Saturday, October 1, 2011

Passed Away Resulting from Cancer: Poh Nikbar September

Rich Cronin

I own many hundreds of CDs, and I purchased more than half of them. My musical taste covers most genres, except opera, bluegrass, and Rebecca Black. I rarely hold back in my book or this blog, and I’m not about to now: I purchased seven albums by Britney, NSync, Backstreet, O-Town, and LFO. I expect my friend PepperoniNip to post a comment berating me, but just know that he also burned me one more NSync and one LFO album.

LFO was kind of the shit, and not simply because Jennifer Love Hewitt was in their “Girl on TV” video. Their lyrics were incredible: “You're the best girl that I ever did see/ The great Larry Bird Jersey 33,” and, “When I met you I said my name was Rich/ You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch.”

I listened to their self-titled album on repeat on the plane ride to my first Israel trip, just before cancer. I’m sure Hewitt was on repeat in my mind, too. The following summer I listened to their Life Is Good album to and from my radiation sessions at NIH. At that point the end of my cancer treatment was near, and I mimicked my behavior from the previous year—stereo blaring, windows down, back sweat accumulating as I drove dozens of mph's over the limit. I was blind to the notion that August 2000 didn’t flow into August 2001. I did accept that Heidi Klum overtook Hewitt on my Top Five List, though.

LFO—like so many other athletes, musicians, movies and shows—helped to make cancer life easier for me. That’s why I was sad to hear the lead singer, Rich Cronin, died of leukemia last September after battling it for five years.

LFO found success with their self-titled album, which went platinum. They opened for NSync and Britney Spears, and Cronin was part of a VH1 show on boy bands. When their 15 minutes of fame were up, Cronin kept at it, releasing a solo album, creating a rap duo, and trying to reunite LFO years after splitting. As a fellow “artist” who has no idea how to sell my book and doubt I’ll ever make positive cash flow from it, I admire Cronin’s achievement and persistence.

Boy bands are dead, but they had a solid run. Perhaps Cronin and LFO were the most underrated of the bunch.
LFO's Rich Cronin