Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pinback and Larry Walters

I just have to write a little about Pinback because they are so phenomenally great in ways that are not possible to put into words, but I'm going to try anyway. Every now and then a band will come along, or more accurately; I'll discover a band that will just totally blow me away. They'll kill my soul, resurrect it, make my reason for living change from second to second, depending on what chord is playing, carving new and permanent pathways into my synapses. I think the inside of my brain even hemmorhages a little bit when I'm emotionally overcome by a band like Pinback, and my thoughts will bleed tears.

There is a song called Walters which especially tends to make me cry when I listen to it, if I'm in exactly the right mood, the perfect blend of melancholy and joy. It's about a guy named Larry Walters who yearned to fly but wasn't allowed into pilot training in the Air Force because of his eyesight. Back in the early 80's, he bought about 50 weather balloons, tied them to a lawn chair, filled the balloons with helium and shot up into the sky. He floated over southern California for a couple of hours and was so amazed by the view that he forgot to take pictures.

In 1990 he went out on a hike and never came back. He shot himself through the heart at his favorite place on his hiking trail. I can only imagine the kind of pain it would take to drive one to do that. I've thought about it a lot, but never seriously considered it. I guess I haven't experienced that level of pain and hopelessness. I grieve for Larry Walters... poor guy, poor soul, poor man, poor sad sad man. I cry sometimes just thinking about him and this song. God have mercy on him please.

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