Don’t Leave Me This Way: Pixies – 1986-1991, 2004-2013

We are sad to say that Kim Deal has decided to leave the Pixies. We are very proud to have worked with her on and off over the last 25 years. Despite her decision to move on, we will always consider her a member of the Pixies, and her place will always be here for her. We wish her all the best.

– Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering, 14th June 2013

Stop.

The first cut is the deepest…

When I first heard the Pixies (and was aware that I was hearing the Pixies) I hated them so much. I really hated them. They were awful.

Thankfully, a year later I was smart enough to realise that they were one of the most incredible bands the world has ever seen. I was 13 years old and living twenty years ago in Shetland’s sleepiest of towns, with the North Atlantic on my doorstep and jellyfish to poke at. I spent my most idyllic summer listening to Pixies at the BBC, riding my bike down obscenely steep hills and eating a lot of honey-roast ham sandwiches. I declared that Ana was “a good song to play cards to.”

That Christmas, after moving back to the city, I received Surfer Rosa/Come on Pilgrim. While I did appreciate it, I went down a bit of a wrong turning and discovered the music of Korn.

It’s hardly the worst mistake I made in my teen years but it probably taught me the most valuable lesson of all – don’t worry about what anybody else thinks. Maybe all the stoner metal kids will think you’re weird if you like music that’s not in Kerrang! but you can’t hang around with those losers all your life, you have to be your own loser.

Some folks like to get away…

I had my own computer by the time I was 16 and The Pirate Bay was an unbelievable goldmine for an unemployable slacker lump like myself. One slow day I thought I’d give the rest of the Pixies albums a shot and that’s when I really, really got to liking them.

It’s not Doolittle that turned me, although I am naturally a big fan. No, it was the surfy dream of Bossanova and the space trip that is Trompe le Monde that did it for me. I’ll save the finer details for the inevitable reviews, but it’s safe to say that I was destined to be a loser even within the Pixies’ own fanbase.

Everybody hurts… sometimes…

Pixies got me through some pretty tough times and some pretty fun times too. It was the Pixies that got me through one of the more ridiculous relationship breakdowns I’ve yet experienced – it may sound silly, but their music helped me realise that I’d be okay on my own because as long as I had their records I’d always have something greater than what was gone.

A raft of Pixies b-sides and radio sessions soundtracked the incredible isolation I felt while at college in the middle of a literal nowhere. Did it matter that my classmates hated me, that they thought I was some sort of homosexual elitist posh educated stupid ignorant arrogant hairy boring whimsical serious murder freak?

It didn’t when I could find a quiet spot to take some photos and get me some Pixies, even if it was only for an hour. Sometimes a little respite goes a long way.

As things fell apart, nobody paid much attention…

This band means a lot to me and I feel that the world is a tiny bit a lot better for them having been in it. The news of Kim Deal leaving isn’t really too shocking when you think about it – nine years with only two new recordings is probably a bit frustrating – but I can’t help feeling that this means it’s really over.

No Pixie is replaceable and I don’t see them trying to replace her either. If Kim is going so far as to actually get up and leave the band then there must be a very good reason for it and I can certainly respect her decision, even without knowing the reasons why.

The hardest part is that I never did get a chance to see my favourite band live, to bask in their glory, to be deafened by their heavenly noise. Now I never will. There’ll be no new album, no Bossanova/Trompe le Monde 20th anniversary tour, no MTV Unplugged, no more Pixies.

This is a song for Carol.

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