When Joey Ramone was dying of lymphoma, he recorded the song “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)” about his battle with the disease. At the end of last year, we lost Benjamin Curtis, the former Secret Machines member who spent his last few years as the sonic mastermind in School Of Seven Bells, also to lymphoma. One of the last things Curtis ever did, and the last School Of Seven Bells song we will ever hear, is a version of “I Got Knocked Down” that Curtis put together when he was in the hospital. Curtis literally recorded the entire song on his laptop in his hospital bed. It’s a smooth, synthetic take on the song, and it would be extremely pretty even if you didn’t know the context of its existence. Knowing that, though, it’s devastating. Listen to it, and read some words from bandmate Alejandra Deheza, below.
(via The Line Of Best Fit)
It was a very spontaneous decision to record this track. Benjamin had been talking about the song a lot, and then he just decided he was going to do it. We couldn’t record vocals in the hospital, so he actually face-timed with me and his brother while we recorded vocals in the studio. He spearheaded the whole thing on face time, would even tell us which knobs to turn and listen to levels etc. We’d even see nurses in the background from time to time! It was really amazing. But that was Benjamin, and producing was what he did. It was therapeutic and took his mind off being really sick. This song was really important to him and I’m happy we were able to record it.
The song is for sale at iTunes now.