The Stars of Disaster / “Hey Dorkmeyer” Is Out NOW
Growing up, I had a family friend who was a brilliant musician who would always call me “Dorkmeyer.” He was always very encouraging to me, specifically my creative impulses. When he came home from touring to our little Ohio town, it was always an event, like a rock star coming home. However, he was also a self-destructive alcoholic.
My new song, “Hey Dorkmeyer,” looks back at this situation through the realization of who my family friend’s enablers were. It slips back and forth between a child’s view and an adult looking back.
I did not want this song to be moralizing. I don’t want to condemn or praise.
“Hey Dorkmeyer” serves as an honest picture of a complicated individual, balancing sympathy with unflinching and harsh words. This is also a goodbye to a kind of life that is fading into history: people sitting around a kitchen table until all hours, drinking, smoking, telling stories, entertaining each other with wit and conversation.
Especially with addiction, there is a hostility towards those who point out there is a problem, from the addict and enabler alike. I usually write about my experiences with a sideways glance, yet “Hey Dorkmeyer” required more brutal lyrics to convey the self-destruction of this figure in my life. I found it both challenging and rewarding to write a fictionalized account of real individuals. It is difficult keeping the feelings of those who knew him from affecting the writing. But we dishonor the dead if we aren’t completely honest about how they lived and died.