The Notices I Never Thought Would Be Sent Out Have Arrived

April 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm (Uncategorized)

On Monday, April 15th, Scott Miller died.  I’m not sure the death of someone I only knew casually has ever devastated me this much. I am grief-stricken, and know that my own grief and pain is nothing like that which must be hitting his wife Kristine, their two daughters, and the many people who were lucky enough to be close friends with them.

I plan to write something…better…than this in a bit. I’m still trying to figure out how to say things about him coherently.

I find it odd how the human mind attempts to “bargain” when hit with astonishingly bad news. Last night when I heard of Scott’s passing, I went to the room where I keep my records and CD’s. There are thousands of pieces of music there. My computer has three terabytes of digital music stored on various auxiliary drives. I’ve got a lot of music, in other words, and music means a lot to me.  With that said, in my mind the weird bargaining last night began with wondering if I’d willingly trade all that music just for the chance of Scott Miller still being alive and ready to record a new Game Theory album, as was the case?


Would I be willing to give up all that music and never hear any of it again just for the chance of Scott Miller being alive and with his family and occasionally writing pithy and interesting and funny things about music again?


Would I give it all up just to know that the guy who wrote and performed more music that carried me through more seas–both rough and calm–in my life was still around, even if I never heard another song from him or read another word he’d write?

Yes, I think. Yes to all that.

When my mother passed away last month after a very long and cruel illness (her passing was a blessing that relieved her suffering), I thought about posting a clip of her favorite song. I remember vividly in the time immediately after my father had died when I was a child, how music made it a little more okay, how it made me able to deal with things. Mom–who always sang all the time, much to my childhood chagrin–was constantly singing “Somewhere” from West Side Story. She confided in me once, years later, that she and my Dad thought of it as one of “their” songs, and it was her favorite. Oddly enough in his book Music–What Happened, Scott Miller called “Somewhere” his best song of 1957.

Two years ago Scott did a performance thing where he’d read bits from the book and then perform songs live that he’d praised in it.  That night he did “Somewhere”, straining his voice to get the highest notes in proper Millerian fashion. I’d like to think that maybe in happier times, Scott sang that song around his own daughters. I hope that it will one day soothe them as it does me, and they’ll be thankful that they can hear their dad sing it still.


  1. mikeapp said,

    Hey Chris – very moving post. I got to see both Game Theory and the Loud Family play throughout the years, and interviewed Scott in ’93. I was a fairly rabid GT/LF fan, but he was as gracious and patient as anyone I’ve ever met in music. That was the only extensive convo we ever had. So why do I feel like I lost a great friend? I’m having a hard time processing this. It doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t.

  2. stumania said,

    A beautiful eulogy to a great musician, a talented writer, and wonderful person, Chris. Thank you.

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