A voice…from the other side

davelep2

dave lep

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This… just made me feel so aware of how fragile and elusive life is, and how little we know about what we’ve really got in this right HERE and right NOW sometimes…

I was searching for the e-mail address of a friend that I haven’t talked to in a very long time, and made a search in my Hotmail inbox.
One of the first things that popped up was a sender with his name written in capital letters: DAVE LEPARD
It was written in August 2002 – more than ten years ago now.

I opened it out of curiosity and, translated, this is what it said:

Fuck, I’m really jealous of your meetings with Baz and the boys. Damn. But I’ve had bit of luck with the Skids too because I have a few pals in NY who know Seb and the fact is, he’s listened to a record we did with my band CRASH DIET. Real fuckin’ Motley, Skid Row-kickass kind of music. Hmmm, oh well, I’m gonna copy this letter and try sending it to your other e-mail address as well… would be cool to hear from you. ///Lepardman, Uppsala

It dawned on me that it was from “the” Dave Lepard, who at the time was fronting the glam/sleaze band Crash Diet. The, at the time, unsigned band Crash Diet.

I remember finding one of their demos among my CD’s years ago, and I never realized that it might have any actual value, so I put it on eBay, thought I’d be lucky if I got ten bucks for it. I set the “Buy Now” price to $25 and thought that nobody would buy it. It took about ten minutes and it was sold! I regret selling it now, but needed the cash at the time. :-(
The demo came with a hand-written note from Dave with a short description of the band – and the cover was a photo-copied ugly thing…

Anyway, when I received that e-mail, he was just one of many who used to write to me. I guess I didn’t pay much attention. Some guy who was in some band. There are tons of them, you stop taking notice really, unless somebody really sticks out. It’s sad, but inevitable when you get lots of material from so many in a never ending stream….

I don’t know if I ever replied to Dave – maybe I did from my other e-mail that he said he was sending his mail to. Looks like he was really eager to get in touch with me.
“This guy” later became a glam-icon, a cult-figure, after his suicide in January 2006 – at the age of 25… Which means he was only 21 when he wrote that e-mail.

Crash Diet got signed by Universal in 2005 and got a big hit with “Riot In Everyone” – the first single from the debut album “Rest in sleaze“.
You will have to Google the whole story or get a short version here: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/crashdïet-mn0000756884

It just made me feel low, because it’s so sad that a talented guy with such drive and such love for music, chose to end his life – and so young. He had so much to live for.

And then I find his mail, which made me even more sad because I had almost forgotten that he tried to get in touch with me all those years ago.
His mail just popped up – like a voice from the other side. Amazing how these digital traces continue to live on even when the people who left them are gone.

He did get to enjoy his success for a short while, and that counts for something I guess.
Just becomes a reminder that the kid off the street who says he’s “in a band” might actually make a difference within his field someday, become important to a lot of people. This “kid” certainly did.

Rest in sleaze, Dave.

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