VIC CHESNUTT 1964 - 2009
Singer, songwriter, guitarist Vic
Chesnut died on Christmas Day, December 25, 2009. According to Twitter reports from Chesnutt's close friend Kristin Hersh, Chesnutt
slipped into a coma after attempting to commit suicide. He was 45 years old.
| Vic Chesnutt|
Chesnutt had a remarkable career, releasing 16 albums and captivating audiences with countless live shows that
would affect fans in profound ways. He has collaborated with a plethora of artists, perhaps most famously with
Widespread Panic in the
Brute. Panic also covered
several of Chesnutt's songs regularly in concert. Chesnutt has also worked with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Lambchop,
Van Dyke Parks, A Silver Mount Zion, and Elf Power.
Vic Chesnutt was confined to a wheelchair since the age of 18 because of injuries suffered in a car accident.
Kristin Hersh has created a website for those who want to help Chesnutt's family with expenses. To donate, please
go to kristinhersh.cashmusic.org/vic.
The following note is taken from the Constellation Records Website, Chesnutt's most recent record label.
Surrounded by family and friends, Vic
Chesnut died in Athens Georgia this afternoon, Friday 25 December at 14:59.
"In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and
determination are all about. Our grief is inexpressible and Vic’s absence unfathomable."
We will make more information available according to the wishes of Vic’s family and friends.
Don and Ian
"The most important story to report now is not Vic’s death but a life and work overflowing with insight, humor, and
yes, resilience. This, after all, was the man who wrote: 'I thought I had a calling, anyway, I just kept dialing.' Sixteen
extraordinary albums, five in the last couple of years; countless live shows so powerful and sublime they deeply
altered the lives of those on the stage with Vic and those looking up, yes up, at him. The second most important
story here has to do with a broken health care system depriving so many of the help they need to stay around and
stay sane, and a society that never balks at providing more money for more wars but fights tooth and nail against
decent care for its citizens. Vic’s death, just so you all know, did not come at the end of some cliché downward
spiral. He was battling deep depression but also at the peak of his powers, and with the help of friends and family he
was in the middle of a desperate search for help. The system failed to provide it. I miss him terribly."
Filmmaker/photographer/North Star Deserter producer
“We have lost one of our great ones. His songs and his story remain.”
"I flew around a little room once. A line from Supernatural.
He was just that. He possessed an unearthly energy and
yet was humanistic with the common man in mind. He was
entirely present and entirely somewhere else. A mystical
somewhere else. A child and an old guy as he called himself.
Before he made an album he said he was a bum. Now he
is in flight bumming round beyond the little room. With his
“In 1991 I moved to Athens Georgia in search of god, but what I discovered instead was Vic Chesnutt. Hearing his
music completely transformed the way I thought about writing songs, and I will forever be in his debt."
Neutral Milk Hotel
“Years ago upon discovery, West of Rome consoled me when I was going under. A life saver with the
straight story. I followed since then from a distance. Vic was a unique being, mind, voice. No one spoke or made
music like that, with that particular timbre, vocabulary and perception. Fierce and direct or levitated, whimsical and
ornamental, he always cut to the bone. And past that, to the soul. It's a shame. A national tragedy, when you look at
the issues being faced.”
Film curator, New York Film Festival