[Reckless Beat & SOTD] Placebo – Five Years (live cover) + Placebo & Bowie’s – Without You I’m Nothing

RECKLESS BEATS is a musical feature where I incorporate a little music into this bookish blog.


So today’s got all the feels hitting me hard. I’m still not over Bowie. I don’t think I’ll ever be.


I think out of all of the hundreds of tributes written, sung, and spoken about Bowie… Brian Molko’s, singer-songwriter and guitarist of Placebo, hurt the most. There was something about it that really got to me. It just spoke volumes to how a single person’s life could impact another, could move and inspire a person, and inevitably shatter someone with their passing, and… whelp! That was pretty much it. Day destroyed. Brian Molke… You won “it’s tearin’ up my heart!” award of the year. I hate you so much.


If you haven’t read it yet, here is Brian’s tribute in its entirety (Be ready for the tears and the tuggin’ at the heartstrings and all that emotional mess starting from this heart-wrenching photo):


“Dearest David

Wherever you are now, I miss you. Not only do I miss you but my heart is broken. You were my idol, then you became my mentor and my friend.

I learnt so much from you, just by being in your presence, the conversations we had and, of course, watching you perform. You always had time for me. My band and I were tiny when we first met. Nonetheless , you took us under your wing. You believed in us and gifted us with so many fantastic opportunities.

Without you, your tutelage and your wisdom, I don’t think I would be where I am today, as an artist but also as a person. For that I will be eternally grateful.

Float around the ether, David. Bounce gracefully off planets light-years away as you become one with the Universe, as you dive into the Great Unknown.

My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Iman, Lexi and Duncan, whose hearts I know are far more broken than mine. As for me, I will treasure every memory of every moment we spent together.

Dear David, beautiful man and force of nature, you are immortal. You live beyond the veil of the big sleep.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.


“Brian Molko”

. . .



Then, because I’m an ABSOLUTE masochist, I went and listened to their collaborative song Without You I’m Nothing (Oh dear f********whhhhyy) and topped that off with Brian’s cover of Five Years.


I hope you weren’t planning on having a happy day right now. Because this will not make you happy. This will hurt. This will hurt A LOT.


“Without You I’m Nothing”

Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide.
I’ll take it by your side.
Such imagination seems to help the feeling slide.
I’ll take it by your side.
Instant correlation sucks and breeds a pack of lies.
I’ll take it by your side.
Oversaturation curls the skin and tans the hide.
I’ll take it by your side.

tick – tock [x3]
tick – tick – tick – tick – tick – tock

I’m unclean, a libertine
And every time you vent your spleen,
I seem to lose the power of speech,
Your slipping slowly from my reach.
You grow me like an evergreen,
You never see the lonely me at all

Take the plan, spin it sideways.
Without you, I’m Nothing.
Without you, I’m nothing.
Without you, I’m nothing.
Take the plan, spin it sideways.
Without you, I’m nothing at all.


“Five Years”

Pushing thru the market square
So many mothers sighing
News had just come over
We had five years left to cry in

News guy wept and told us
He said ‘earth was really dying’
Cried so much his face was wet
Then I knew he was not lying

I heard telephones, opera house, favourite melodies
There were boys, toys electric irons and T. V. ‘s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there

And all the fat-skinny people
And all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people
And all the somebody people
Never thought I’d need so many people

A girl my age went off her head
Hit some tiny children
If the black hadn’t a-pulled her off
And I think she would have killed them

A soldier with a broken armfixed
His stare to the wheels of a Cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest
And a queer threw up at the sight of that

Well, I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine
Don’t think you knew you were in this song

And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of Ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I miss you, you’re beautiful

We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that’s all we’ve got
We’ve got
Five years.


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