A Great Loss: Vic Chesnutt is dead

I'm still shocked.

My last post about singer and songwriter Vic Chesnutt dates from November 2007 when we saw him at a concert in Vienna. Vic who was confined to a wheelchair after a car crash at age 18, was frail then, but intense and energetic. We enjoyed the concert very much.

A few days ago, on 25 December, he died after an overdose on muscle relaxants.

It's not clear whether the overdose was accidental or intentional, fact is there had been suicide attempts before.

Vic was a critic of the American health care system. In an interview earlier this year he said that he was $35,000 in debt to a hospital despite the fact that he was insured.

The Rolling Stone has more.

In the video below, from the last album "At The Cut", "Flirted With You All My Life" he sings about suicide like a lover he must break up with.

One of my personal favorites was "Supernatural":

Vic Chesnutt - Supernatural Lyrics @ LyricsTime.com

"Everything I say":

You'll be missed, Vic.


Hattie said...

A loss indeed. I read in the Guardian that he had $70,000 in unpaid medical bills. Imagine.

francessa said...

It's a shame, Hattie. I'm sure the amount the Guardian states is correct.

In a recent interview in "Spinner" he said: "I have hospitalization insurance, for which I pay almost $500 a month, and then on top of that I still owe the hospital $35,000. That is truly an insane system. I did everything right and I'm still under the gun."

$500 a month seems awfully high to me! Despite shortcomings in other fields, the Austrian health care system seems to work quite well.

Lydia said...

Well, you've once again been a teacher for me. I wonder how it is that I have never even heard his name, let alone any of his music. The first video made me so sad; he most likely did commit suicide.....
I wonder who, if anyone, is responsible for the enormous amount of unpaid medical bills he left. The U.S. has been shameful with its lack of good health care programs. I honestly don't know what we'll do years from now when Michael retires. Who can afford the monstrous amounts charged for even the minimum of care and huge deductibles. We'll see how this all plays out in Congress in the next week or so, but I don't have high hopes.
Now I will read the article at Rolling Stone while drinking some "Bedtime Tea." Then I will try to get some rest.
May Vic Chesnutt rest in peace.

Lydia said...

I failed to mention how great your review of the 2007 concert is. I love your reviews of contemporary art, music, and lit. :)

francessa said...

Thank you, Lydia!

There seems to have been an ongoing battle (lawsuit) with the hospital about what would be covered and what not. Besides, he would have needed kidney surgery in the near future, if I remember rightly from all the articles and posts I've read recently. Enough to drive someone crazy who is not prone to depression, let alone him with this medical history.

I really do hope that at least some positive steps towards a better health care system will be accomplished in your country. Illness as such is bad enough but having to worry constantly about the costs is terrible.

We will remember Vic as he was on that evening in 2007. And listen to his music, of course.

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