Vic Chesnutt is dead at 45.
Vic Chesnutt Bio
The Athens, Georgia-based musician, famous for his acerbic lyrics and dry, rueful delivery, died Dec. 25 after two days in a coma as a result of an overdose of muscle relaxers. He had just come off a recent tour for his latest albums, At the Cut and Skitter On Take-Off, with musicians from Fugazi and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Chesnutt was 45.
From MTV.com: “When he was 18, Chesnutt was in a car accident that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, but he did not let his disability stop him from writing or performing. [REM’s Michael Stipe] discovered him and produced his first two albums Little and West of Rome. He put out a total of 13 records over his career (including two in 2009), though he is probably best known for the 1998 compilation Sweet Relief II: The Gravity of the Situation, a benefit CD that saw artists like Garbage, Live, Soul Asylum and Madonna covering Chesnutt’s tunes. The album was a benefit for the Sweet Relief Fund, which sought to provide health care to musicians who needed it (Chesnutt himself was often a recipient of such support, as his paralysis left him with soaring medical bills).”
Nor was there any end in site to the bills. According to a Dec 27 AP story quoting the Athens Banner-Herald, “Chesnutt had recently struggled with a lawsuit filed by a Georgia hospital after he racked up surgery bills totalling some $70,000… He said he couldn’t afford more hospitalization insurance and couldn’t keep up with the payments.”
At Amazon.com, GS from Chapel Hill had this to say about Skitter on Take-Off: “He’s been working up to it for a while. This is it. Vic Chesnutt has delivered the perfect realization of his barebones Southern Gothic art. No band, no fluff, no BS. This is it.”