Buffalo Tom, “Taillights Fade”

I guess I’ve always been “grumpy.” The guy who hates everything. I’ve been like that my entire life. I remember being this way when I was a kid. The other kids in my classes would be happy to try out new activities or work with new partners but not me. I knew right off the bat if I would hate something or if I would like it. I always thought it was a part of my charm. I mean, you see movies where the main character is an asshole the entire way through and he still has his little group of loved ones near him. They stick up for him and then he goes through that moment of change. He realizes that if he doesn’t do something with himself then they might not stick around. Lately, I’m going through that moment except I haven’t tried and I don’t think anyone’s willing to wait on me.

Most of what I’ve been writing about has been my loneliness. My friends don’t come around at all anymore. The phone doesn’t ring as much as it used to. I can’t blame them but being pissed or apathetic are two emotions I fall back on and I guess being pissed is better than not caring. I spend most of my time hiding from the sunlight, begging people to listen to my band, or staring at a blank Microsoft word document. It’s all pretty sorry and I don’t have the right to whine about it. You can’t complain when you’re the one who chose the way you live, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t appreciate anything until it’s gone.

One song that’s been helping pull me out of bed while keeping me on the verge of giving up has been “Taillights Fade” by Buffalo Tom. This is without a doubt one of my all time favorite songs and it still hits me the same way it did the first time I heard it. I remember that I was sitting on the couch at my dad’s house, flipping through the music channels, I landed on the “classic alternative” station and this song started up. The title had me from the get go. My extreme reclusive phase was beginning. The only person I talked to was my brother and he isn’t exactly the kind of person you can lay your feelings on. I felt so disconnected and all I thought about was leaving this town and becoming a stranger somewhere. No one was known me and I could be anyone. I wouldn’t have to worry about my past following behind and no one would miss me. No harm would be done. What beautiful thoughts those were. I got all of this just from the title. The words kicked in and this was one of the first songs that I felt in a long time. I mean really felt.

“I’m lost in the dark
I feel like a dinosaur
broken face and broken hands
I’m a broken man”

Those have to be some of the best lines in music right there. I can’t think of a better to describe depression or feeling like shit. The song is so heartfelt, musically and vocally, that it’s hard not to be moved by it. There’s no “woe is me” to be found here. You have a guy telling how he feels and he doesn’t expect to be helped. He did this to himself. He regrets it, but there’s not a whole lot that can be done.

“I’m underneath a gun
I’m singing about my past
had myself a wonderful thing
But I could not make it last”

This is the kind of thing that I needed to hear. I didn’t need to hear any pleading to be saved. I needed someone who has been there to tell me how things turned out. A comforting voice to let me know that he knows what I’m going through.

Buffalo Tom is one of those bands that you have to admire. They’ve always stayed true to themselves. They made sure people knew who they were without completely selling their souls, and everything they’ve recorded has been a masterpiece. Album after album, they keep getting better and they’re going to go down as one of the great ones. I’m just sorry more people don’t give them the praise they deserve. They wrote a song that means the world to me. A song that shook me up and made me see how my life was turning out. A song that explained how I was feeling better than I could. The more I write for this site, the more I see the beauty in that. Maybe it can open your eyes, too.

3 thoughts on “Buffalo Tom, “Taillights Fade”

  1. 100% agree with every word.

    An absolute gem of a song. It retains its beauty, as those who discover it are small in number. This won’t be on the X Factor anytime soon. It will never be diluted.

    G x

  2. Just reaching out to say how much I agree that this song rocks. There are at least 3 or 4 tracks on the album that I can’t help but love every time I hear ’em. And…I was in a place kind of like what you describe when I first got into them. Maybe that’s just common for certain types at that high-school/college transition age. Anyway, 15 years later, and things are all good. Not perfect, but can’t ask for much more than I have.

    Take care.

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