Tuesday, July 18, 2006

July 17, 1959

At the age of 44, Billie Holiday breathed her last breath at Metropolitan Hospital of New York. She died under house arrest for drug possession, and had only $.70 in the bank.

But Billie left behind so much for the fans who would love her decades after her life ended, and for artists who would be inspired by her generations later. Her quivering, emotional voice haunts me on this night.

This is not only a tribute to Billie. It is also in memory of Puggy. Puggy was vocal about her musical preferences. Like the time she tried to sing along to Tom Petty's "Only a Broken Heart." She clearly loved Billie, as she would lie on my bed and smile blissfully when the crackling of a Billie cd started, and she stayed there until the last track had ended. She understood Billie's longing all too well when she sang "Give Me a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer." A steak and a wine cooler was more in Puggy's style, but the sentiment was the same.

Not to mention Billie's attitude. She didn't take crap off people. Puggy was sassy in much the same way. I often joked that Billie had reincarnated herself into Puggy. I wonder where Puggy's soul is now, more than a year after her passing. Is she a free spirit, drifting in the cosmos? Has she returned as an Outback employee, chowing down on ribeyes and porterhouses that customers couldn't quite finish?

One may never know, but her sweet smile and sassy snorts are right here with me always, even more so when Billie's voice rings through the speakers.

On that note, here's one that Billie has performed.

"Please don't talk about me when I'm gone
Oh honey, though our friendship ceases from now on
And listen, if you can't say anything real nice
It's better not to talk at all is my advice

We're parting, you go your way I'll go mine
It's best that we do
Here's a kiss I hope that this brings lots of luck to you
Oh makes no difference how I carry on
Remember, please don't talk about me when I'm gone

We're parting, you go your way I'll go mine
It's best that we do
Here's a kiss I hope that this brings lots of luck to you
Makes no difference how I carry on
Remember, please don't talk about me
Please don't talk about me
Please don't talk about me when I'm gone"

2 Comments:

Blogger rpm said...

That was a sweet memory of your Puggy. I bet she is happy wherever she is now.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Puggyspice said...

Thanks, RPM. I hope she is.

6:43 PM  

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