Remember What Stuart Adamson Said

by Blog by Ken Socrates

March 30, 2009

“Stay alive.”

Of course, he eventually killed himself.

I’ve tried to make sense of this from time to time. Of course, I understand a song lyric is just a song lyric and an anthem like that, however powerful, does not define a lifetime. It doesn’t provide some sort of magical Guitar Hero Sheild against the shit life can throw at you. Epsecially when you’re dealing with such issues as substance abuse, failed relationships, estrangement from all the friends and family you’ve come to believe no longer care whether you live or die.

When you’re that weary and alone, not even the music can reach you anymore.

Which is sad, because Stuart had so much to offer. You look not only at the official discography of The Skids and Big Country to see his song writing and guitar playing skill but to the extensive amount of material that has been released in the form of eight Rarities albums, many of which via Ian Grant’s Track Records. Some of them are better than others, of course, and the very first one contains some amazing gems like the Restless Natives soundtrack and songs like When A Drum Beatsand Over The Border. On each of them, however, there is at least one example of the heart and soul that Mr. Adamson put into his work, that philosophy and, dare I say it, hope that seemed essential to his art.Belief In The Small Man, as one song title said. I always thought it was in there in some form.

So maybe that’s what baffles me, in the end. I wonder if all the positve imagery was just bullshit. Maybe I’m not looking close enough and the optimism faded away with the failure of Peace In Our Time. I look atDriving To Damascus and it becomes harder to see much faith. Your Spirit To Me, for example.


“There’s only seconds of your life
That really count for anything
All the rest is killing time
Waiting for a train.”
The man’s troubles have been well documented so I’ll not detail them here, once again. Suffice to say, there were times when life became rather grim and painful for him, like it does at times for all of us. Thus, I never judge a man and his final decisions, however much I wish there had been some other conclusion to the story. A different tune, another song.

I miss Stuart, I really do. It seems every time I hit shuffle on my iPod, within the first dozen or so songs there is always something from The Skids or BC to make me smile. Out of Town, the other day. The demo version of The Crossing the next. Restless Natives in it’s entirety on a long drive home just recently.

The music, at least, is still alive and that’ll have to be enough, I guess. Nothing can ever change how I feel when I hear that music, those anthems. It soars now as it ever did.

As for Stuart? Well, here’s hoping he managed to find his Eiledon at last, somewhere out there.

Here’s hoping we all do.

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