What this man was capable of was superhuman.
Vic was brilliant, hilarious and necessary; his songs messages from the ether, uncensored. He developed a guitar style that
allowed him to play bass, rhythm and lead in the same song — this with the movement of only two fingers. His fluid timing
was inimitable, his poetry untainted by influences. He was my best friend.
never saw the wheelchair—it was invisible to me—but he did. When our dressing room was up a flight of stairs,
he'd casually tell me that he'd meet me in the bar. When we both contracted the same illness, I told him it was the worst
pain I'd ever felt. "I don't feel pain," he said. Of course. I'd forgotten. When I asked him to take a walk down the rain
spattered sidewalk with me, he said his hands would get wet. Sitting on stage with him, I would request a song and he'd flip
me off, which meant, "This finger won't work today." I saw him as unassailable—huge and wonderful, but I think Vic saw
Vic as small, broken. And sad.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to listen
to his music again, but I know how vital it is that others hear it. When I got the phone call I'd been dreading for the last
fifteen years, I lost my balance. My whole being shifted to the left; I couldn't stand up without careening into the wall
and I was freezing cold. I don't think I like this planet without Vic; I swore I would never live here without him. But what
he left here is the sound of a life that pushed against its constraints, as all lives should. It's the sound of someone on
fire. It makes this planet better.
And if I'm honest with myself, I admit that
I still feel like he's here, but free of his constraints. Maybe now he really is huge. Unbroken. And happy.