Sunday Sounds: Morphine

MorphineMorphine was a three-piece band that were basic by design: vocals, a two-stringed slide bass guitar, baritone sax and simple drum kit.

The brain-child of singer/bassist Mark Sandman, morphine released 5 albums prior to Sandman’s death in 1999, after he suffered a heart attack on stage in Palestrina, Italy.

I have a hard time with his death because I don’t know what the lesson is, or what to take away from it. He lived the rock and roll lifestyle, especially with songs that warned not to miss out on the night life and Sandman saying he doesn’t even leave the house until eleven.

Or is it more obvious? The band’s name is Morphine, after all.  Sandman didn’t hold back on drug references, particularly so on the title track for their 1993 album, “Cure for Pain,” where he offers to toss out all his self-medications if you can come up with a better way to cure life’s ills.

Maybe the lesson is more positive.  Mark Sandman lived the life he wanted to live.  He got to make music for a living, party, travel, meet beautiful women and was really good at it.  I feel in a lot of ways Morphine’s final album, aptly (creepily so) titled “The Night” was their most ambitious effort, and incorporated orchestral support, backup singers and was by far the most complex album of their catalog.  In fact, the flower on the cover of their final album is a night-blooming cereus, which is a flower that blooms once a year, and only after the sun goes down.  By the end of the night the flower is wilting and it’s short life has come to an end.  The Night: eerie by design.

This Sunday, do one of two things: Either tick something off your bucket list and live like you want to, or resolve to take better care of  yourself.

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