Friday, February 22, 2013
Ten Thousand Angels
I believe it was the fall of 1996 when I saw Mindy McCready in concert. I'd traveled 287 miles with my sister to see George Strait at the Fargodome. Mindy was George's opening act. She didn't perform well, but she was new, after all; plus, everybody was dying to see George, so maybe we all were a bit jaded.
She'd had two hits by that time; ultimately, the only two hits she would ever have.
I'd read a book way back when, called "Three Chords and the Truth", and somehow I'd never forgotten the passages about Mindy. It's not as if 1996 was dominated by Mindy songs. 1996 was mostly Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, and, of course, George Strait. But Mindy had a story. She'd had a mostly crappy life, with a mother who apparently wanted to experience her missed fame and fortune through her kid; a mom who was unnaturally tough on a little girl; one who, on the one hand, pushed her kid to attain new country music heights; and with the other hand, smacked her down and treated her as little more than a chamber maid. Mixed signals like that can screw somebody up for life.
I didn't know what happened to Mindy after her two hit singles. I think I read in People Magazine that she was engaged to Dean Cain, but after that, she fell off my radar. Then, sometime later, all the sordid stories began, and it was frankly too much drama for me. I hate drama. Drama exhausts me.
Mindy hadn't been relevant in the music world for a decade and a half. Most people don't remember what happened yesterday, much less 17 years ago. For Entertainment Weekly, Mindy's death was a huge story on....what was it? Monday? Now they are bored with it all. That's the shelf life of most entertainers.
I watch The Five, or I, rather, listen to it, on weekdays, after I get home from work. I like having a TV to keep me company while I'm playing around on the computer and de-stressing. Greg Gutfeld said something, when the topic turned to Mindy McCready, about keeping (I'm paraphrasing, because I don't recall his exact words) damaged people at arm's length. His reasons were different from mine; but I, too, tend to keep people like that away from me. Because those people drain you.
It wasn't her fault. There were a bunch of threads snaking through Mindy's life; bad choices, bad people; bad decisions; mostly, bad parents (sorry, but it's true).
I just hope her kids turn out okay, because life is a tough row to hoe, even when everything falls into place just so; as if anything ever does.
I've felt that kind of despair in my life. Maybe the difference was, I didn't have ciphers pumping visions of grandeur into my brain; telling me that if I fail, I'll fail BIG. I was just a "normal" nonentity; and I had to take care of my kids and myself, as best I could. Maybe being inconsequential saved me.
Every life has its worth. Even if EW forgets you in a day, not all of us forget.
Here is Mindy:
(A blast from the past, but oh so timely today): Yes, that's right. After careful consideration, I have decided to run. Oh sure, you...
Well, I did it. Not only did I accomplish the goal of writing 14 songs in 28 days, but I actually wrote 16! So, here you go. They'...
What? Ray Stevens? The guy who did Gitarzan and The Streak? What do you mean, a genius? Isn't he just kind of corny? I sometimes thi...