Alt-rock musician Jason Molina, known for his work with Magnolia Electric Co and Songs:Ohia, has died aged 39, from organ failure owing to alcohol consumption.
A prolific and respected cornerstone of US alt-rock for nearly two decades, Jason Molina had been suffering health problems for some time.
In 2011 the musician’s family had appealed to fans for contributions towards his treatment, in the wake of him cancelling tours.
In May 2012, Jason Molina told fans: “Treatment is good, getting to deal with a lot of things that even the music didn’t want to. I have not given up because you, my friends, have not given up on me. I do still need your support however that takes shape, good vibes are worth more than you might think.”
Jason Molina was best known for his work fronting the bands Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co, with whom he recorded a total of 15 studio albums between 1997 and 2009, in addition to three under his own name and one with Will Johnson. His most recent album was 2012’s solo album Autumn Bird Songs.
Jason Molina has died aged 39, from organ failure owing to alcohol consumption
Jason Molina was closely associated with the label Secretly Canadian, which has become an indie powerhouse recently thanks to the success of Bon Iver.The label paid tribute: “Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian. Without him there would be no us – plain and simple. His singular, stirring body of work is the foundation upon which all else has been constructed. After hearing and falling in love with the mysterious voice on his debut single Soul in early 1996, we approached him about releasing a single on our newly formed label. For some reason he said yes. We drove from Indiana to New York to meet him in person and he handed us what would become the first of many JMo master tapes. And with the Songs:Ohia One Pronunciation of Glory 7in we were given a voice as a label.”
Steve Albini, who worked several times as producer with Jason Molina, also paid tribute: “I loved hearing Jason Molina sing. He was a genius at turning a phrase and making it into something more than the words in it. Jason was almost supernaturally prolific, and several times I watched him write an album’s worth of songs in a weekend, recording them on the spot. Much of his recorded output with Magnolia Electric Co is the evidence of him and the band playing his songs for the very first time. It’s amazing, really, that it was any good at all, much less so touching and fully realized. Jason was a unique talent and I will miss him. My heart goes out to all his friends and family, all of you I’ve met have been good people who did well by Jason.”
British scientists suggest that about 4,600 lives in England could be saved by reducing alcohol intake to just half a unit a day.
The Oxford University report warned that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many chronic diseases.
The government recommends that men drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three.
But the current guidelines are “not compatible with optimum protection of public health”, the researchers said.
Ill health linked to alcohol is estimated to cost the NHS in England £3.3 billion ($5 billion) every year.
British scientists suggest that about 4,600 lives in England could be saved by reducing alcohol intake to just half a unit a day
The Oxford University team used data from the 2006 General Household Survey looking at weekly drinking patterns of 15,000 adults in England.
The researchers used a mathematical model to study death rates from 11 illnesses known to be linked to long-term alcohol use, the British Medical Journal reported.
These included coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy and five cancers.
Dr. Melanie Nichols, lead author of the paper, said: “Over 4,000 deaths from cancer, heart disease, stroke and liver disease in England could be prevented if drinkers reduced their average level of alcohol consumption to half a unit per person per day – a level much lower than current UK government recommendations.
“Half a unit of alcohol is as little as a quarter of a glass of wine, or a quarter of a pint.”
But the researchers said they were not trying to lecture people, just give them the information so they could make an informed decision.
They added there was a widespread belief that alcohol protects against heart disease.
Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric Appleby said that government guidelines must offer the public a realistic way of reducing the risks associated with drinking.
“As alcoholic drinks have started to vary in strength we use ‘units’ to measure alcohol intake but it can be very difficult for people to understand what this means in practical terms.”
But Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, which also represents UK drinks producers, said: “78% of people in the UK drink within recommended low risk guidelines – as set by the chief medical officers.
“Drastically cutting everyone’s consumption to half a unit a day (i.e. one large glass of wine a week) is not the way to reduce harms in the smaller groups who are misusing alcohol and need specific and targeted help”.
Chelsea Hess, a woman from South Carolina who was left paralyzed after a car crash following a night of underage drinking two years ago is suing now the bar for not checking her ID.
Chelsea Hess, now 22, argues a barman should have asked her to show her ID when she ordered drinks at a bar in 2009.
Despite being a year under the legal age to drink, Chelsea Hess spent several hours at Jock’s Sport Grill in Bluffton, South Carolina, where she drank with friends and played billiards.
When Chelsea Hess left the premises at 1:00 a.m. and was driving home her car ran off the road.
Chelsea Hess was left paralyzed after a car crash following a night of underage drinking two years ago
Officials say Chelsea Hess, who was not wearing a seat belt, was over the legal drink drive limit.
The woman was ejected from the vehicle and hurled 20 ft suffering catastrophic injuries that left her as a paraplegic.
According to the lawsuit, Chelsea Hess claims the bartender should have asked if she was old enough to buy alcohol or if she was drunk when she was in the bar.
“The bartender failed to attempt to ascertain whether or not plaintiff was already impaired by alcohol consumption when she purchased the alcoholic beverage and made sale to plaintiff even though she was unable to legally purchase the alcoholic beverage, and notwithstanding the possibility that she was already impaired by alcohol consumption,” according to the complaint obtained by the Courthouse News Service.
Chelsea Hess has also sued the Department of Transportation and the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County claiming they had failed to properly maintain the road where she crashed.
The lawsuit says the wheels of her 2000 Mitsubishi car “suddenly dropped off into a large unmaintained area on the shoulder of Alljoj Road, which caused plaintiff to lose control of her vehicle and causing her to roll the vehicle off the side of the road”.
In its response to the lawsuit, Schubert Place LLC, operator of Jock’s Sport Grill, denied Chelsea Hess’s claims.
They said Chelsea Hess was responsible for her injuries due to her acts of “negligence, recklessness, willfulness and gross negligence”.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation also blamed Chelsea Hess, saying the accident occurred due to a number of events for which she bore responsibility, including driving while intoxicated and failing to keep her under control.
Chelsea Hess is now seeking punitive damages that could run into millions and cover the cost of her round-the-clock health care.