Bob Brozman child molestation allegations

I’ve mentioned Bob Brozman in my writing (maybe even here on this blog.) He was a phenomenal blues/Ragtime/country/world music guitarist who had a storied career until he committed suicide in April. When I first discovered Brozman through some videos on YouTube, I was greatly impressed with his raw musical ability. But as I watched interviews with him, I became equally impressed with his thinking. He had a lot of deep thoughts about what music is, what music performance is, and how musical styles are born.

The story, as I originally heard it, was that Brozman committed suicide because he was suffering from residual pain brought about by a car accident that occurred decades previous. His fear was this was eventually going to take away his ability to play his instruments. As someone who has dealt with similar problems, I was quite sympathetic.

I was so impressed with Brozman that I began working on an eulogy article on him for the finest website on the planet e.g. I was about 800 words into this article when I came across some disturbing allegations about Brozman. Several people have come forward making claims that relatives of theirs were sexually molested as children by Brozman. They say that criminal proceedings were about to commence, and this is why Brozman killed himself. There’s no formal article on the web addressing these allegations (at least not right now) but you can see a detailed and richly debated back and forth about the allegations in comment sections here, here, and here.

I, of course, have no idea what really happened. And I’m unsure what to do with my in-the-works article. At this point, I don’t think one can bring up Brozman’s name without addressing the controversy. And, from what I’m reading, this is a controversy that may never be resolved. Obviously Brozman will never offer a defense of himself, and with him dead, it seems unlikely we’ll see the results of a criminal investigation, if there was ever one performed. Having said that, my sense from what I’ve read is that several people close to Brozman, including famed acoustic instrumentalist David Lindley, believe the charges to be true.

I find myself emotionally… perplexed by the whole thing. Brozman was one of those rare musicians who could really combine two things I greatly admire: virtuosity and intellect. He didn’t just play music, he thought about music. But if he was guilty of these charges, it pretty much negates his whole existence.

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