Went to a concert for the first time in a long, long time this week. Ah, to have a life on a school night…

One of my favorite bands was playing perhaps my favorite album, right in Manhattan. Manic Street Preachers, The Holy Bible – the album that a long-lost rock star wrote… then vanished without a trace.

It’s pretty much unparalleled in its bleakness, and also in its artistry. Literate references are made to serial killers, genocide, anorexia, alcoholism, prostitution, gun control. It’s a grab-bag of historical obsessions.

“I know I believe in nothing/ But it is MY nothing,” the writer says at one point.

This album has been with me ever since high school. It was even worth it for this thirtysomething-year-old body to get home at 1 a.m. to get back to the suburbs and play the adult a few short hours later.

Here’s one of the last set of lyrics left by Richey James Edwards, the disappeared poet who has never been found, twenty years on. It’s a song about zoo animals.

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