You probably didn’t notice, but we had another “rock star death” a few weeks ago. And while I don’t typically care too much about celebrity deaths, this one hit me particularly hard. But it probably isn’t for any reason you could have predicted.
Unless you are into the heavy metal music scene, you probably weren’t aware of the death of Wayne Static two weeks ago at the age of 48. While I initially thought, like many other people, that this was another one of the rock star overdoses, it turns out, at least preliminarily, that this wasn’t the case, it was just a death by natural causes; whatever natural causes are when you are 48 years old.
Wayne Static was formerly the lead singer of a band called Static-X which experienced a modicum of success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A hard sound with impossible to understand lyrics penetrated the brain and ears through its singer with stage presence and personality, not just anger and black clothes.
But after many years, Static-X broke up, its members unable to continue to play together or even get along. Like many bands, they could not rectify their differences and continue to please their fans, so the band dissolved and Wayne Static became a solo act. Wayne had a loyal following and was just getting ready to embark on a tour when his life ended prematurely.
So what? You may ask why I care so much about another rock start death. Sure, I liked his music and enjoyed his shows and the idea that I will never be able to attend a Static-X or Wayne Static show again is saddening to me. But I never get so attached to any celebrity that it personally affects me. Yet this death was distressing in one major way.
The break-up of Static-X was, at times, particularly brutal and public in the heavy metal world. Band members who had played so well and so long together could no longer even sit in the same room due to… well, what else? Money. It all comes down to money, doesn’t it?
As you can imagine, when Wayne’s death was discovered, the media pounced, contacting the former band members for comments. What would you expect them to say? That he got what he deserved? Of course not, hopefully no wounds run so deep as to wish ill or death on another person. Instead, however, the former band members, including the one who Wayne most publicly fought with, expressed sadness, of course, but also one other emotion – regret.
Koichi Fukuda, the former guitarist for Static-X had this to say: “I thought the time is the only thing needed for all of us to realize what we had is something so special. I was just waiting patiently for my old friend Wayne to come back and hoping someday we’ll play music together again in a same room with a smile on our face and have fun like old times.”
Tony Campos, the former bass player for Static-X had this to say: “It’s sad the way our friendship ended, but even more sad that we never got to settle things between us. Even though we were no longer friends the last five years, I held on to a sliver of hope that my old friend would come back.”
Both of these band members said, at least in my interpretation, the same thing—they were waiting for the other guy to come back and make amends. It appears that they never took the initiative to take the first step on their own and now they won’t have that chance.
We never know when we are going to die or, when someone else is going to die. The “wait and see” approach never works. Because invariably you will end up waiting too long. Aside from the fact that Static-X never made up to create more music together, what is more saddening by Wayne’s death is that two of his band members will now spend the rest of their lives regretting that they didn’t pick up the phone or send an email or send a text or tweet a message or do whatever in order to attempt to reconcile with their friend. Band member? The more important term is friend. This was their friend; they let money or ego or whatever else get in the way of their friendship and now their friend is gone and they can never make up again.
I am sure that there are people out there who I have wronged. I know there are people who I was once friends with who I am no longer close to at all. To all those people, I am sorry and I encourage a reconnecting. Life is too short to hold grudges. If you are waiting for some intervening event to bring you and a former friend back together, you’ll be waiting a long time and, I guarantee, it will eventually be too late.
Have a safe week.