Notes on a barroom memorial:
Because he listened to and played good music – rare double qualities these days – because he respected women and because he had an infectious, self-deprecating sense of humor, I am saddened by the loss of Cranford
. He was refreshingly authentic, a man of flesh and blood trying to fit into an artificial world.
But I am not really sorry about his death, if that makes any sense.
I believe Cranford would have chosen no other way to go out, and I applaud him for – unlike a lot of us – being true to himself.
Cranford wrote a song called “Suicide or Alcohol,” and his lyrics are filled with self-loathing and innumerable references to drug abuse and the seeming pointlessness of life. For these reasons do I say his end was inevitable. He courted death, taunted it and, ultimately, embraced it.
But as anyone who knew him can attest, Cranford was not the type of guy who walked around with a rain cloud over his head: You didn’t know him if you would describe him as gloomy. Instead, he sported a an omnipresent dumb mischievous grin, the face that assured you the world’s problems could be solved with a stiff drink, The Replacements and a no-good woman.
And he was right, only perhaps he didn’t believe it.
He would probably get a kick out of the fact that he outlived uber-punkers Darby Crash and Sid Vicious by some ten years.
I miss him every day.