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.