by Laura Demilio

To jump into the discussion of this sad subject once more-- I was just going to stay away from it once and for all, but oh well, here goes -- I still maintain that perverts/pedophiles/molesters are RECIDVISTS. There was never another incident of Bix being arrested or accused or even suspected of any such thing --even for someone who could charm and fib as glibly as he did in his schoolboy letters home to his folks (and a lot of that was flavored with a tone of not wanting to worry and upset his parents, as well as the natural proclivity for a teenager to avoid getting into trouble about his bad grades, truancy and boozing -- we do not know Bix's specific motives but his excuses read pretty transparantly enough to give the impression of an indulged boy convincing his parents that he really is behaving himself).

But all the wheedling and justifications in the world, had he continued on in that vein -- and he attempted reassurance in his "don't worry about me, mom and dad" letters home for the remainder of his life-- would not have been able to cover Bix's tracks with the parents of little girls, cops, judges, and so forth if he had EVER been guilty of such a reprehensible penchant. Tram, Goldkette, and Paul Whiteman would not have been able to keep successfully bailing him out of trouble and hiding that kind of crimninal behavior. Yet, no other police reports have surfaced; no interviewed colleague/pal of his shamefacedly confessed, "But there was this problem about the poor guy besides the booze; I don't like to say, but --". The universal sad commentary divulged by those who worked with Bix always centered around his ongoing struggle with alcoholism. . . . but not degeneracy.

Bix's arrest record continues to consist of speeding a car, and the accusation of lewdly soliciting the attentions of a child, both incidents while in his late teens. We don't know what the possible involvement, guilt, or credible witnessing of the other two young men near the garage, also teenagers like Bix, may or may not have been. Bix had many, many friends and no one ever hinted at such a thing being his problem, and since all the other beans about Bix have been spilled concerning his ventures into troubled conduct with drinking, involving some speakeasy brawls and slovenliness, and resulting in the eventual ruination of his health, would anyone likewise keep something of such disturbing proportions a secret?

So, the account of the arrest been Out There for people to draw what conclusions they will. What we know is simply from the documentation, and whatever the level of speculation or interpretation of what actually transpired and what anyone may have been thinking or feeling at the time, it doesn't make someone's biographical assessment of the situation necessarily a bad one, but it also shouldn't be used to unfairly color the portrayal of the musician as an artist and a person. It's just too bad an admirer of Bix's genius reading about this incident for the first time may recoil in shock, yet hopefully follow it up with "Yeah, but. . . . ". However people's opinions may potentially be influenced, the overwhelming accounts of Bix the kindly friend, the sweet guy, the decent fellow, will continue to outweigh the chapter of a distressing and unfortunate incident in his short life.


Posted on Oct 11, 2010, 8:04 AM

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