Meant to post this yesterday. I wrote it almost four years ago.
April 25, 2007
"I Am A Lonely Soul..."
It's old news by now, but Brad Delp, lead singer of the classic rock band Boston, was found dead in his home on Friday, March 9, 2007. Brad was probably the most underrated vocalist in rock history. He brought class, discipline, and perfection to a world often blasted as messy and irresponsible.
Despite his accomplishments and full life, Brad committed suicide. In his note, he wrote (in French), "I am a lonely soul."
I keep wondering how someone with a wedding in the offing to a loving fiancee, two children, and many adoring fans, could say he was lonely. I know that is a very simplistic way to think...fans are not close friends, and you never know what's going on in someone's mind and heart.
Once, in college, I planned to commit suicide. I started writing my goodbye letters. After a couple hours, somewhere around letter number 17, I realized with a little chuckle that if I had at least 17 people in my life who would care that I had died, and who I knew would be sad and want an explanation from me, then what the hell was I killing myself for?
Of course, my suicidal ideation was borne of teen agnst and self-pity, not a serious mental illness. I guess that's why I lucked out and Brad did not.
Of all the gifts God gave to us, music is the one I treasure most. He could have just given us all angel choirs to lift our souls, but he decided instead to open the world of music to any taste, any mood, any imaginable instrument, any rhythm, and any volume. The deepest parts of my heart and soul are moved as much by songs like "Dust in the Wind" and "Highway to Hell" as they are by Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
One of the songs I always loved most, however, was "Don't Look Back" by Boston. On top of the usual amazing guitar work, precision drums, and Brad's gorgeous vocal harmonies, the lyrics shined:
I can see, it took so long just to realize
I'm much too strong not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down...
I'll turn it around.
This song helps me celebrate my arrival out from the darkness of my past. Today when I hear it, I am heartbroken that the peace Brad sang about in these words, was lost to him for reasons I will never understand.
But I know that the joy of the music and the beauty of the voice who gave it to me will transcend the pain, and grief, and stand forever as a monument to Brad, and to the Creator who endowed us all with a gift to share with the world, whatever that gift may be.
Rest in peace, and thank you, Brad.