On December 2, 1997, the brilliant and inventive guitarist Michael Hedges was found dead following a car accident. I was lucky to have seen him perform twice; I would certainly have seen him again were he still alive.
Here he performs "Ragamuffin," one of my favorites, less than a month before his death. (Don't ask me about the dog collar. I have no idea.)
And here he tears it up on "Hot Type":
Oh, yeah, he sang, too. This is his adaptation of the e.e. cummings poem "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in", including David Crosby and Graham Nash on backing vocals.
I could go on and on. Let me leave you with the heartbreaking "Nevermore," a piece for solo acoustic harp guitar. This is from the soundtrack to The Shape of the Land, which commemorates the Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura who died on a mountain expedition. (This video adds some nice memorials about Michael Hedges. –Ed.)
We miss you, Michael.
(Updated May 27, 2013 – Fixed links, found new videos for a couple that weren’t working.)