Jack’s Mannequin has been ubiquitous in my memory when I think back to college. The band was introduced to me by a diehard Something Corporate fan and subsequent Jack’s Mannequin convert. While Something Corporate was born out of thoughtful teenage angst in the early 2000’s, front man Andrew McMahon transitioned to a sound that was a little more piano-focused while retaining a knack for lyricism under the new moniker, Jack’s Mannequin.
But recently it wasn’t either band that pulled me back to that time a decade ago, nor a track I heard playing aloud at a restaurant in town. It was finally watching Andrew’s battle with leukemia play out in the roughly cut documentary, Dear Jack.
The rawness of the footage is at once frustrating to watch (c’mon early era digital recorders!) and hard to swallow as we see Andrew fall and rise from the ashes that is cancer, chemotherapy, and a host of drug routines. Tears came to my eyes as I felt empathetic for the struggle—for him and his loved ones, not to mention for his battle to keep music alive inside of himself.
So I share a track off of the album Everything In Transit, my favorite of the project, also heavily featured in the documentary given the time of its release.
Although Andrew’s moved beyond that time in his life (see the new project, In The Wilderness), it’s always important to think back. To ponder even for a little while where we’ve come from and what memories keep teaching us today.
Photo: Amy Lane