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Thursday, June 25, 2009 

Swells

I knew he had cancer, but the last thing I read about him suggested that Steven Wells was going to get better. He didn't, and music writing is the poorer for it. I discovered Wells' work at the perfect time in my life - 17, just getting into music, dearly needing someone to rip down some sacred pieties - and although I can't say I always (or even mostly) agreed with him, he was a rare and vital talent. And funny as hell. He will be missed.

Edit: And I'm sorry to be tasteless, but to my mind one of the worst things about Wells dying now is that he never knew that Michael Jackson kicked the bucket. Yes, Jackson was a sad figure in many respects and I can't bring myself to feel anything meaner than pity towards him - but jesus, Wells would have had a field day, one way or another.

There's a ton of good tributes at Philadelphia Weekly, including this one:

sthttp://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/steven-wells/Steven-Wells-In-Memoriam.html

And his last piece for the weekly, which seems just incredibly brave and humane.

http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/steven-wells/Steven-Wells-Says-Goodbye-49054426.html

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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