On Xmas day Vic Chesnutt died of an apparent suicide. I knew Vic and his death came as a huge shock to me. It's been hard for me to process and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on a truly wonderful man whom I fear will fade way from public conscious prematurely.
For the early part of the decade I was involved in the music industry in NYC. I worked for Vic's record label New West Records for a while and was able to cover a number of shows with him.
Vic was a complex man. He hated being in that wheelchair and hated having to depend on other people. But, it was a necessity in his situation, and one I am sure he never grew comfortable with. I recall the logistical problems he faced being confined to that chair. Concert venues don't generally have access ramps to the stage (they are not the most handicap- friendly places by nature). So, it took a team of helpers to lift him on and off the stage. And then, as most venues have their dressing rooms up or down a typically long flight of stairs- they would have to carry him back and forth to there as well. It was a task that I know he felt burdened by. He never liked having to ask anyone to do something he couldn't do for himself.