I was turned on to Kevin Gilbert in maybe 2001/2002. I’m not really a prog rock kind of guy in general, but Kevin was entering a great period of creativity and really coming into his own as a songwriter before dying at 29 from autoerotic asphyxiation.
He was part of the Tuesday night music club that made Sheryl Crow famous. Sheryl was dating Kevin and brought into the Tuesday Night Music Club. They wrote most of her album and she tried to take all the credit. There’s plenty about it online. It was a bad deal and lots of bad blood.
He did session work and was engineer and producer on some Madonna, Michael Jackson tracks and toured with Eddie Money. He was a multi-instrumentalist and a great producer.
He released one album under his name called “Thud”. With no budget to promote it, it went largely unheard. It’s brilliant. I tend to like more dark songs, ones that give real truth to them. This is the last song on that album that shakes me to the core every time I hear it.
Song for a dead friend
Here’s a song that starts off the album that is a great tune
Here’s a song from it that’s more complex and prog
Here’s one that has one of my favorite lyric lines on the album: “Goodness gracious of apathy I sing. The baby boomers had it all and wasted everything. Now recess is almost over and they won’t get off the swing. Won’t get off the swing!”
After his death, his friends finished his follow up record for him that he had been working on. It was a concept album about a young musician that sells out for fame. I wish he could have finished this all on his own, but his friends did a great job piecing it together from notes and recordings.
The album is called “The Shaming of the True” a play on words of “The Taming of the Shrew”
Here’s the first three songs in order. If you are growing impatient, please listen to ‘Suit Fugue” if nothing else. That song is amazing.
City of the Sun – It’s important to play this song and Suit Fugue” back to back, because otherwise his voicemail at the end of this song makes no sense.
Suit Fugue – And perhaps the most genius track on the record. He got a lot of funny voicemails from A&R people from labels. He took some of their words and made this song from them
Another album of his was finished after his death called “Kaviar”. It was a project he had been working on and planned to take live, with a latex wearing band.
Death Orgy 9000
And the song that follow Death Orgy is a funny song called “Picnic”
Indian Burn – a song about how we mistreated Indians
His family runs his estate. He was a genius coming into his own and was taken far too soon. I long for what work would have come next. He’s worth diving in to. There’s some live stuff on youtube, but not a ton. There’s a live DVD out there as well. Hopefully I’ve turned someone new on to Kevin Gilbert.
There’s plenty more to dive in to. Enjoy!