Vic Chesnutt (November 12, 1964 – December 25, 2009)
I remember hearing about the death of James Victor “Vic” Chesnutt on Christmas Day three years ago. There’s never a good time to hear this kind of news about anyone but I suppose that on Christmas Day, around loved ones, having a good time etc. it’s more poignant.
Vic was an American songwriter from Athens, Georgia (home to the likes of the B-52s, Drive-By Truckers, and R.E.M) whose commercial success emerged six years after his debut album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, a tribute album of very fine mainstream artists who covered his songs. Many bands covered his music and he collaborated with many more, including Lambchop (as below) throughout his all to short career.
Injuries from a 1983 car accident left him partially paralyzed; he used a wheelchair and had limited use of his hands.
Chesnutt had a long history of struggling with depression, alcoholism and drug abuse so there were widespread, unconfirmed reports of his death being suicide. He passed away at 2.59pm on December 25, 2009, from overdosing on muscle relaxants that left him in a coma while in his hometown hospital.
“Other people write about the bling and the booty. I write about the pus and the gnats. To me, that’s beautiful.”
– Vic Chesnutt