A new article has been written about Q and the now storied song “Goodbye Horses”. I can tell you for a fact it wasn’t until after my friend Bill passed away almost a decade ago, that all of the real interest sprouted. He did enjoy some recognition in the early 2000s thanks to various outlets like Toxic Airborne Event, Family Guy, and Grand Theft Auto. Let me tell you, Bill would have LOVED all the lore and mystery! But it’s true, no one has been able to find Q for years, and he presumed she passed away ages ago.
I should clarify (this is the problem when journalists email with no follow-up questions or don’t suggest a phone conversation, I get emails almost monthly about Goodbye Horses from various magazines) that his oldest sister was estranged up until his second coma when the hospital told our friend Veronica that she needed to find his family after all those years because it was not looking good. He beat hospice too, by the way, and even got an invoice for not dying! He would later pass away just as things were looking up. Veronica and I are very amused the article says she disputes me. I should also clarify that the use of the song he would have been angry about are the random bootlegs I’ve seen get released on vinyl.
When I say Bill, and not “Q” people get very confused. Let me put it this way; Q was used as an instrument (I believe paid as a one-time deal) but the song was written and composed by Bill, he even came up with the name Q Lazzarus. The demos of himself doing the vocals are still around, as is the original Casio he used. He did remixes up until the mid 2000s.
I know everyone wants more information about Diane (aka Q) but as far as we know, the consensus was that she moved to the UK and thus disappeared.
Of course, I found Bill to be fascinating and an underachiever in so many ways that I could relate to. But, he new that song was good, and would make sure you knew it upon meeting him! That’s how we became friends when I met him in a bar in Cleveland; I practically hugged him “that song was you?! I tried forever to find it but it wasn’t on any soundtracks!” and off we went!
Collabortation could always be tricky with him, but we managed to do a great art exhibition together, and he worked with Veronica Red a lot. I always wonder what he would have gone on to do. It’s so hard for me to hear that song — which gets played a lot in various places from a night club to a grocery store. I think about him just about every day.
My friend passed on last night. It was an ongoing struggle the past year, but I’m glad we had some fun in these last months and he’s finally at peace. One of the smartest men I ever knew.
Many people are familiar with his song that he wrote, performed, and initially had done vocals on: “Goodbye Horses”.
Us at my 30th birthday party.
His prints I bought when we first met. We later did a small two-person show together.
After moving from Los Angeles to Cleveland how funny was it to randomly meet him at a bar and of course, his introduction to me was that he wrote and performed that song. Trust me, he’d tell anyone and everyone that was his song, but at the time not many people cared as much as they would later thanks to various covers and Grand Theft Auto. But, oh how excited I was! He explained to me why the song wasn’t on the soundtrack — I mentioned I had tried to find it when the film came out — and how he had plans for other music projects now that he could release anything he wanted online. I wasn’t from Ohio and only at this point knew a small group of people. I had fled Los Angeles in almost the same manner he had fled both and NYC Los Angeles (he lasted one year and could not stand that there were no seasons, and going back to NYC under the George W. Bush administration he said everything that made NYC great was “dead dead dead”). Although he loved living in London for a time, he felt a duty to return home to take care of his mother. Like mother like son; she was neighbors with Eric Carmen of The Raspberries and would always throw shade at him anytime they crossed paths that “my Billy had a song in the movie that won a best picture Oscar” and that Dirty Dancing did not, “oh Eric, didn’t you have something in a movie nominated too? Well there’s always next year.” (That song was Hungry Eyes btw).
We bonded over every fashion, film, art, literature subject you could think of and he said he was glad to meet someone who could talk as fast as him. Over the years we became close. He collected my art, we’d talk for hours, drink and see movies together. He’d photograph me a lot because he thought I looked like Isabella Rosellini (I have no idea why). Even when he was in hospice — which he beat — we’d have “Karl Lagerfeld dance parties” in his room to the amazement of the nursing staff. Things got even better after that when he moved in down the street from me.
Since he left us, his best friend Veronica, who also recorded with him under the name Skin, has now become one of my dearest friends. I’m thankful for that in the wake of his passing. There are early 1980s demos that will be released at some point I’m sure. Veronica still has the original synth that “Goodbye Horses” was made with. To be honest, it’s really hard for me to hear that song, now.