I always said we would stop before we got bad. If I continue to record I might accidentally write the answer song to Shiny Happy People.What, you thought I was going to hang on to the bitter end like Marybeth Hamilton?
Silver Jews “People (feat. Steve Malkmus)”
“He set out to take 300 orange Xanax, ten at a time between house chores. He brushed his teeth, took ten pills. He made the bed, took ten pills. He showered. He walked Miles. He got the mail. Then he stopped remembering. What must’ve happened in the next few minutes or hours was that Berman grew incredibly romantic. Like the most honest but self-consciously histrionic moments of his writing, he stumbled to his closet and put on his wedding suit. He tried to scribble some final words. ‘Cassie I’m sorry. I can’t take it anymore. I love you.’ Then he called his crack dealer. His dealer picked him up and brought him to the place he’d ostensibly been living the past year and half.
The crack house also doubled as a music venue, and when Berman showed up, a vile Frenchman was performing, the kind of artist who shits on crosses. Against the Xanax, the crack was uplifting. Berman was like a plane just taking off, gaining enough energy to barely walk. Then his wife showed up. Cassie found the suicide note and her husband gone. She’d called his dealer and was there to take Berman to the hospital.
He screamed at her the whole cab ride. He’d never liked being told what to do and he did not want to be saved. Cassie couldn’t make the hospital guards take him unwillingly, so she asked him what exactly he wanted to do. He told her take him the Loews Vanderbilt; the same hotel Al Gore holed himself up in November of 2000. Three years earlier, the Vice President himself had traveled to Nashville to make his concession speech, but when questions concerning the Florida ballot arose, Gore waited. And waited. He stayed in his room for two weeks, while camera crews from around the world lined West End Avenue, hoping to get a shot of the VP passing his hotel window.
That’s what Berman was thinking about when he approached the front desk. “Give me the Al Gore Suite,” he demanded. He must’ve been a sight in the lobby of Nashville’s nicest hotel, overdosing on crack and pills. But he was wearing a Brooks Brothers suit, and they gave him a room.”
David Berman Discography (w/ Silver Jews):
- Starlite Water
- The Natural Bridge
- American Water
- Bright Flight
- Tanglewood Numbers
- Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
David Berman Bibliography: