Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Carter's Rock and Roll Days

First of all, if you look above to the title of the blog, you may notice a slight change. As a memorial to Carter Albrecht, the blog shall go by the name of Ghost of Carter Albrecht throughout this coming weekend (the URL will obviously remain ghostofblindlemon.blogspot.com). It’s just my little way of showing respect to one of the finest musicians that I’ve ever had the privilege of watching play.

In last evening’s entry, I chose not to go into a lot of detail on the incident Sunday night/Monday morning, stating only that he was “fatally shot by a neighbor.” I was having a hard time reconciling the kind, fun, laid back Carter that I knew with the Carter that was being portrayed in the media. There seemed to be some major pieces in the puzzle missing. This morning, Danny Balis posted a message on MySpace which helped shed some insight on the situation. The following is only an excerpt from his post (to read more of his post, as well as comments from other friends, read Cindy's story at The Fine Line):

“we've all read the updated story in the dallas morning news, and it seems pretty accurate, according to the play-by-play of events she gave me throughout the night. what we don't know is why he ended up at the next door neighbor's back door, banging and kicking it at 4:06. nor do we know why carter acted out with his girlfriend in a manner that i have never seen in my near-ten years of friendship with him.

this was not the carter albrecht i knew. the police report failed to mention that for the previous week, he and his girlfriend were trying quit smoking with the prescription drug, "chantix". they had both started the program at the same time, and had been on it for a week. monday was supposed to be their quit day. carter had not slept much the night before, and had consumed approximately five cocktails in a two hour period on sunday eve. this was not unusual, as carter had a very good tolerance for the drink. chantix does clearly state on the box that it's drowsy effects could be intensified by alcohol. the two also complained of having crazy, insane, almost horrific dreams that week. they jokingly referred to them as "chantix dreams" when comparing them. i later learned through a close friend that he had firsthand knowledge of two separate couples who had tried to quit smoking using chantix, and in each case, one spouse had tried to kill the other with no previous domestic conflct. one was successful, and many refer to this drug as a psychotic.

was it a combination of sleep deprivation, booze, and the stop-smoking pills that sent him off? it's the only explanation i can even think of. what was described to me sounded like a walking black out. in my years of knowing him, and all the girls he dated, i have never once heard of him getting abusive or physical with them. it was not his character. especially with the woman that i know for a fact he loved dearly. unfortunately, the morning news story paints him as a batterer to the casual reader that did not know him. this, he was undeniably not”

This helps provide some answers, yet at the same time, I’m not sure it can “make sense of the senseless”, as I was saying yesterday. I don’t want to get too maudlin, however. In fact, Danny prefaced his bulletin by saying that “were [Carter] here right now, he would think this is totally fucking gay, and I would never hear the end of it.” The last thing that The Ghost of Blind Lemon Carter Albrecht wants to do is appear gay, so here’s what I’d like to do. In the comments section, I’d like for anyone who feels so compelled to share their favorite Carter story. I don’t allow anonymous posts, but for those who don’t have a blogger account, email me thru my profile and I will post the story for you.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by his death, but I would rather remember the joy he shared with others in his life. He had many great “Rock and Roll Days” (to steal the title of my favorite Sparrows song), and I think that’s a wonderful way to keep the spirit of Carter Albrecht alive.

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