was working on the research and then writing about it I remembered that I have had a song written about me.
Once upon a time I dated a very silly and fun rockabilly who toured a lot. I could easily describe him as Johnny Bravo – he had the attitude, the Texas accent, and the orange pompadour. We dated for six months then broke up because he wouldn’t tell me his real name. A few months later he called me and said he had written a song about me. So obviously we got back together. I stayed with him while he became a little bit famous and one of his songs got used for a theme song on a TV show. But then things stopped being fun. We were growing up but the relationship wasn’t. It was a completely kind and easy good bye.
A few years later he found me on Friendster (HA! remember that place!) and we caught up over email. He told me how he had gotten really sick but they weren’t sure what it was. They were still trying to figure it out. Around that time I was having some health issues of my own. My problems ended up being an allergic reaction that resulted in something that literally translated to “fake brain tumor”. What Danny had was an actual brain tumor.
We stayed in touch, lightly, over the years. He would send a group email, I would respond, and he would respond to that. Casual. Simple. Just like many friendships that ebb over our life. I didn’t want to let it vanish, but I didn’t need to get overly invested.
I thought it would be interesting to include the bit about Danny and the song he wrote about our first break up. He always pointed to me before he began to sing on stage. “It’s ok guys. We got back together.” And the crowd would laugh. And then he would tear into his guitar and begin the lines to a song with “killing machine” in the chorus. ha ha ha.
Danny’s email bounced back.
It had been probably two years since we last communicated. I figured surely he was on Facebook now so I would wave at him there. I simply typed in his first name and the first two letters of his last name within Google search and it autofilled with his entire name and “obituary”. He died exactly one year ago.
It’s incredibly weird to find this out online, but this is the world we live in. I wasn’t close to any of his current friends, his band had long ago broken up when he found religion, so I didn’t expect someone to contact me. I was just a small blip in his short life. But he mattered. And while I didn’t include him in the original thing I was working on I couldn’t not talk about him. (Now I know his real last name and I know that must really piss him off. HA!)
EDITED TO ADD:
Because I honestly can’t stand the fact that his music isn’t online right now I am sharing the song. I do NOT own the rights to this. And keep in mind, it was a break up song…that he used to win me back over. Killing Machine