[Photo © Hugh McCarten]
A year ago today Oscar Fruchtman died, way before his time. Oscar was an extraordinary presence in the lives of everyone who knew him — brilliant, hilariously funny, haunted by demons. He was a gifted musician and songwriter, who could write funny and also write sweet.
My friend Hugh McCarten was one of the people who knew him best, and Hugh was asked to deliver the eulogy at Oscar's memorial service, which is linked to below. But before you read it, listen to a song Oscar wrote (with Hugh contributing some to the lyrics), “Floating Away”, which is both funny and sweet — a song about Noah, about hope and rebirth and faith:
Floating Away (© 2010 A. Fruchtman/H. McCarten)
This is a live recording from The Rose Tattoo in Key West, Florida, from March of 1979 — with Oscar and Ed “Woody” Allen on guitars, Din Allen on bass, Hugh on toy organ, Oscar singing lead and the other lads doing back-up vocals.
Here's what Hugh had to say about Oscar when it came time to bid him farewell: