Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
After the sad and unfortunate suicide of Ms. Sheelah Sugden, as I mentioned in the previous post, my guitarist and drummer, Mr. Chris Parry and Ms. Amelia Pendergrast, were also in a state of extreme despondency. (The bassist, Lawton Omerod, and Sheelah’s replacement, Beniah Kaysen, were doing all right…but Lawton hadn’t been with the band all that long, and Beniah never knew Sheelah.)
Since the game does not offer the option “Give depressed band members a mental health sabbatical,” and because the only other options–promote, gig, or practise–didn’t seem to be the best way for the band to deal with their depression, I asked them to write songs for a week, in the hopes that artistic expression would help them work their way through the loss of their friend.
They composed a single, “She Sheelah,” and then Chris Parry killed himself. My drummer, Ms. Pendergrast, also deeply depressed, seemed ready to do the same. With eight singles under our belt and the band members offing themselves like teenagers at a Camus Convention, I made the only decisions I had available. I let Amelia go, hoping that far away from the ups and downs of the rock star lifestyle, she will find the solace she needs to remain in this world.
With all four original members of the band now gone, I couldn’t bring myself to hire two more replacements and somehow continue the band with a new lineup. One Hand Clapping started out with four philosophy students who wanted to write beautiful music; it was never meant to be a rotating ensemble like the Golden Palominos, or an outfit like Menudo, where instead of replacing members when they got too old, we’d replace them when they got too suicidal. We never had enough singles for an album; and those singles may only be sought out by a handful of people who understood what the band was about, or music historians who consider the One Hand Clapping phenomenon a cautionary tale or otherwise.
One Hand Clapping is no more. I have disbanded the outfit entirely, and will attempt to start a new group, perhaps re-hiring Omerod, who did a fine job during his stint with the band and seems to bear me no ill will.
Perhaps, once Amelia rediscovers the joy of life, I can find her again. Until then, I hope she’s doing well, and I hope she can find the strength to continue where Chris and Sheelah could not.
Ave, atque, vale, One Hand Clapping. Hail and farewell.
Current music: MP3 list, Duran Duran, “Come Undone”