Jack Vigliatura was the vocalist for For Squirrels, a Florida-based alternative rock band. The band was founded in 1992 by Vigliatura and two childhood friends who had gone off to college together at the University of Florida. Their single “Mighty K.C.” was a minor radio hit, but the band is perhaps most remembered for the tragic touring van accident and claimed the lives of founding members Vigliatura and bassist Bill White, along with tour manager Tim Bender. On the way home from a show in New York, the band’s tour van blew a tire and overturned on Interstate 95 in Georgia. The accident happened less than a month before the release of Example (1995), right as the band was on the cusp of national recognition. After recovering from serious injuries, the two surviving members changed the band’s name to Subrosa and ultimately disbanded in 2001. Vigliatura was born on December 20, 1973 and died on September 8, 1995 at age 21.
It’s been exactly 20 years since the tragic tour van accident. As a high school student just a few years younger than the band members, I remember hearing about the accident on the radio while flipping through CDs at a local music store. You just never know what’s going to happen in life. To get a sense of what the band was like, watch the live performance (and Vigliatura’s mid-song emotional breakdown) of an early version of “Mighty K.C.” in Miami Beach on May 27, 1994. The song is about Kurt Cobain and the many suicides by fans following his death (which went under-reported by the media for fear of escalation). I love this song so much but it always hurts to listen to, especially considering that the lyrics seem to foreshadow the death of Vigliatura and the band the following year. You should also listen to my favorite track “Disenchanted” (and their full album), if you haven’t. ♥ “Into the great unknown / Things are gonna change in our favor.”