Sparklehorse Leader Dies
Linkous apparently shot himself while outside a friend’s home in Knoxville, Tenn. Police responded to the call early Saturday afternoon and Linkous was pronounced dead at the scene.
Linkous was born in Arlington, Va. After graduating high school, he moved to New York City where he started a band called Dancing Hoods, according to the New York Times. He eventually relocated to Los Angeles but returned to Virginia where he began recording as Sparklehorse, releasing the first album under the name – Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot – in 1995.
Recently he worked with film director David Lynch and Danger Mouse on the album Dark Night Of The Soul. Featuring multiple singers, the album was to be released last year but was held up because of legal differences with EMI. Last week Danger Mouse announced the disagreements with the label had been settled and the album will be released soon.
While touring in 1997 Linkous collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after taking Valium and antidepressants. Although he survived, the experience left him in a wheelchair for six months and he never fully regained the full use of his legs.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 2007, Linkous talked about struggling with depression.
“I’ve had problems with depression for a long time, and it just got really bad for three years,” Linkous told the Times. “It was this vortex I couldn’t climb out of. I think probably a little confidence is what helped, and that confidence was music. Just getting a song down, one at a time, that I felt was decent.”
Sparklehorse toured with Radiohead in 1996. Upon hearing about Linkous’ death, Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood posted the following tribute on the band’s Web site.
“I was very sad to hear the news that Mark Linkous has died. He and his band toured with us in Europe, at the start of OK Computer, and they were great every night. His first two records were very important to me, and I carried his music from the tour into my life, and my friends’ lives too. He was softly spoken, with an Old South courtesy I hadn’t heard before: he introduced me to Daniel Johnston’s music, and the West Virginian writing of Pinckney Benedict. Mark wrote and played some beautiful music, and we’re lucky to have it. Rest in Peace.”
The family released the following statement.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you.”
Click here to read the New York Times account.
Click here to read the 2007 interview with Linkous in the Los Angeles Times.
Click here for the Sparklehorse Web site.
Click here for the Radiohead Web site.