Beck Hansen

       We received sad, sad news today. Our friend Tim Taylor, the singer of Brainiac, was killed in a car accident over the weekend. We were just on tour with Tim and Brainiac in England last week. We all got along great and we’re huge fans of each other’s music. Tim was an inspired performer. He exploded onstage with alien voices, violently bashing a synthesizer. Between songs he would exclaim to a befuddled English audience, “We’re BRAINIAC from Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.!!! LAND OF MILK AND HONEY!!!” We will miss him.
       We sat shocked by the news while riding from Chicago to Milwaukee. Today, the Milwaukee station and The Point in St. Louis both had radio shows going. Somehow we ended up on the bill for both. The stations agreed to charter a jet to fly us from Milwaukee to St. Louis. It was the only way it would work logistically.
       We arrived in Milwaukee at 2 p.m. It was another cold and overcast day. Dennis, from The Frogs, showed up with his wife and two little children. We hung out till it was time to play. There was trouble with the PA, so we ended up going on late and only played for 30 minutes. At the end of the set I jumped off the drum riser and twisted my foot.
       We all piled into the bus and left straightaway for the airport. The promoter got some police cars to escort us. We all laughed mightily as cops raced ahead of us clearing out empty Memorial Day streets. We pulled up on the runway and loaded our equipment into the plane. The cops wanted me to take a Polaroid with them in front of the jet. As five of them stood posing behind me, one of them leaned in and said, “Hey, we could snap one where we’re pretending to beat you up. You could use it for a record cover or something.” I declined and got on the plane. All 16 of us crammed inside and fastened our seat belts. The little jet took off with great force. Soon we were up 45,000 feet. We ate sandwiches and looked down from outer space.
       We got to St. Louis in an hour. As we descended out of the clouds, the runway was right there, and BAM!--we landed. It was even colder in St. Louis. We drove straight to the Riverport Amphitheatre. We were onstage in less than an hour. The audience was very receptive and the mood was relaxed. My foot was starting to ache badly. I hobbled offstage and set it on ice. A girl presented us with a cowboy-boot cake.
       At the hotel, we holed up in the lobby for drinks and chicken sandwiches. As midnight came, we raised a toast to David, our sax player, who was departing for Bali in the morning to get married on a deserted beach by a disciple of Rumi. We raised a toast to G-2 jets and two shows in two cities in one day. We raised a toast to sprained ankles. We raised a toast to Tim, our departed comrade.