On this day in 1968

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1966 – Robert F. Kennedy, (Robert Francis {Bobby} Kennedy) [1925-1968] Legislator and public official, was Attorney General of United States. – Photo By Jim McNamara/TWP

RFKs assassination on June 5,1968 was a terrible blow to a very lot of people, including myself. RFK had emerged to be the fair haired boy of the presidential election what would have taken place in November, 1968. He was the heir apparent who seemed to have a viable shot at changing the country and the world. He displayed a sense of fairness and a clear understanding of what needed to be done and a viable plan on getting it so. Had RFK won the nomination, it was highly likely he would have negotiated a quick end to the Vietnam Conflict , saving thousands of lives, and would have worked to fix racial discrimination and narrowing income gaps in the economy. Kennedy was serious about tackling poverty and racism. He would have taken the country in a radically different direction that what transpired with Richard Nixon. Nixon had a crook as Vice president (Agnew), a “secret” plan to end the never-ending war (ended in 1975) and the Watergate debacle during which little or nothing constructive was done in government. The country and the world would have been a different place, I think.

Shortly after his funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on June 8, it’s thought that as many as a million bystanders interrupted their day to stand near the tracks to pay silent tribute to the man in the train’s last car for the 225 mile ride from New York City to Arlington Cemetery where he was buried near his brother. Many in tears. What you will see in the following youtube video is as sad a commentary as you will ever witness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvxH3utA1kg

I don’t know if the photographs by Paul Fusco from Look Magazine will come over as it’s a piece from The Atlantic but I’ll include them here in case they’re released to the public. They’re heartbreaking.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/06/rfks-funeral-train-in-photos/562238/?utm_source=&silverid-ref=MzEwMTU3MjQyMjUxS0

“For all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these,
‘It might have been’.

A Passing: Tom Wolfe

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Tom Wolfe, clad in an impeccable three-piece white suit, created a quantum leap in descriptive writing, changing the entire landscape for the use of descriptive language. Prior to Wolfe, descriptive articles were very staid and correct. Wolfe’s hybrid departures into fanciful and colorful language began the “New Journalism”, pointing out Jimmy Breslin, Gay Talese, Hunter Thompson, Joan Didion and others.

I think he began the art of observing phenomena not seen in the same light by others, describing what he saw in polychromatic language, probably more accurate and definitely more harlequin than what came before.

“The Kandy-Colored, Tangerine Flake, Streamlined Baby” (1965). An expanded look at automobile customizing in the 60s. “The Pump House Gang” (1968) An anthology exploring various aspects of the counterculture of the 1960s. The most famous story about Jack Macpherson and his gang of surfers that hung out in a sewage pump house at Windansea Beach in La Jolla, California.

“The Electric Kool-Aid Test” (1968) an “I was there” anthology of late 60s Hippies, most notably Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, who traveled across the country promoting LSD in a colorfully painted school bus named “Further”. “The Right Stuff” (1979) told the “real” story of the antics of the (first) Mercury astronauts that made Chuck Yeager (sound barrier 1947) a household name.

But I think Wolf’s crowning glory was “Bonfire of the Vanities” (1987) followed by the film of the same name in 1990 starring Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis, directed by Brian DePalma. Bonfires is one of the deepest, blackest, most brutal comedies ever written, mercilessly trashing virtually all of our (90s) social mores including, marriage, mistresses, Wall Street, trust and compassion, political envy and manipulation, racial politics and most especially the judicial system.

“Bonfires” does not blink and has no peer in its viciousness. The film is a must-see and can usually be found on many of the TV streaming sites and always on the Torrents.

I think Wolfe can be directly compared to Hunter Thompson in his use of “enhanced description”. Thompson took it a step further by interjecting his own life into the lives of his subjects, usually in a bizarre way, usually termed “Gonzo Journalism”. At any rate, Tom died at age 88 at the end of a very fruitful and satisfying life. It was a good deal. God rest his soul.

See the film.

David Crippen, MD, FCCM
Professor Emeritus
University of Pittsburgh (Ret)

A passing: Charlie Manson (1934- 2017)

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Books have been written and movies made about Charlie over the past 50 years. It’s a little surprising that he lasted in what amounted to a cloister for this period of time.

A lot is said today about Charlie’s personality, but I think he’s at least as important as a signpost for the era in time he was a part of. An era in which none of the Pitt students enrolled in my “America in the 60s” class were alive. At some point, the professor asked how many in a class of 50 students had seen “Dr. Strangelove”. No hands went up. Earlier, she asked how many were watching “Vietnam”, the groundbreaking documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. One person.

The 60s came and went with a lot of notice at the time but quickly forgotten by Generation Z. But it’s important for little other reason that because Charlie and his girls probably could not have prospered in any other era. A world with no limits. A world of “Easy Rider” and “Groupies”, a universe of unlimited expansion of the individual and rejection of conformity.

A spontaneous pilgrimage of the faithful, Woodstock (August, ’69) symbolized 60s idealism, but it only hinted at the final demise of the decade of love. The Vietnam War continued, the subservient role of women in the counterculture continued, LSD use diminished and most of the illustrious musical groups of the age died or broke up.

The real end came almost simultaneously with Manson and Altamont, both in the fall of 1969. Manson et al “expanding” their consciousness to forge conflict in a country of “peace & Love” based on rock lyrics eventually leaving the “Family” on top. Altamont, a “free concert” where everything possible to go wrong did, including violence and death.

One of the fundamental myths that the sixties articulated was that some benefit accrued from testing the bounds of human capability and expansion of the mind. It was an era in search of the lost chord. Dissonant notes from political, spiritual, chemical, historical and media influences that come together to form a homogenous chord. The object of total freedom was to find Nirvana, but with little guidance, free-living tribes of the late 60s could just as easily evolve to their lowest denominator. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.

Perhaps prior lessons learned from the existential philosophers, most of whom went mad or suffered violent deaths, should have been heeded. Jim Morrison searched for his soul by bolting through the “Doors of Perception”, immersing his persona in cathartic rock music masquerading as social profundity. In the end, Jim never found the values of freedom and self-expression his performance stood for, reaching too far for answers unobtainable. Janis Joplin made love to thousands of adoring zealots at the Fillmore, then ultimately died alone and lonely.

The Manson Family remains a vision of the “dark side” of the 60s era, the line no one knew was there till they crossed it. If there is an afterlife, one might rightly think that Charley will meet the same people going down that he met coming up.

David Crippen, MD, FCCM
Professor Emeritus
University of Pittsburgh (Ret)

passing: Greg Allman

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Gregg Allman, the last vestige of the Allman Bros Band is gone, and with him goes a massive history. Rock Photographer Jim Marshall told me they were the best he’d ever seen and he’d seen them all.

“Southern Rock” was philosophically different than the rest of the genre. It was harsh but always melodic and to technical perfection. Other exponents, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Outlaws and The Marshall Tucker band had a southern flavor but were more countrified. Molly Hatchet claimed to be a Southern band but their aura could be more compared to Black Oak Arkansas. The Allman Bros really stood alone. They were legends at the Fillmore East.

My sister was a scrub nurse at what was then the Macon Medical Center when Duane Allman was brought to the operating room after a motorcycle crash in which he was injured trying to pass a truck that made an unexpected left turn. It was 1971 and no one knew who he was, just another disheveled, long haired hippie. The woods were full of ‘em. SO he got no “real” attending surgeon. He was relegated to the surgical chief resident’s service. On opening his abdomen, an un-fixable liver injury was found and he of massive bleeding. I often wonder if we could have saved him in 2017 at UPMC had we got the chance.

I saw Gregg when he came to Athens for a one night stand at a local bar, I believe it was early 1972. He was stoned insensible, really unable to play and actually fell off the stool. I saw an interview with him in the 80s where he tearfully said he never really got over Duane’s death. But the Allman Brothers did survive and persist with Dickie Betts at the helm, an authentic wild man fond of trashing hotel rooms (“takin care of business”), marrying women, writing songs about them, then dumping them (“Blue Skies”). The reconstituted Allmans finally had enough and fired him (notified him by sending him a fax) in 2000. For those with an interest, Dickie played an authentic 1957 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top.

Duane Allman’s response to an interviewer’s question: “How are you helping the (anti-war) revolution?” Allman replied, “There ain’t no revolution, only evolution, but every time I’m in Georgia I ‘eat a peach’ for peace.b The post-Duane album “Eat a Peach” (1972) did well, much like the post-Bon Scott AC/DC album “Back in Black”, indicating that the magic was still more or less there. ” The Allmans went on starring Gregg on piano and organ, Derek Trucks on slide and guitarist Warren Haynes, both stellar talents who jelled well with the Allman Bros vibe. I think Warren Haynes is one of the top five most talented guitarists alive today. He’s the only player I’ve ever heard that could approach Duane Allman, although the vibe is a little dated now.

Duane Allman’s original ’59 Gibson Les Paul is enshrined at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I broke the rules and actually touched it, hoping a spark would pass through it to me. Unfortunately it didn’t. I’m still a mediocre player.

Duane and bass player Berry Oakley (killed in a similar motorcycle accident a few blocks from where Duane was killed year after Duane) are buried together in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Ga. The same cemetery they used to hang out, the inspiration for the song “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”- spotted on one of the head stones).

Gregg was a serviceable keyboard player and an excellent voice, but Duane was a true virtuoso. Like many artists, some of their best work was never popular enough to get on the radio. If you want to hear a totally awesome song featuring Duane on lead guitar, listen to the brief (truncated by me) live performance in a small club MP3 I am providing on this missive. Listen to the incredible subtlety and the touch that made Duane a legend.

The end of an era. A complex life well lived, all factors considered.

It’s difficult to find a good video of the original Allman Bros band in 1970. Try this one from the Fillmore East in 1970.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUvxRjYqjEQ

Also, this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqKrRATxHXY

Originally and masterfully performed by Sam Cook in 1964, a classic. It’s beautiful, listen to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEBlaMOmKV4

And BTW, a fascinating biography of Bill Graham and the Fillmores is here at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QK3BMJ4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

David Crippen, MD, FCCM
Professor Emeritus
University of Pittsburgh (Ret)

A passing: Butch Trucks (Allman Bros Band) Jan 24, 2017

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170125-butch-trucks-2005_f1bdfd6a8199b71fad90385f71f2d1e6-nbcnews-ux-2880-1000Sadly, another rock musician now taking his own life: Allman Brothers Band Percussionist Butch Trucks, age 69.

http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/02/police_death_of_allman_brothers_drummer_butch_trucks_was_suicide.html

The Allman Bros were legends in their own time and continue to be important for the history of rock. One of the most influential bands in rock history. Butch was there from the beginning in 1969.

They lived fast, peaked early and died young. They headlined one of the biggest outdoor rock concerts in history (Atlanta International Pop Festival, 1970). Crowd estimates range as high as 600,000. Their album “Live at the Fillmore” continues to be one of the classics of all time, Rolling stone lists it as #49 in the top rock albums.

24-year-old Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash in Macon, Georgia in 1971, bassist Berry Oakley, age 24 followed in another bike crash a year later four blocks from where Duane lost his life. Brother Gregg Allman carried on with various iterations of the band until finally calling it quits in 2014. But the band was never the same, essentially playing the same material with increasingly younger musician replacements until it became seriously dated.

There are some emerging issues in the arena of maintaining a passion for over 50 years, then finding out it’s irrevocably done. We’re an older population now and we’re living long enough to become irrelevant with unforeseen consequences. In the year 1965, 50% of the population was under 25 years of age, 41% under age 20. In contrast, in 2012, only 23.5 % of Americans were below the age of 20 *. I was 22 in 1965. I’d hazard a guess that in 2017, close to 50% of the population is over 60. That’s a different world.

People flash across the sky and then there is an end to that trajectory. They get old and find out they’re irrelevant as new generations crowd them out. It’s hard to let go of that and some poor souls are unable to do so. They observe from the outside what they can no longer do for various reasons, not the least of which is they can no longer relate to the new generation.

I’ve mentioned in the past that infamous 60s writer Hunter Thomson took his life when he discovered he was simply out of date and couldn’t relate anymore to the 21st century. When the world changed from the 60s he couldn’t adapt to the process of adapting. It wasn’t fun anymore. Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) took his own life when he discovered he could no longer play the keyboards as in his glory days. Ronnie Montrose of “Montrose” (spawned Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar) took is life in 2012; he just didn’t find it fulfilling anymore. Bob Welsh, formerly in the formative stages of “Fleetwood Mac” took his life in 2012 in failing health and enduring the frustrations of the group’s success without him. Robin Williams at age 63- career waning and health issues.

These lives and deaths are radically different than young people with fertile lives killing themselves. David Foster Wallace, one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years, unexpectedly killed himself at age 46. Kurt Cobain kilted himself at age 27 at the peak of his musical career. These guys succumbed from endogenous depression, not an inability to cope with aging and an emerging generation that made them irrelevant.

Like it or not, time passes, things change and new generations emerge. The ability to survive is the ability to adapt and with a rapidly aging population, that ability isn’t guaranteed. Butch Trucks, a world-class musician in his glory days is collateral damage to this phenomenon. I fear he won’t be the last.

* Braunstein, Carpenter, Edmonds: “The Sixties Chronicle”, pp 263

Syd Barrett remembered (1946-2006)

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Last summer marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Roger (Syd) Barrett the original heart and soul of the mega-band “Pink Floyd”. Syd was the lead singer and principle songwriter, credited with naming the band in the mid-60s.

I mention Syd for a reason, yet to come.

First, a brief background history: Syd’s brilliance flashed across the sky for only about 3 years, beginning at the band’s inception around 1965 and pretty much ending around 1968. The band’s seminal album: “Piper at the gates of dawn” was recorded in 1967 and put them on the map in the UK. His instrumental “Interstellar Overdrive” (10 minutes long) marked the Brit interpretation of psychedelia. Of the eleven songs on “Piper”, Syd wrote eight and co-wrote two.

During the latter part of 1967 into ’68, Syd’s behavior became increasingly erratic, blamed on his use of LSD, which at the time was pervasive in the youth culture. His ability to perform on stage progressively deteriorated and in late 1968, his school friend David Gilmour gently replaced him in the band.

After leaving Floyd, Syd tried his luck at several solo projects but none went anywhere. By 1972, Syd’s functionality had degenerated to the point where he ensconced himself in a small flat in Cambridge and rarely emerged except to get the mail. Royalties continued to come his way and he remained essentially in custodial care until his death on July 7, 2006 at the age of 60 years. Cause of death said to be pancreatic cancer.

There has been much speculation about Syd’s state of mind over his few productive years. Much has been made of his fondness for LSD as a precursor and catalyst for psychosis. His sister Rosemary Breen said that his mental abilities and inconsistencies were consistent with Asperger’s Syndrome. In fact, many who have studied him feel that he had classic delayed adolescent schizophrenia and his deterioration was an incurable self-fulfilling prophesy.

I have seen several schizophrenics through the years. They are usually highly intelligent and creative in their young years and they flash brightly but quickly across the sky. Their deterioration is progressive, sometimes lasting into their late 20s. One I knew deteriorated in her last year of medical school. It’s right out of that film a while back “A Beautiful Mind” (2001). The signs and symptoms actually started much earlier but were as ascribed to the eccentricity of genius.
photo-oneAt any rate, my point, and I do have one is for you to now peruse this photo. Syd in his glory days, early 20s.

Now, much is made of Architectural feminine beauty, in the range of Victoria’s Secret models. A face that launched a thousand ships (a mini-Helen, of course, would launch one ship). The media is plastered with it selling everything from bug spray to diapers. But, alternatively, Syd was a drop-dead beautiful young man. Look at that face. A face that would generate madness in an alternate universe.
photo-three
Then, sadly, peruse this photo to see Syd in his late 50s shortly before his death. Rode hard and put away wet for too long. What a strange and terrible transformation that quietly awaits most of us. Unfair that we must eventually suffer the ravages of time and age. Almost an incentive to get in as much as possible for as long as possible before we go gently into that good night.

 

A sad passing: Keith Emerson (1944-2016)

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KeithKeith Emerson, Carl Palmer and Greg Lake formed rock super group “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” in London in 1970. The band released seven albums in the next decade, all of which went gold in the US.

(pay particular attention to the fascinating echo and delay effects of this band, all designed by Keith Emerson)

Keith Emerson was the compleat musician. It was not his avocation or occupation, it was his burning passion that encompassed and ultimately eclipsed his life in totality. Keith is said to have suffered from depression after a degenerative nerve disorder in his hands that hampered his keyboard playing capability.

Passion is not a logical decision. Passion dictates behavior without rationality or logic, making it all up as it goes along. Anything interfering can be ominous. I knew a guitarist that ripped off the bandages the day after a carpel tunnel operation so he could continue to play. Debilitating illness, frequently in combination with desultory forms of depression can be a life-threatening blow to such passionate artists.

History reveals other musicians that committed suicide for similar interferences with their life’s lusts, including substance dependency and various stripes of depression. One would think that the fruits of artistic brilliance in and of itself would be an adequate stimulus for personal happiness and fulfillment, but history infers that the more brilliant an artist is, the more tendency for their self-ruination.

* Nick Drake- A fragile genius, dead in 1968 from an overdose of amitriptyline, a treatment for lifelong depression. Autopsy did not reveal whether the overdose was intentional or accidental.

* Pete Ham- Badfinger singer-guitarist, suicide in 1975. Depression after losing all to a crooked manager. Pete wrote “Baby Blue”, the brilliant anthem that played out the last scene in “Breaking Bad”.

* Keith Moon- Legendary drummer for The Who, an entirely justified reputation as the wild man of rock, dead in 1978 from aspiration following a probable inadvertent overdose of Clomethiazole, a drug prescribed to help wean him off alcohol.

* John Bonham- Of Led Zeppelin, considered my Rolling Stone to be the greatest drummer in rock history. Extensive history of alcoholism died of respiratory failure following aspiration after drinking 40 consecutive shots of vodka in 1980.

* Richard Manuel- “The Band”, considered one of the great piano players in rock. Suicide in 1986. Deteriorating technical abilities from chronic drug dependency and alcoholism.

* Danny Gatton. The ‘Master of the Telecaster’. Considered one of the top ten rock guitarist of all time. Suicide in 1994 resulting from untreatable lifelong depression and deteriorating technical abilities.

* Kurt Cobain- Of Nirvana, ‘’the flagship band’’ of Generation X. An artist that changed an entire culture. A lifelong history of depression culminating in suicide in 1994.

* Brad Delp- Lead singer for Boston. Delp was considered among the greatest rock vocalist of all time. Suicide in 2007 after multiple stressful life situations.

Rest in peace, sad brother.

 

“Come inside, the show’s about to start

Guaranteed to blow your head apart

Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth

The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth.

You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo.

You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll ….”

 

Emerson Lake & Palmer, “Karn Evil 9” From “Brain Salad Surgery”, (1973)

 

 

Never thought I’d live to be a hundred

Never thought I’d get to do

The things that all those other sons do

 

Never thought I’d ever have my freedom

An age ago my maker was refusing me

The pleasure of the view

 

Moody Blues: “To our Children’s, Children’s Children” (1975)

 

 

A passing: Paul Kantner (1941-2016)

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Paul in '68 & '15You’d have to work hard to overestimate the musical contribution of Paul Kantner (and the Jefferson Starship). Paul died yesterday, Essentially of old age, at 74.

Formed in 1965, the Jefferson Airplane truly defined the “psychedelic era” in music. They performed at the three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s—Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969) and Altamont (1969). “Somebody to love” and White Rabbit” are among Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time”. The Airplane was inducted into the R & R Hall of Fame in 1996.

Gracie '68 and nowPaul didn’t talk much but he was the pillar that created, maintained and now died with the Jefferson Airplane, one of the truly seminal musical groups of the 60’s, an era defined by it’s music. Lead singer Gracie Slick got all the media attention because she was volatile and the camera loved her. Gracie was the first female megastar in rock history and a brutally candid, sensuous symbol of 1960s counterculture. Now with snow-white hair, Gracie once remarked on a talk show that she once woke up at 110 mph in a Porsche on the 405.

In a 1968 Amsterdam concert incident, Doors singer Jim Morrison, under the influence of God knows what, appeared on stage and began dancing like a pinwheel. The Airplane played “Plastic Fantastic Lover” increasingly faster, Morrison continuing to spin faster finally falling senseless at Marty Balin’s feet. Morrison was hospitalized.

Jorma and meLead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is an acquaintance; I played with him a couple of decades or so ago. He went on to form “Hot Tuna” and is still playing gigs out there on the road. I met Gracie a while back and have her signature on a poster in my music room.

Others in the group coming and going, Paul played with the Airplane’s entire history,. When the Airplane broke up in 1972, Kantner then formed the “Jefferson Starship” which went on until Gracie quit due to age-related loss of interest in 1988. This year she’s 76 years old and rarely seen in public.

Paul Kantner was a very important person in music throughout his lifetime. He and many others of his ilk, soon to expire, defined an age that will probably never be seen again. Rest in peace, Paul. A life well lived.

 

 

Death Triads for the new millennium

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Traditionally, deaths for performance artists come in triads, but historically for different reasons.

Jim Morrison: (July 3, 1971) Two radically opposite personalities on and off ethanol.
Janis Joplin: (Oct 4, 1970). Made love to 1150 adoring fans at the Fillmore West, then went home alone.
Jimi Hendrix: (Sept 18, 1970) Chronic insomnia aided to permanent sleep.

All within a year of each other, all in their twenties from acute and chronic disorders self-mistreatment. All a direct result of the suspension of most laws of God and man in the waning sixties.

And speaking of sixties, we now have the obligatory new millennium triad of:

David Bowie; (Class by himself)
Glenn Frey: (Classically “American” band- “The Eagles”)
Dallas Taylor (“Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young” drummer)

Bowie died at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer, leaving a very intense “goodbye” video, cloistering himself in a closet at the end. Frey died at 67 from complications of longstanding rheumatoid disease and colitis. There is some conjecture that the new drug “Humera” may have weakened his immune system (unverified). Taylor was 66, suffered from cirrhosis, receiving a liver transplant in 1990, lasted 26 years.

What all these guys have in common is that they died of “old men” diseases in an age where “old men” are now lasting into their 80s (but not necessarily with the same quality of life). In fact, the death rate from “old men” diseases hasn’t changed much in the new millennium. 60s is when much it peaks. All the truly great performing musicians of my generation are now facing their mortality.

What’s coming next: rode hard and put away wet, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (Cream) are now 70 and 76 respectively. Jack Bruce died last year at age 71. Neil Young is 71 and entering his tenth or so “middle age crisis”, dumping his aging wife and taking up with famously predatory starlet Daryl Hannah (“Blade Runner”). David Crippen, still chugging along barely ahead of the game so far.

You really know you’re getting old when you start reading obituaries looking for people you know. Thomas Hobbes said: “The life of man- solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”, mercifully, has not been true for any of the above. The future will, however, continue to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A passing: David Bowie

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bowie_on_tourSad passing of David Bowie from cancer at age 69. Not any sadder than anyone passing from cancer at any age, but in the case of the Thin White Duke, not so sad as his amazing body of work left behind will speak for him forever.

There are at least two markers of genius. First is inimitability. True genius can be echoed by pretenders but never equaled. The second is that there is virtually no limit to their timeless multi-talented potential. Bowie (nee Jones) has said he considered himself a “collector of personalities”. Beginning in the 60s and 70s with “Space Oddity” and Ziggy Stardust” and the “Thin White Duke”. Proceeding through the 80s with new wave and his pop era and “Tin Machine”, into the 90s with his electronic period, and ultimately into the new millennium with his neoclassicist period. He collaborated with many other world class musicians including Queen (“Under Pressure”- 1981). In any of these periods, there is music to be enjoyed by some audience’s tastes.

Bowie also participated in and defined characters from several films including “The man who fell to earth” (1976), The Hunger (1983) and The last temptation of Christ (1988). He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Music reviewer Brad Filicky writes: “Bowie has become known as a musical chameleon, changing and dictating trends as much as he has altered his style to fit, influencing fashion and pop culture”. Biographer Thomas Forget adds, “Because he has succeeded in so many different styles of music, it is almost impossible to find a popular artist today that has not been influenced by David Bowie”. In 2000, Bowie was named by British magazine the New Musical Express as the “most influential artist of all time”.

So, we add this incredible talent to the list of inimitable, timeless, pervasive artists “of a certain age” approaching their mortality now, but never forgotten.