A Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

852

Quasi sedici anni fa moriva Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Leader dei Gun Club, a stretto “contatto” con la Bomp Records, collaboratore per alcune punk zine e mentore del fan club dei Blondie (la band dedicherà all’artista ‘Under The Gun’ dall’album ‘No Exit’ del 1999). Una giovinezza consumata a vagheggiare il glam rock e ad assorbire l’essenzialità del blues. Bryan Ferry come Marc Bolan, Charley Patton come Howlin’ Wolf. I Gun Club influenti a tal punto che non è un caso se artisti come Jack White, Jon Spencer e l’amico Mark Lanegan (epoca Screaming Trees) abbiano più volte citato Pierce e la sua band, come autentico faro per la loro formazione musicale (ma potremmo segnalare anche Archie Bronson Outfit, Calla, Pixies…). L’altra faccia di un ragazzo che a 23 anni si ritrova paragonato a Jim Morrison e Nick Cave. Gli anni ’90 contraddistinti dalla battaglia contro i soliti demoni personali. La droga e la devastazione dell’anima. Jeffrey Lee Pierce muore a soli 37 anni per un’emorragia cerebrale. Il 31 Marzo 1996.

Mark Lanegan nel 2004 disse: “In early 1996, he went to Japan, and right before he left he and I were at his mom’s in LA writing songs. He seemed in really good health – sometimes he wasn’t in such good health, sometimes he could barely walk because he was so fucked up. When he came back from Japan, he left me a couple of messages on my answering machine. He sounded completely out of his mind, though not like he was drunk. It was strange, like he’d gone crazy; finally I got hold of someone, and she told me Jeffrey had come back, that he’d been drinking while he was gone, his liver had poisoned his system, and he was experiencing dementia. The hospital turned him away saying, there’s nothing we can do for him, his liver’s shut down, he’s dying. After this, I get a call from him; he was up in Utah and he sounded normal. And I said, what the hell, man, everyone’s saying you’re going to die. And he said, they always say that. And a week later, he fell into a coma and died”.

Resta l’opera basilare di un grandissimo musicista. Che può essere ripercorsa nello splendido documentario a lui dedicato: ‘Ghost On The Highway: A Portrait Of Jeffrey Lee Pierce And The Gun Club’ diretto da Kurt Voss nel 2006 e da tempo disponibile in DVD. Resta quel faccione sfatto dalla droga, restano quei capelli disordinati, quegli occhi profondi, quella musica che scorre ancora nelle vene. Resta Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

Alle celebrazioni ad inizio 2010 si è aggiunto il disco edito dalla Glitterhouse ‘We Are Only Riders’ – come The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project – che racchiude brani del compianto artista, coverizzati o terminati (laddove erano rimasti incompiuti) da un manipolo di grandi amici/colleghi. L’annunciata seconda parte (di tre) viene confermata dalla label per il 30 marzo. ‘The Journey Is Long’ contiene 18 brani mai finiti da Pierce che un portavoce della Glitterhouse spiega così: “Many songs started as nascent ideas captured on a cassette unearthed by Pierce’s latter day collaborator Cypress Grove while clearing out his loft. Harking back to the collective ethos of Pierce’s beloved jazz, artists spill into each other’s tracks, reinterpreting or finishing lyrical and melodic sketches while some chose personal favourites from his catalogue”. Dunque sfilano nuovamente Nick Cave con i Bad Seeds, Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell, ma anche Lydia Lunch, Tav Falco e Mick Harvey. La terza ed ultima parte – ‘The Task Has Overwhelmed Us’ – sarà invece fuori entro la fine dell’anno.

1. Nick Cave “City In Pain”
2. Hugo Race “I’m Going Upstairs”
3. Steve Wynn “From Death To Texas”
4. Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell “The Breaking Hands”
5. The Amber Lights “The Jungle Book”
6. Bertrand Cantat, Pascal Humbert, Warren Ellis, Cypress Grove “Rose’s Blues”
7. Thalia Zedek & Chris Brokaw “Zonar Roze”
8. Cypress Grove “L.A. County Jail Blues”
9. Barry Adamson “I Wanna Be You”
10. Mick Harvey “Sonny Boy”
11. Vertical Smile “Book Of Love”
12. Astro-Unicorn “Body And Soul”
13. Lydia Lunch “The Brink”
14. Nick Cave & Deborah Harry “The Breaking Hands”
15. Tex Perkins & Lydia Lunch “In My Room”
16. Tav Falco’s Panther Burns “The Jungle Book”
17. Mick Harvey “St. Mark’s Place”
18. The Jim Jones Revue “Ain’t My Problem Baby”