and Proud «
« Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004 »
I am sadder than I really deserve to be over the passing of Jhonn Balance. He was the voice of Coil, my absolutely most favorite industrial band. Somehow, back when I was a senior in high school in the most completely backwater of Ohio towns, I managed to see Coil's video for "Tainted Love" on Night Flight. God bless Night Flight. I was so stricken by that video that even though I might have seen it only one other time in my entire life, I could remember every detail. It's one of the most hauntingly beautiful things I have ever seen. It is apparently a permanent video installation at the New York Museum of Modern Art as well. Anyway, I managed to find a streaming video of it online today after reading that Jhonn Balance had fallen 15 feet from the landing at his home and died from injuries sustained on the 13th. It was hard to watch on the tiny screen through the hot tears that spilled down my cheeks, but it was every bit as beautiful as I remembered it to be.
Sometime after that fateful viewing on Night Flight, I managed to locate a copy of their album "Scatology" at the edgy record store in Great Northern Mall. It is full of what I still consider to be some of the most spiritual music I have ever heard. It is also really scary in places, and I would only listen to it downstairs in the living room with all the lights on. My mom was not too keen on it, but she tolerated it as she tolerated almost all of my bizzare flights of fancy. That album for me was one of the most personal things I ever owned--I imagine I must have played it for various friends, but it always remained a very private, ritualistic experience for me. I must have sold it for a dollar when I moved to Albuquerque and sold all my albums for a dollar---I hope whomever bought it went on to get hundreds of dollars for it, as it is a very rare piece of vinyl. I taped it before getting rid of it---with Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed on the other side of the tape. I have listened to it on occasion over the years, whenever I felt a need to reconnect with that part of myself that I let go once in a while.
I don't remember when or how I got a cassette of "Love's Secret Domain", but I know that it was my constant companion for most of my "goth industrial" years, and I still think it is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard. Acid/techno music, they seem to call it, with lyrics inspired by Blake. What's not to love.
Honestly, I didn't know much at all about the men who made these soundtracks to my life until today, a lot of which I have spent reading everything I can find. I knew that they were into magick(Crowley style) and I knew that they were all about male energy, which speaks to a part of me that few other things do. Today I learned that Jhonn was not only highly spiritual and intelligent but really really funny, and that makes it all the sadder. I'll be listening to Coil for a few days, thinking of him and what an important part he's played in who I am, even if I never really realized it. Jhonn Balance is missed.