On July 10 it be the five years since my friend Theresa’s suicide. My new album The Last Seduction (Manimal Vinyl) is about her and her boyfriend Jeremy, who took his life one week later. They were like an older sister and brother to me, and I owe my creative life and confidence (such as it is) to them.
We met in DC in the mid 90′s when I got my first job out of school. Theresa had written one of the first CD-ROMs for girls and hired her friend, the legendary Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysees, The Make-Up, Weird War) to do the design. I used to collar him in the courtyard at lunch and ask questions about the process behind making songs. I hadn’t started writing yet but was desperate to learn how. It was a proud moment for me when, just a few weeks ago, I was finally able to hand him a copy of my new album and thank him for inspiring me.
Theresa Duncan “Chop Suey”
Jeremy Blake “Sodium Fox”
I won’t get into the full, long and sordid tale of Theresa and Jeremy (which involves Beck, Scientology and Owl memorabilia and which you can read about at http://lovelytheresa.tumblr.com). But with any luck this playlist will prompt people to find out more about them before Hollywood mythologizes them (which appears to be coming soon, courtesy of Bret Easton Ellis and Gaspar Noe). Here is one of the songs on my album that are totally about them.
Baron von Luxxury “Rosebud was the Name of His Sled”
Devastatingly, Theresa and Jeremy died before iPhones made taking video and documenting everything an effortless activity. I scoured my photo library right after they passed away, and literally the only original footage I could find was 4 seconds from Thanksgiving 2006 when I accidentally had my camera on “video” instead of “still.” I slowed it down and blended it with footage from Wilbur’s movie, overlaid it with Jeremy’s work from “Punch Drunk Love” and set the whole thing to my song “Rosebud was the Name of His Sled.”
Jeremy & Theresa at my parents house for Thanskgiving 2006
OMG you would not believe how much conspiracy theory stuff is on the web about Theresa and Jeremy. It’s really fucking hysterical actually. Here’s someone positing a theory about Frank Morales (who Theresa introduced me to weeks before she died, and for whom she had genuine affection) that I literally cannot understand. Oh you silly internets!
Father Frank Morales
For all of her awesomeness, Theresa had really bad taste in music. The one thing we agreed on was The Dan. This song inspired the song “Terry Richardson” on my new album.
Steely Dan “Babylon Sisters”
At Theresa’s memorial service, they played this video, which had footage of her when she was in her early 20s. It was devastating to see images of her from when we had first met, wearing the same outfits I remember her wearing.
Wilbur King “Charlotte Goes Swimming”
click the link to watch
P.S. Beck was friends with them, and was going to star in Theresa’s movie. Then he became a born again Scientologist, renounced all of his non-COS relationships, pulled out of her movie and cut off all contact with them. He even claimed, after her suicide, to never have met her! I have photographs of them at the beach together. They were friends. He is a sad little man.
Could it be that he named his daughter “Tuesday” because that was Theresa’s dog’s name? Modern guilt indeed.
Beck “Modern Guilt”
Let’s end on a less suicide-y note. Here’s a remix I did for another female icon. The bassline is a perfect perpetual motion machine. I defy anyone to write anything better.
Marianne Faithfull “Broken English (Baron von Luxxury Light Touch Remix)”