Ben Curtis R.I.P / “And Love Is The Right Thing To Say”

Monday, December 30th, 2013. Filed under: Music News

Benjamin-Curtis-by-Sally-Lyndley-1

I did my best to stay positive…
too young…
so talented…
so successful…
yet still grounded…
but it’s pretty hard to do at times, especially after a Facebook post from Ben on August 25th of this year. He would paint a grim image of his future by announcing that his lymphoma had progressed into leukemia. “..two cancers for the price of one,” as he put it. Today, we find out that on Sunday, December 29th, Benjamin passed away at the age of 35. I have been a fan of Ben’s since around 1996, and in recent times (before announcing his cancer) would keep occasional communication with him via Facebook, that started with an interview he agreed to do with our little blog here.

In 1997, Ben joined the already well-established Dallas band, Tripping Daisy, as they set out to record their most ambitious album to date, Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb in which the band worked with Eric Drew Feldman. Feldman has worked with Captain BeefheartPixies, and PJ Harvey just to name a few. The record was a critical success but was in my opinion ahead of it’s time. The band went on to start their own label, Good Records, and put out their last record in 2000, after the sudden overdose death of founding member, Wes Berggren. I attended that funeral, learned to never go to a funeral without tissue. At some point during the ceremony, a pre-recorded song was played, and I quickly recognized the voice… Tim DeLaughter singing about things being okay and good…

I Am Good (Tripping Daisy)

I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re okay
I am good, you are good, we are good, good night
Beautiful world like the one you knew
Learn to live life on the way
Beautiful world like the one you knew
And love is the right thing to say

I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re okay
I am good, you are good, we are good, good night
Beautiful world like the one you knew
Learn to live life on the way
Beautiful world like the one you choose
And love is the right thing to say
And love is the right thing to say

Tripping Daisy – I Am Good

I assumed the song was just for the funeral but later found out when the band released their last and self-titled albumthat it was part of that collection of songs. As I absorbed the news of today… I found myself going back to this song as it seemed appropriate.

Tripping Daisy – Halo Comb (featuring Ben killing it on drums)

As Tim eventually moved on to start the powerhouse that is The Polyphonic Spree… Ben started a new band named The Secret Machines with his brother, Brandon, with whom he was in a band with prior to Tripping Daisy named UFOFU. The Secret Machines eventually move to New York and were a substantial commercial success, appearing on MTV frequently in video and live in person. Ben leaves The Secret Machines in 2007, and starts School Of Seven Bells with twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. Ben again quickly finds commercial success often appearing on late night talk shows, playing large concerts, and getting plenty of online love. The band releases three LPs during this time, all of which have become iconic in my opinion. The bands last LP, Ghostory, was my pick for best record of 2012.

The Secret Machines - Nowhere Again

School of Seven Bells – Lafaye

Ben was a immense talent and a lovely person… even with as little as I knew him, it hurts, so I can only imagine what those that knew him well are feeling. Ben’s last public statement ended with “please know that life is amazing, and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. You are all beautiful. You are all loved.”

Ben…you will live forever in your music… goodnight and peace be with you.

-Wyatt

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