I know, I know what’re you’re thinking… “all those “Cage is Alive” folks are NUTS, as a society, we just have to acknowledge this and move on.”
But it’s just not true.
I can’t ignore the USA Today photos, though I’ll admit that I tried. But there, right behind Bjork, you can clearly see John Cage. It’s not like everybody doesn’t know what he looks like! I grew up watching his concerts on TV, so I think I know what I’m talking about. My friends and I would run to my house from school (it was the closest) and catch the last half-hour of his show before Thundercats came on. I don’t think any kid didn’t own one of those John Cage zipper jackets with the glove and the red leather, hell yeah, those were the shit! I knew the whole dance to “Water Walk,” too.
He got a little weird later, and I didn’t listen to him as much in junior high. I still had some of his tapes, but I never bought that “Use Your Indeterminancy I & II” double set. I don’t think I got back into him until he started beefin’ with David Tudor. I heard a couple of the diss tone-poems, and I ended up going to see him at Nonopalooza when he played with Sonic Youth.
I remember the day I heard that he’d been shot. I was coming back from classes, and everyone I passed was crying. I asked someone what had happened, and they said that John had been shot, just walking inside from his car. I don’t remember how I got home– I just remember turning on the radio, and hearing all his songs– Bacchanale, Cartridge Music, the Fontana Mix… the DJ would just put on one of the number pieces, I don’t even think they could keep it together enough to say which one. Everyone was really broke up.
At first, I thought the people saying he was still alive were idiots, and that it was rude. I’d heard about the whole ” It’s just we thought that they said dead / When they said bread” haiku, but doesn’t that one start out “There are no secrets” ? If he was trying to tell us he was alive, I didn’t think this was the way. Of course, he also said “That’s a mystery the solution of which interests me very much.” So did he fake it??
The photos don’t lie. It’s him. John Cage is alive.
(This blog entry was written as part of the 5th Annual Rabbit Hole Day, a blog-holiday in honor of Lewis Carrol. Bloggers are encouraged to write in a different style, or in a fantastical manner, stepping outside our reality for the duration of the day. For more information, see the original post at Scribbles and Lies.)