The Icarus Line
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December 3, 2017

The Death of Alvin Deguzman

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Written by: admin

Alvin Deguzman was the guitarist of an American band called The Icarus Line. Although I’d known about The Icarus Line since 2001, it wasn’t until 2004 when I finally got to meet Alvin after his band performed at The Reading Festival. Since then, I’d make sure to go and see him whenever he toured the UK.

Alvin Deguzman died on 3rd October this year. He died after having fought a long and arduous battle with bone cancer. He was 38 years old.

When I found out that Alvin had died, my initial reaction to his passing was sadness. Sadness because we’d been friends for over a decade, although I’d known about him for nearly two. I’d seen him grow up – first under the media spotlight, and then in person. It’s for this reason that his death marks both a personal and a cultural loss. Personal, because Alvin was so kind and generous and he’d always been good towards me. Cultural, because his band had always been a regular mainstay to my listening habits for nearly two decades. In this respect, Alvin’s death marks both the loss of a friend, as well as the end of The Icarus Line.

The second emotion which I felt was regret. Regret, because I was never able to say goodbye – even though I’d known about his illness since March this year. To be honest, I’d never thought that Alvin would be as sick as he turned out to be. He’d been struck with cancer previously, and was able to beat it at the time, so I thought that he’d be able to beat it again when it returned earlier this year.

I regret not interviewing Alvin one last time. To have spent a few days in his company so as to hear about all the things that he’d seen, things that most people wouldn’t believe. He really had seen it all. All the incredible highs as well as all the pitiful lows. I wanted to hear this from someone who was knocking on Heaven’s door, and who was going to die before his time.

But most of all, I regret not taking the time to enquire about Alvin on a more regular basis. Since the news of his cancer broke, I only ever contacted him once, and that was in May this year. At the end of it all, he died thinking that I never cared about him.

After giving it some thought, the last emotion which I experienced was happiness. So many people waste their lives on needless pursuits before they die unexpectedly. I’m happy that Alvin at least knew as to when he would be dying, so was given ample time to do the things that he really wanted to do, as well as to say goodbye to all the people that really mattered. He learnt how precious time was, and lived every day as if it was his last. And even if he did die at the age of 38, his star had shone twice as bright, even if it had lasted half as long.

But most of all, I’m happy that I was able to speak about Alvin today, and to pass on his wonderful legacy.

If there’s anything that I can learn from Alvin’s death, is that life’s too short to be doing the things that one doesn’t enjoy.

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