While spending his last days in a hospital bed at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, stricken with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, Benjamin Curtis of the band School of Seven Bells recorded their last song on his laptop.
A cover of Joey Ramone’s “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)” seems to be an almost eerily fitting choice for the bands last recording, considering Joey Ramone also passed away due to lymphoma.
Curtis’ bandmate, Alejandra Deheza, has finally released the last recording on Soundcloud which can be heard below.
What starts out with a Duran Duran-esque instrumental, catchy synth-rhythms, over 80’s sounding snares, “I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)” then hits you with a wall of angelic, soothing, female vocals. A long leap from the garage rock sounding original, you begin to get lost in the line, “sitting in a hospital bed,” due to the circumstances of the creation of both the original and the new recording, until you realize you are in the midst of a 2 minute and 10 sec, ethereal, electronic outro.
In a press release about the recording of the song, Deheza said:
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.”
Back in December, mxdwn reported of Curtis’ passing at the tragically young age of 35. He was well known for being in the bands UFOFU, Tripping Daisy, for his part in the formation of the cult art-rock band Secret Machines and last for teaming up with Deheza to create School of Seven Bells in 2007.