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Posthumous stuff

Barry Smith

Hey, I’d put my obsession capabilities up against anyone’s. And I do, constantly, in my mind – over and over and over again.So when I discovered the Web page kurtsequipment.com – a Web page dedicated to the equipment used by the late Kurt Cobain – I was impressed. This is an exhaustive look at the guitars, amps, effects pedals, mics, strings, picks, straps and cardigan sweaters that Cobain used during his all-too-short career. It goes real, real deep, right down to the dial settings on the effects pedals.Obviously someone put a lot of work into this project after Kurt’s death.So I’m thinking, hey, if I happen to suddenly skyrocket to international mega-stardom and then die of a self-inflicted shotgun blast (don’t laugh, it could happen), people are gonna want to know these sorts of things about me, too. Right? So I thought I’d save somebody a lot of work and create the list right now, so it’ll be a simple copy-and-paste procedure for the future webmaster of …BARRYSEQUIPMENT.COMCOMPUTER – Barry mostly used a Mac 14in. iBook G4, 1GHz, 640 MD RAM, 60GB hard drive. The addition of a wireless broadband Internet connection allowed him to access pornography in parts of the house previously reserved for focused productivity.PEN – Though much of his work was done on computers, Barry was a pen fan. He preferred a Sanford Uni-ball fine point, finding it worked well for both text and doodling. You could always find one of these in his back pocket. He rarely used pencils, and felt-tip pens were generally unsuitable for his needs, Sharpies being an obvious exception. As a child, he could hardly wait to enter third grade, as he was very excited to learn to write cursive. But somewhere around 10th grade he reverted to printing and was never able to go back. His adult penmanship was often described as “preschooler” or “stroke victim.”TYPEWRITER – He loved his Olivetti Underwood 21 and wrote with it every day. Mostly, though, while writing with it, he would be writing ABOUT it, leaving behind reams of paper filled with variations of, “Wow, it really is cool to be writing on a manual typewriter!” With any luck, these pages will not be published posthumously. NOTEBOOK – Moleskine blank pocket journal, also always in his back pocket. He used this to record notes, thoughts, ideas and flashes of brilliance, eventually leaving him with a book full of scribblings like, “guy with apron,” “Norman Rockwell paints crack houses” and “fist of a gerbil.” These were meant to be the seeds that would later grow into columns, novels, screenplays or self-help books, but by the time he got around to re-reading them the inspiration had usually passed (or the drugs had worn off) and they meant nothing to him anymore. Still, he dutifully transferred the gibberish to a file on his computer, then carefully dated and numbered each book and filed it away for future generations to ponder, interpret and base weird religions on.COFFEE PARAPHERNALIA – The Bodum 2-cup glass housing French Press, in conjunction with the Mr. Coffee Model IDS 55 bean grinder, was Barry’s favored coffee brewing method. “The thicker the better,” Barry was once overheard saying about his coffee, “because why should my kidneys get to sit around and do nothing all day?”ALMONDS – Not technically equipment, but crucial to the creative process. He ate these, raw, by the fistful, as they were helpful in soaking up some of the coffee from his otherwise empty stomach. He did keep them in a black plastic jar that was once filled with some sort of protein powder, so that’s sort of a piece of equipment.HARMONICA – Hohner Special 20 Marine Band Harmonica, key of A. Big distraction in a little package. Usually he would play it shortly after an almond binge, leaving it so full of food bits that it could easily be dropped in a pot of boiling water and used as a soup starter. DICTIONARY/THESAURUS – He always talked about investing in these items, thinking they might come in handy for, like, words and stuff, but he never seemed to get around to it.


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