Killing Me Softly with Her Song
You know that is a really corny song and I admit to a love/hate relationship with it. It was one of the first few non-religious or classicial songs I learnt the words to, thanks to my now uncle who was trying to woo my aunt then and got me to back him up.
Anyway, I did not go to lunch at Indochine so that's $100 down the drain. The girlfriend suddenly had work commitments at the last minute and my other food binge mate was busy. Since I still have not recovered my appetite I decided to forego the whole thing.
But the song was in my head today because of a phone conversation I had with a girlfriend, who is a singer. During our chat I mentioned I might like to visit a regular club to listen to another friend who is singing there. The moment of silence from the other end should have warned me but sometimes I am not the brightest spark. A, my girlfriend on the other line, told me that our mutual friend was not singing there anymore. This was surprising since I just got the email announcing her performance a week ago.
A told me that M was fired literally one night into her engagement at the club. I was surprised but had a sense of dread I knew the reason why. A's subsequent comment confirmed my fears. M was fired for being falling down drunk during her gig. Sigh.
This is not the first time and in fact, has defined M for the past half decade. It is a real shame as the woman can really sing. Talented, beautfiul and charismatic, she had it all. But the seductive lure of drugs, alcohol and hard living has robbed her of the future she should have had. Now, she finds it increasingly hard to get gigs because she has pretty much fallen off stage drunk at almost every place she's performed at.
I like M. She has always been nice to me and I have a soft spot for her. So it really grieves me to see her like this. And it instills the fear of God into me. Every time I think of her, it makes me even more determined not to fall into that trap.
It's easy for people in the arts and entertainment line to do that. Easy access to booze, drugs and parties and the bullshit people you meet can really turn your head. It is a constant struggle to avoid getting sucked into it.
Another young girlfriend, B, basically started her singing career only in the last 4 years or so. Young, beautiful, talented and charismatic, she is starting to remind me of M. In the past two years, I have seen her through some really hairy times and despite my occasional admonishment not "to go where M has gone", I can see she is going to go where she wants, whatever anyone says to her. Worse, she's started sleeping her way through the club scene. While I am not one to judge, it is starting to hurt her reputation and some club owners are starting to label her as trouble. What's truly tragic is that she just started and she is really young. At the rate she is going, she might be at where M's at in another 5 years. When she is barely in her 30s. Already I can hear the damage to her voice from her excessive drinking and smoking. It's sad and I am crossing my fingers she will make it through unscathe.
But M ... sweet, tormented M ... I told A that I was incredibly surprised that the club hired M. Just a couple of months ago I was sitting with the club owner chatting about the scene and I mentioned M. The club owner had nothing good to say about her and declared that he would never hire her again because of her drunken behaviour and inability to perform anymore in her state. So I was dead surprised when I got the email months later.
I was hoping that M might have cleaned up her act and therefore, the club owner decided to give her another chance. It would have been great and I am still a romantic and idealist enough to want a happy comeback for this phenomenal singer. But it was not to be. It is doubly sad as everyone in the industry was waiting to see if M had cleaned up her act. This latest escapade could prove to be the final nail in her wine barrel.
The lifespan of any performer can be very short. Some are lucky and can sustain a long career but it takes more than luck. It really takes a lot of discipline, tenacity and dedication. I've seen so many talented artistes literally drink and smoke their lives away without realising it. It's tragic. And it scares the hell out of me.
On that note, I am going to have a cup of tea with honey and a nice hot shower before I go to sleep. And I'll say little prayer for M. 'Cos she sure sang a beautiful song while she could.
Photo from www.artdecosociety.org/ stephan
Categories - Rambling Prose