Speakers Push Air

Everybody Is A Star
August 3, 2008, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I went to my friend‘s funeral on Friday. I won’t dwell overmuch, just to say it was a beautifully done service (memories of his bizarre but infectious laugh, his collection of dried frog corpses, how he had so many pairs of trainers – 100+ – that the collective noun for them should forever be a ‘Clayton of trainers’.) but as much as we all tried to emphasise the celebration, not the loss, when his widow lifted their children up to the coffin to say goodbye, it was like being kicked in the stomach. Hard.

Anyway, the bit I wanted to write about was what happened when we left the chapel: we filed out, quietly, onto the path that ran down into a garden behind the chapel where they laid the flowers. I looked up to the sky and saw a small silver, starshaped helium balloon that must have got away from one of the kids. It was floating slowly upwards and away and I stopped in my tracks and watched it get smaller and smaller till it finally slipped from sight, lost in the clouds.

But then I suddenly felt self-conscious, naff even, because of the association I was making between the balloon and my friend. I looked around, and saw that to either side of me almost everyone was doing the same thing – either staring into the clouds, or pulling back from the moment, perhaps feeling as daft as I did. If it had been in a Hollywood movie, it would have been mawkish, maudlin, sentimental and probably feature a Robin Williams voiceover. But it wasn’t a Hollywood movie, it was my mate’s funeral, and when I saw that balloon vanish, it did feel like he was leaving us and he was a star.

To make this in any way relevant to a music blog, this is what was played as we all filed past the coffin.

The Damned – Love Song
(from the album The Best Of The Damned)

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