Mark Linkous – R.I.P.

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Si è tolto la vita. Sabato 6 marzo. A darne notizia con uno scarno comunicato la famiglia dell’artista: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you”. Virginiano d’origine (Richmond) ma da tempo residente in North Carolina, Mark Linkous arriva dall’esperienza degli anni ’80 in seno ai Dancing Hoods formati a New York. Due release tra il 1986 e il 1988 poi lo split e per un breve periodo eccolo formare The Johnson Family che si evolveranno senza fortuna nei Salt Chunk Mary. Quindi nell’aprile del 1995 esordisce la sua creatura Sparklehorse. Lo-fi, malinconico alternative country con la voce catatonica di Linkous, queste le caratteristiche essenziali di una prima produzione influenzata tanto da Neil Young e Tom Waits, quanto dagli Afghan Whigs. Dipendente dall’eroina, nel 1996 entra in overdose a causa di un abuso di alcool e antidpressivi: è praticamente morto per due minuti. Tragico episodio che gli procura dei danni permanenti alle gambe (per tre mesi è costretto su una sedia a rotelle, la stessa che raffigura il compianto Vic Chesnutt sulla prima pagina del sito ufficiale degli Sparklehorse). Quattro straordinari album all’attivo e una serie di preziose collaborazioni (l’ultima delle quali con Danger Mouse e David Lynch come Dark Night Of The Soul) ne decretano lo status di artista imprescindibile del nostro tempo. Mark Linkous era al lavoro per dare alla luce un nuovo album che sarebbe dovuto uscire entro il 2010. Non si conoscono per ora altri dettagli sul tragico gesto.

ULTIM’ORA: Una portavoce dell’artista conferma la versione ufficiale data dalla famiglia. Mark Linkous si è tolto la vita sabato scorso a Knoxville, sparandosi al cuore con una pistola. Aveva 47 anni. Lascia la moglie Teresa, la madre Gloria Hughes Thacker, il padre Frederick Linkous ed i fratelli Matt, Paul e Daniel Linkous.

John Schacht del magazine Blurt lo aveva intervistato un anno fa, ecco il suo ricordo: “I liked his [sense of] humor – nice guy, very damaged though. When I hung up the phone the last time, he was walking into a therapist’s in Asheville, and [I sensed] I’d never speak to him again. You could feel the weight of his depression”.

Steve Albini: “I only worked with Mark for a couple of weeks, but he was as open, sincere and unaffected a person as I’ve ever encountered. He was completely unguarded and enthusiastic about the things he loved, and he gave the musicians he worked with freedom to be creative and excel. Prior to seeing him at work I’d never given his music much thought, but during those sessions he impressed me tremendously and I was really looking forward to seeing him again and finishing the record”.

Chris Walla: “Rest in peace, Mark Linkous. I always hoped that someday you would treat you good too. You shared so much.”

Colin Greenwood: “I was very sad to hear the news that Mark Linkous  has died. He and his band toured with us in Europe, at the start of OK Computer, and they were great every night. His first two records were very important to me, and I carried his music from the tour into my life, and my friends’ lives too. He was softly spoken, with an Old South courtesy I hadn’t heard before: he introduced me to Daniel Johnston’s music, and the West Virginian writing of Pinckney Benedict. Mark wrote and played some beautiful music, and we’re lucky to have it. Rest in Peace.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Horus club, una decina scarsa di anni fa – era venuto in duo, solo lui e un batterista che azionava roba campionata, spettacolo breve ma intenso. Subito dopo, facendomi autografare “It’s a wonderful life” (…):
    “Hey Mark, I really enjoyed the show, but I think your songs deserve more! Why didn’t you come with a band?” – “We had a small car.”
    Un genio.
    RIP

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