Thursday, March 19, 2015

Man of Golden Words

Have I run too far to get home?  Have I gone? And left you here alone?If I would, could you? 
 Alice in Chains Would

Andrew Patrick Wood left this side of the universe 25 years ago today. He has been gone longer than the life he lived. At 24 years old he was just beginning to realize the dream he had so longed to be a part of.

How do you describe Andrew? Take David Bowie, Glen Campbell, Freddy Mercury and Marc Bolan - throw in some Mississippi, some NBA, some bass  some fancy hats, and don't forget a sparkling, shimmering persona and you've got Andrew Wood.

Some talented artists in 1988 already making their own waves with bands such as Green River and Ten Minute Warning found each other. Jeff Ament, Greg Gilmore, Bruce Fairweather and Stone Gossard came together with Andy of Malfunkshun fame and formed Mother Love Bone. This was the pre-big bang for Seattle. Living with Chris Cornell and loving the music, Andy was making his dream happen.  

Grunge was just bubbling in the mire of anger and frustration of Seattle musicians. Mother Love Bone however, to me, was not there at that angry jumping off point. Andy brought the glam and persona of the musicians and icons he looked up to into the mix. Songs like Stardog Champion and Stargazer lyrically were heavy but still airy and not weighted down.  Mother Love Bone was signed and headed in the direction that Andy had dreamed.  But life was not all perfect and sparkly like the persona.

 Andrew had his demons,
but so did so many at that time. Drugs were a part of the Seattle scene. He struggled for years - he also had a supportive family and friends that worried about him. Almost kicking it, the demons still won  (without some controversy of course as his hospital records have mysteriously gone missing). The rising star had gone out on the top of his game. So many questions as to what would happen to the band and what Mother Love Bone would have become had heroin not kicked Mother Love Bone in the heart and stole their flamboyant keystone. Ironically, Andy's departure would spawn one of the most influential bands to come out of the grunge era: Pearl Jam.
                                   Chris Cornell pays tribute to his former room mate and friend

25 years gone - it still seems like yesterday. Andrew had a promising musical career ahead of him. He had life and love ahead of him. We will never know what else L'Andrew had in store for us. Would he have ever crossed paths with Eddie Vedder? Would he have fought with Kurt Cobain about "selling out?"

All I know is that the hole is still there - but it is filled with the memory and love of a wonderful soul - my heart shine, Andrew Wood. May you forever be young and be fabulous Mr. Golden Words and may there always be a Lakers v. Celtics game on in Heaven for you.

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