By FILTER and Friends on October 8, 2013
Earlier this year, FILTER’s friend and Culture Collide alum, School of Seven Bells member Benjamin Curtis, was diagnosed with a form of cancer known as T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. It is an aggressive yet treatable form of the disease, and Benjamin’s remarkable battle is bringing new awareness and hope to the fight. Here, FILTER gathers some of Benjamin’s musical friends and family together to share light and love for his strong and fast recovery. Please visit SupportBenjaminCurtis.com and BeTheMatch.org for more information on how you can help.
We love you, Ben! Get well soon.
Ben, my dear friend,
You have been on my mind many, many times in the months since your serious illness became known. I hope you will recover completely soon and continue spreading joy with your music and creativity. My hope is also that we’ll meet and play music together again. I’m including a photo showing the two of us together with Josh (Klinghoffer) when we played at ATP in Camber Sands, UK, in December 2005. I’m sure you remember the occasion. Such wonderful memories. Get well soon, Ben!
Love from me and your friends in Hamburg,
(Michael Rother, September 2013)
Benjamin Curtis, Michael Rother and Josh Klinghoffer
of SILVERSUN PICKUPS
We’ve known Ben for about 10 years now. Back in the early Secret Machines days, they would crash on our floors. I remember hanging out with him on his birthday at a Mexican restaurant that record execs love. Secret Machines were doing well and things were getting fancier for them. He had such a great head on his shoulders about it all that I found inspiring. Recently, School of Seven Bells did a run with us on our current tour. It was great to reconnect with him and see he hasn’t changed a bit. Not long after, we heard the news and were crushed. He’s a great guy that I know will have a bright future.
Get well, my man. See you soon.
of BLONDE REDHEAD
We love you... It’s crazy to think that this illness has been tormenting you, giving you so much pain everyday for a while now. When you recover, you will have a clear view of this world (I’m sure you do already), better than all of us put together...and we’ll come to you just to be infected by even the tiniest strength of yours and, most of all, you’ll rip it apart by making the most beautiful music...can’t wait!
of ACTIVE CHILD
I first met Benjamin on my very first North American tour with his band School of Seven Bells. It was a grueling two-month run that saw my bandmate and me criss-crossing the country four times and putting more than 16,000 miles on my little Honda. Yes, we toured in my two-door Honda. I’ll never forget that tour, especially the last night in Philly where Benjamin and the band surprised us with bottles of champagne as a celebration for the end of a great run. We all drank and laughed backstage about the adventures and mishaps, the highs and lows. Benjamin raised a glass and thanked us for being great tour mates and we raised a glass in return for inviting us on an adventure that would leave us forever changed. When I heard about Benjamin’s illness I was in disbelief. But I really have faith that in the end his strength, courage and optimism will win out.
of M83/WHITE SEA
You continue to astound me with your talent, your singular vision and your drive. You are a peerless musician and, more to the heart, a peerless friend. I can’t wait to have a beer and a laugh, tour again and like we always promised we would, finally write some music. As you have so eloquently put it these past few months…F$%& cancer. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
of THE AFGHAN WHIGS
After watching his bands over the years, I finally got the pleasure to meet Benjamin last year at a show in DC and he was as cool as his music…a gifted artist and an absolute gentleman who has faced this challenge with courage and grace. I look forward to hearing what he does next.
of COCTEAU TWINS
I understand that Robin has never met Benjamin but he has done a remix for School of Seven Bells. I know that Robin is a big fan of the band. He was saddened to hear about the health of Benjamin. He is truly hoping that recovery will make its way and will allow Benjamin to make wonderful music again. He is sending all his love and support.
On behalf of Robin Guthrie
of PRINCE RAMA
Although we don’t know you very well, somehow sharing the stage with you right before you found out about the cancer has brought a sudden sense of closeness and intimacy. You were so radiant, so full of light that night, it was such a shock to hear the news. Our mother went through a battle with cancer just a couple years ago and it was a really intense experience for us. Words can’t even describe. I won’t pretend to know what you are going through, but I will say, from the point of view of someone who has gone through the process with a loved one, that the power of love is stronger than any physical disease. We witnessed it make miracles happen with our mom.
You have so much love in your life right now. You have made such an impact on people’s lives near and far, now it is time to let the impact you have had on others impact you, and use this as your weapon. Cancer is a battle not won by brute force but by a softening, a melting, an opening of the heart and the spirit. Try to devote some time every day to soak in the love and warm wishes of everyone around you. When the body is in a weakened state it is an opportunity to make these other parts of ourselves stronger. And love will triumph over all.
Sending all our love and warm wishes to you during this time and always,
Benjamin and Tim DeLaughter in the Bahamas with Tripping Daisy, circa 1996
of THE POLYPHONIC SPREE
Benny B. Sweet Benny B.
I will always, always cherish those times and the ones still to come.
All my love,