For Victims of Chronic Dead Rock Star Fatigue Syndrome, Life Goes on Despite the Grief

ALBANY, New York.  When Cynthia McDonald finished pouring her first cup of coffee this morning, she padded into her den in bedroom slippers, turned on her computer and checked her social media accounts, like any other day.  “I’m a creature of habit,” she says with a smile.  “I enjoy catching up with my friends–most of the time,” she adds with a hesitant tone, before allowing this reporter to look at the tribute page that some of her friends and former classmates at Plattsburgh State College have set up overnight.

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Tom Freeb with bass guitar, left, Tim Freeb on rhythm guitar, right.

 

A glance over her shoulder reveals that Tim Freeb, former rhythm guitar player for “My Unicorn’s Knightmare,” an antacid rock group of her youth, died yesterday of Osgood Schlatter’s Disease, a semi-debilitating condition that is exacerbated if a sufferer does not take illicit drugs in sufficient doses.  “I’d like to commiserate and join in all the caterwauling,” McDonald says of her friends’ overwrought reactions to a decidedly minor musical figure, “but I can’t.  I’m exhausted.”

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“Maybe this inhaler will help me give a shit.”

 

McDonald suffers from Chronic Dead Rock Star Fatigue Syndrome, an ailment that prevents her from feeling grief at the death of a musician who is mourned by others of her acquaintance.  “CDRS Fatigue Syndrome is becoming a national crisis as the rock musicians of the 60s reach the end of the normal life expectancy of a drug-addled libertine,” says Dr. Philip Saleri of the Home for Aged Bass Players in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.  “In the fifties you had to be an Italian and live in Philadelphia to be a teen pop music star, but after The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, suddenly you had a flood of white kids whanging away on guitars, often without appropriate musical training.”

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“To be young, Italian, and from Philly–it don’t get any better than that!”

 

Others say a recent upward spike of CDRS Fatigue Syndrome is driven not by demographics, but by a catastrophic period in which an inordinate number of rock stars have passed away, including surf-rock drummer Leonard Delany of The Tornadoes, Johnny Ray Allen, bassist for The Subdudes, and Jim Keays, singer for the Australian garage band Masters Apprentices.  “When you think of the heavy toll the past two years have taken on the rock pantheon, it’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning,” says Keith Soppo of Rave! magazine.  “I mean, it’s hard for me to get out of bed to begin with, then throw in the loss of an immortal like Gary Burger of The Monks and it’s nearly impossible.”

herman

But no amount of statistical analysis can help McDonald, who says she has to feign grief in order to maintain good relations with her friends when a titan of rock ‘n roll such as Freeb dies.  “It’s sapping all my energy,” she says as she hits her “enter” key to “like” a post in which her friend Audrey Friedman recalls the night she slept outside the Albany Civic Center in order to be first in line to buy tickets when My Unicorn’s Knightmare opened for Herman’s Hermits.  “I hope they can come up with a drug that would help me care just a little.”

Views: 158

Comment by koshersalaami on May 14, 2016 at 9:25am
This might be a real syndrome lately
Comment by Con Chapman on May 14, 2016 at 10:22am
All names except Tim Freeb are real (if obscure)
Comment by nerd cred on May 14, 2016 at 11:41am

I was so in love with Herman's Hermits back when.

Comment by Con Chapman on May 14, 2016 at 12:30pm
I saw them live in Kansas City, but I was there to see The Animals
Comment by koshersalaami on May 14, 2016 at 2:39pm
I followed the link to Gary Burger and the piece reads like your fiction. It's really pretty amazing, almost eerie.

This paragraph:

A group of German students noticed the band and agreed to manage them if they changed their outfits. The band all wore black cassocks, nooses around their necks, and shaved the top of their heads. By 1965 the Five Torquays had become the Monks. They recorded one album, 1966's Black Monk Time. Although the Monks met with little success during their tenure, they were later cited as an influence on various artists, ranging from Jack White to The Fall. Burger's voice was described by Sean O'Neal as "a yowl that was soulful in its own strangled-cat sort of way."[2] After touring Europe for three years, the Monks broke up in 1967.[1]
Comment by Con Chapman on May 14, 2016 at 2:46pm
Wasn't it in Germany that a girl suggested the Beatles get their hair cut in the mop top style they made famous? Those Germans!
Comment by Ron Powell on May 15, 2016 at 8:39am

Was it really the hair after all?

First photo of the Beatles with Ringo 

Comment by Con Chapman on May 15, 2016 at 11:02am
Also you can see the Loch Ness monster over John's shoulder.
Comment by Dandy Lion on May 16, 2016 at 9:46pm

You had me worried when I read that someone from The Monks had died.  There was a UK band of the same name that were quite popular in the early 80s  in Canada, though apparently not so much in the USA.  

Comment by Con Chapman on May 17, 2016 at 2:22am
The good die young and The Monkees are with us still

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