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Vic Chesnutt: Dark Side of The Tune

Nick Hasted, Independent, The, 4 April 2003

IN 1983, VIC CHESNUTT, an obscure country misfit, was 18, drunk again, and crashing his car in America's southern state of Georgia. When he woke from his coma, his body was confined to a wheelchair. Eventually, in unlikely ways, the disaster was to invigorate him. The songs he had been writing since childhood became darker, freer and funnier: smut, self-loathing, satire and startling stories swirled out of his head, alongside wistful, graceful music. He continued shaking his brain up with drink, and raging full-tilt at the world, his paralysis a barely considered side effect of a deeper condition, of despair and fascination with extremes. His fellow Georgian Michael Stipe forced him into a studio before he self-destructed completely, to record his debut album, Little (1990).

Total word count of piece: 771

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