“I Appear Missing” – Josh Homme’s NDE

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Featured, Music, Thoughts | 0 comments


Rarely does a song, a piece of music, or the release of an album inspire me to write about it. In fact, I usually only write about topics which are either political, religious, or social in nature. But on this occasion, I will make an exception.

In late 2010, Josh Homme, the lead singer from my favourite contemporary rock band Queens Of The Stone Age, underwent knee surgery, when due to complications he “died on the operating table”. From an interview with NME:

“I had an operation and died and survived on the table,” he said. “I had surgery on my leg and there were complications and I died on the table. I was in bed for three months.”

Omitting the idea of a Near-Death Experience being of a spiritual nature, it would most certainly put things into perspective for a person; Homme is married to musician Brodie Dalle, and has two children, Camille Harley Joan Homme, born January 17, 2006, and a son, Orrin Ryder Homme, born August 12, 2011, and in retrospect this would certainly be enough to re-evaluate your life.

Jump forward to today, May 31 2013, the release date of the long awaited 6th studio album for QOTSA, titled “…Like Clockwork“, and the 9th track on the album, inspired by Homme’s NDE, “I Appear Missing“. The song is a lament for a life that he nearly lost and the things in it that would be missed (if that were at all possible after death). Lyrically it reaches deep into an emotionally charged moment in Homme’s life, and speaks of love, life and loss in an incredibly poetic way. The closing lyrics of the song, in an epic rock-opera-like crescendo, never fail to bring shivers to my spine, even after repeated listens:

Wandering along the road in the summer night

Don’t cry—

With my toes on the edge it’s such a lovely view…


I never loved anything until I loved you


I’m over the edge, what can I do?


I’ve fallen through…

All in all, the album, “…Like Clockwork” is an incredibly strong return to form for QOTSA, after I was left wanting from their previous release in 2007 of “Era Vulgaris”. The album hype was built up by a slow release of snippets of songs from the album, 5 in all, over several days, accompanied by a disturbingly dark set of animated clips by the artist Boneface, each of which feature a post apocalyptic world which screams “THE END IS REALLY FUCKING NIGH”. These 5 clips were later released as one single 15 minute animation, tying together the 5 songs into a final Armageddon, served out by a gold-toothed flying skull with raven’s wings, utterly destroying everything that remained. You can watch the clip here.

Watch the live version of this song, which was recorded last week in Los Angeles, and streamed live via NPR.

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