Friday, August 07, 2009

Goodbye Garvey...

It's been a long time since i posted here. I needed to say something about this though since it's 4 days later and not a peep from the media about it.

William Garvey passed away on August 3rd from a stroke.

Right now the collective mass of you are scratching your heads asking the same questions WHO IS WILLIAM GARVEY AND WHAT IS HE ON ABOUT?

William wrote one of my favorite songs of all time, yet it is always credited to another person. For most people who hear Goodbye Horses it immediately connects to two things- The Silence of the Lambs and Q Lazzarus.

The first is of course the reason for the song's cultural significance. Anybody who hears those eerie synth notes immediately thinks back to shots of actor Ted Levine putting on makeup, and standing with his penis tucked away to look like a woman. It was etched in my brain like many things were in 1991. (I remember that being the year of Terminator 2, as well not to mention all of the industrial dance of the day that I was getting into but i digress) I wanted quiet badly to find a copy of the song, but not a person in Akron, Ohio knew how to get it. (I later found out that there was a VERY limited edition of the single that passed unknown through everybody's radar at the time)

The other thing associated with the sing is it's singer Q Lazzarus. (who previous to recording the vocals on the song worked as a cab driver in NYC) Her distinctive voice really helped to etch the song into our collective unconsciousness.

But it was not Q who wrote it.

That credit belongs to William Garvey. William, who worked for years as a freelance graphic designer in NYC, wrote the song in the late 80's. It was featured on the soundtrack to Married to the Mob (which was also directed by SotL's Director Jonathan Demme) Jonathan was so fond of the song he used it again in the infamous Buffalo Bill scene.

Despite the song's very grisly connotations it actually has a much softer meaning. According to William's site the song was "...about transcendence over those who see the world as only earthy and finite. The horses represent the five senses from Hindu philosophy (The Bhagavad Gita) and the ability to lift one’s perception above these physical limitations and to see beyond this limited Earthly perspective."

I had the chance to speak with William via email about a year ago, he proved himself to be kind hearted and very open. I very much regret not keeping up the correspondence he invited me to.

So, to you William I leave the lyrics to your best known song. Goodbye William. You will forever live on through this song.

He told me, “I’ve seen it rise,
But, it always falls.
I’ve seen ‘em come, I’ve seen ‘em go.”
He said, "All things pass into the night.”

And I said, "Oh no sir, I must say you're wrong,
I must disagree, Oh no sir, I must say you're wrong,
Won't you listen to me?”

He told me, “I've seen it all before,
I’ve been there, I've seen my hopes and dreams
lying on the ground.
I've seen the sky, just begin to fall.”
He said, "All things pass into the night"

And I said, "Oh no sir, I must say you're wrong,
I must disagree, Oh no sir, I must say you're wrong,
Won't you listen to me.”

Goodbye horses, I'm flying over you.
Goodbye horses, I'm flying over you.

download Goodbye Horses from the 1988 Married to the Mob soundtrack

while you are at it please purchase some of William's music which is available at the iTunes store here

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