It was a Saturday like every other. I sat unabatingly at the edge of my bed, basking in retrospective solitude from Friday’s unhappenings. With diabetes-inducing food in hand, I ate my feelings and nonchalantly perused a dead man’s Twitter page. He had been mentioned in a relatively notable celebrity’s post next to the forever-heartfelt RIP hash tag, which always seems to pique my interest. Dead people are just so much more interesting than us breathing folk. I had to take a look.
We’ve all been there– scrolling through an unfamiliar dead person’s grammatically slaughtered drunk tweets, wondering if they are now wallowing in the eternal goodness of God’s saintly light or burning in hell amongst the rest of the Steely Dan fans and able-bodied people who use handicapped bathrooms.
It feels so wrong yet so right. You send a half-hearted prayer to the heavens in hopes of forgiveness before invading every crevice of their once-lived lives, knowing they are now powerless and will not be notified if you accidentally like one of their posts from 2008. Thank God.
But let’s get back to the real problem: tweeting the deceased is a thing. Is that okay? I don’t know how I feel about that. Actually I do, and I’m pretty sure it’s fucked up.
But then again who am I to talk? I’m the girl who Googles said dead person only to convince myself that I’ve loved them all my life. Yes, I’m the girl who took the unexpected death of a drummer and turned it into a two-year long obsession that nearly resulted in me getting this hideous man-tat on my back:
Yeah I’d heard of Avenged Sevenfold before–even tolerated a song or two when I heard their music coming through my wannabe “biker chick” mom’s (her words, not mine) minivan stereo. But when I heard that The Rev—the band’s drummer—died, my heart took the group in like a litter of abandoned puppies. Pretty soon I was tits-deep in Deathbat apparel and forcing my dad to drive me to Best Buy at dangerous hours of the night to pick up several copies of their new, way shittier and more thoughtlessly entitled album.
My parents got me tickets to see A7X for my 15th birthday and I wrote in my diary afterwards that it was the greatest night of my existence. I spent the evening enthusiastically cursing from my spot in the nosebleeds (my parents didn’t think I was “ready” for standing room) peaking through tear-soaked eyes into binoculars the drunk mom next to me insisted on sharing, and I meant what I wrote.
The following contains footage of an overwhelmingly obnoxious fangirl. Viewer discretion and ear plugs are advised:
That’s just how things usually end for me. One minute a dead musician I’ve never cared about is trending on some outdated social networking site and the next day I’m thinking about naming a child or two after them. It’s been seven years and that lifeless bastard is still listed under “Inspirational People” on my Facebook page. Right next to John Lennon, another dude in an overrated band I only like because he’s dead. Yeah, I said it. Shoot me! Pun intended.
Buddy Holly currently holds the honor of gracing my very important and very much thriving Twitter profile (29 followers strong as of today). I don’t even like his music. I just like that he died. And died young. And on my birthday because I’m an egotistical bitch.
The almighty Peter Steele of Brooklyn-based metal act Type O Negative took me for an emotional, hormonally charged roller coaster ride back in the day as well. I was hooked after he faked his death in 2005, and his actual death five years later really pushed me over the edge.
In my defense, I’ve had a very strong connection to dead rock stars since my early days. At four years old, I was cuddling the ghost of Elvis (really!). He visited me religiously every night for a few precious months. I was always the big spoon. Then he left and I never saw him again–like a true rock star. Sometimes I just find myself missing that connection.
Dead musicians are also really cool because they can’t let you down or turn into narcotic-abusing, self-destructive parasites. They’ve already done that. And they have a 0% chance of becoming Scott Stapp (the lead singer of Creed for any of you who are not up to speed on your critical 2015 pop culture trivia). And while we’re on the subject, I’m tired of people acting like Creed wasn’t cool at a very precise and necessary moment in time! Your good-for-nothing hipster ass is not welcome here. We all still occasionally give in to our most basic human instincts and cry to “My Sacrifice” while contemplating life’s woes. It’s okay.
The countless hours I’ve spent dedicating my life to feeding my appetite for expired musicians has me wondering if this little hobby is actually doing me any good. Is it all part of a meaningful journey, or am I just digging my own grave? I was elected “Cemetery Superintendent” of my high school after running unopposed (I left out the cemetery part on my resume. It wasn’t a lie). That’s gotta be worth something to someone somewhere.
But if nothing else comes of my efforts, I will always be able to find solace in my collection of chain-wallets and other impulse purchases I’ve made in the name of perished rock stars. And thanks to everyone’s favorite dead musician, I am no longer concerned with other people’s judgment of my chain-wallet collection:
“I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
“Rather be dead than cool.”
* You can find the residual effect of the above behavior reflected in my Halloween “Staff Picks” Playlist.