As I noted here, the Plastercene Replicas lead singer died earlier this week.
His songs were beyond good: Turtle Song and I’m a Child and Pull Out and, especially, We Can Walk, which, to those who heard it or knew it, can easily be recognized as one of the greatest songs this city has ever produced: careening, melodic and deeply sad, yet joyful in the colour of its words and chords: “I’m a strange pill/You are too/We swallow one another.” Hearing it for the first time was one of those rare instances where I knew I would forever remember the moment while it was happening. As a young songwriter, I thought: “Wow. A musician can do that?”
Salmon had, Stewart said, suffered from and beaten leukemia of late. His was a brave struggle and he sometimes seemed bewildered at the complexity of the medical procedures he had to endure. But he beat cancer. Unfortunately, this struggle left him physically weakened and with horrific lingering physical discomforts.
Salmon took his own life on the morning of November 20. He was 53 years old.
Best known for their landmark 1988 full-length Glow, Plasterscene Replicas were still criminally undervalued and underappreciated throughout Canada. Yet their influence, in particular Salmon’s deft songwriting and his potent delivery, is immeasurable.