. . . Smith's well-being, or lack thereof, was whispered about in recent years on the L.A. music scene. Concerts could be hit and miss. At one Hollywood show in February, Smith commanded the stage for most of the night with just his hushed voice, stool and guitar. But the lyrics came and went. The devoted supplied the missing words, and willed him to the finish.
Smith, who opened up in June to Under the Radar about formerly having been "a really bad alcoholic," rarely spoke of depression, drink or drugs in interviews, just on his records. There, he also spoke of hope and love. Sometimes in the same song.
"It's too bad that people seem to sometimes only notice the dark part of some songs of mine," Smith told Amazon.com in 1998 upon the release of his DreamWorks debut, XO.
Rather, Smith said in a Salon.com Q&A in 2000, he was consistently asked by journalists, "Why are you so sad?"
"Just because people have a range of emotions and thoughts . . . sometimes they get ecstatically happy about something and at other times ridiculously depressed, doesn't mean that there's something wrong with them," Smith told the Website.
I suspect family and friends often fail to intervene in episodes of clinical depression because situational depression is so common. People have plenty of rational reasons to be sad. However, when depression becomes the norm, dragging on for years, it has moved beyond 'the blues.' At that point, intervention by medical personnel may be necessary to prevent the tragedy of suicide.
Symptoms of Depression
Persistent sadness or unhappiness
Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
Sudden change in appetite
Disruption of normal sleep pattern
Difficulty thinking or concentrating
Thoughts of suicide or death
I believe Kirk Jones did the right thing, despite the possibility of embarassment, in admitting he behaved very rashly because of emotional problems, not machismo. His message, broadcast nationally and internationally, may lead other clinically depressed persons to seek help.
Note: My blog is Mac-a-ro-nies.