A couple-three years ago, cruising the net, I found a page with some instrumental MP3s; stabs at what would have been the next Babe the Blue Ox album, in another, better world. There was a note from Tim I think about time passing, and families being raised, and walls stubbornly unfallen even after they’d circled them seven times and seven times again, blowing that horn, and what that felt like; too content to be called resignation, I think. (Boy, turning her back: “I stopped needing to save the world. Saving is what misers do.”) Rose was in law school, or Hanna maybe; time passing. —They were spare and crunchy and beautiful, those MP3s, or the three or four I downloaded; when I went back to get more, and drop some cash in the PayPal slot, the site 404ed, its links all rotted away. Then I lost the songs in a harddrive crash.
Which makes this the saddest and most hopeful thing I’ve read all week, but I’m a fan:
The last time I saw Rose, Hanna, and Tim perform—in 1999 or 2000?—they seemed dispirited, mixing brilliant unreleased songs with fragments that crumbled under their hands, that didn’t end but stopped, just like this.
“Babe may be in a deep deep sleep,” Hanna told me via email in 2005, “but we are all alive and well and in touch with each other too.” She added: “We are the future of rock and roll.”
You were, you are, you will be again. It’s terribly selfish of me to ask, but please: come back. The world still needs to be saved.