Pascal Derrien

1 month ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Can I Call You John ?

Can I Call You John ?

For those who know me you know that while I have a very strong incline towards punk I also have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music and this from a very young age.

In the mid to late eighties I had this friend in my first year of uni who was big into Americana and more mainstream rock. That said what was probably popular in Canada and the US often came across as almost underground on my side of the Atlantic. This is how I got introduced to John Kilzer or Jon Kilzer depending on the LP or CD albums version you got.

This was prior the internet boom and I did not know too much about the Tennessee born song writer let alone he had been a very talented basket player in Memphis. 1988 was my first encounter with his music and his album Memory In The Making was on heavy rotation on my made up playlist.

 I had no clue that Red Blue Jeans was a massive hit in the US and it did not matter because my favourite song was Green Yellow & Red. I enjoyed his second Opus Busman’s Holidays in 1991 too but for some reasons I did not really follow the man for a number of years. I drifted away from the artist.

When I reacquainted myself with John a few years ago. Mr Kilzer had aged a bit (just like me) and had become Reverend Kilzer after earning a PhD in Theology in 2010. To my surprise he also had become an associate pastor for recovery ministries.

I got to understand that the limelight and fame he enjoyed in the early 90s had come at a heavy cost. Alcohol addiction to be precise. I also happened to learn that he was about to release an album called Hide Away. I was about to purchase it as I was curious to see the evolution of his music but life got in the way and I forgot or better still I thought I would come back to it later but never did. That was in 2014

A few weeks ago for reasons I am not quite clear about, that particular album reappeared on my radar and I decided to check the web to see what he had actually been up to since that non purchase of mine.

Well well well. It turned out that John Kilzer committed suicide at the age of 62 in 2019. I was pretty shocked probably more by the how but overall quite shaken by the news to be honest. Why? I had obviously never met the guy but he had been a part of my life in some shape or form.

His music is important to me insofar as it is the introspective soundtrack of a very troubled part of my life. I wanted to know more almost feeling guilty with an unexplained thirst for emotional proximity. I got submerged by a wave of remorse gushing from the gutter of oblivion yet I was still hoping to make amend for the years I had been uninterested by his journey.

I ended watching a lengthy interview of him and I absolutely adored the persona and it is probably silly but I whished I had been more thorough in accompanying him on his artistic journey. Would that have made a difference? Probably not. RIP buddy then and thanks for the music.

Oh one last thing. I know we never met and you have just gone but can I call you John ?

Memory In The Making - YouTube


Pascal Derrien Copyright 2021





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Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #15

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

1 month ago #14

I have just rekindled my romance with Shreikback, who I used to listen to back in the eighties. Very post punk. Amazing lyrics. Menacing eerie sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNPMlq7emEk

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

1 month ago #13

I have just rekindled my romans with Shreikback, who I used to listen to back in the eighties. Very post punk. Amazing lyrics. Menacing sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNPMlq7emEk

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 month ago #12

#12
Pascal Derrien So true Pascal .. as I mentioned: Saddened to hear that John in the end took his life .. who ever knows what pain in a life .. what strife? Suicide is fraught with despair I have a nephew who took his life .. He too, struggled with addictions After many, many years .. it seemed his life was on track waring black wolves attack .. the inner battles give no slack Maybe one of your future posts will be about your trip to Russia - that would be interesting.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #11

#10
#9 Thanks Fay. It was the first song that came to mind when I was nearly the Kremlin and red square in Moscow the first time I went there sometime in the 2000s . The sudden aspect of his departure is disturbing especially since many thought he had found a path to peace, obviously no one really knows what's going on in someone's mind

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 month ago #10

"Red Blue Jeans" She wears a red blue jeans, (ha) red blue jeans. Bursting at the seams, dying to be free. Within the halls of the Kremlin she holds her Manifesto but what really sets her trembling are the words of the Bible. She keeps it in bed, reads it at night knows what's are real she knows it ain't right To wear red blue jeans, (ha) red blue jeans. Bursting at the seams, dying to be free. Saddened to hear that John in the end took his life .. who ever knows what pain in a life .. what strife?

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 month ago #9

Pascal Derrien Wow Pascal .. multiplied thanks for this post. How unusual the change in his path .. from song to saint .. earning a PhD in Theology in 2010. .. becoming an associate pastor for recovery ministries (perhaps a helping him in his own unique struggle with alcohol) I remember "Red Blue Jeans" She wears a red blue jeans, (ha) red blue jeans. Bursting at the seams, dying to be free. Within the halls of the Kremlin she holds her Manifesto but what really sets her trembling are the words of the Bible. She keeps it in bed, reads it at night knows what's are real she knows it ain't right To wear red blue jeans, (ha) red blue jeans. Bursting at the seams, dying to be free. Saddened to hear that John in the end took his life .. who ever knows what pain in a life .. what strife?

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #8

#6
No worries glad it could entertain you for 20 seconds Greg :-)

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #7

#5
hey John thats weird enough but hey thats cool too :-)

Greg Rolfe

Greg Rolfe

1 month ago #6

As always Pascal Derrien, thank you for the thoughts and pokings of the mind.

John Rylance

John Rylance

1 month ago #5

An interesting thought. We've never met, yet in your replies/comments you call me John, which is my name. As I typed this last bit my brain flashed up Johnny Cash and A Boy called Sue. Weird or what?

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #4

#3
ah thanks Ken Boddie for the kind words he deserved it me thinks :-)

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

1 month ago #3

As far as a tribute to your John is concerned, Pascal, looks to me like you've 'nailed' it.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

1 month ago #2

#1
absolutely agree Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador it is indeed a bit odd for some how you can build a rapport with somebody you actually never met :-)

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Interesting how a famous person can make a difference in life. And how we can be devasted or at least saddened when they leave this earth. Things seem to happen for unknown reasons during our life, and we may never know why! Seems, in your case, your situation was meant to be and I'm sure he won't mind if you can him John! RIP John Kilzer.