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R.I.P.

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Tom Petty - 1950 - 2017 R.I.P aka Charles T. Wilbury Jr.

More sad news broke last night, the passing of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty due to cardiac arrest. From reports, he was found unconscious at his Malibu home and later died in hospital surrounded by famly & band members.

The musician gained fame as part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s, a band that was seen as integral to the heartland rock movement. Their biggest hits included I Won’t Back Down and American Girl. Petty was originally part of country rock band Mudcrutch who gained regional popularity but did not attract a mainstream audience. They later reformed in 2007 but originally split after Petty and other members joined the Heartbreakers. In 1977 the band gained success with the song Breakdown but it was their second album You’re Gonna Get It! that became a top 40 hit. Throughout the 80s, the band enjoyed major hits including You Got Lucky and Change of Heart and collaborated with Bob Dylan as well as Stevie Nicks. Petty continued to work with Dylan as part of the band Traveling Wilburys alongside Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne.

Petty also enjoyed solo success but always returned to the Heartbreakers, releasing their final album in 2014. “I don’t see that I have anything to offer as a solo artist that I couldn’t do within the group better,” he told the Sun. “We get along so well it’s embarrassing really. It’s a love fest!”

The band had been on a 40th anniversary tour since April that finished last week at the Hollywood Bowl. In an interview with Rolling Stone last December, he suggested it would probably be his last. “We’re all on the backside of our 60s,” he said. “I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”

Amid his successes, Petty also suffered dark periods during a career spanning five decades. A 2015 biography of the singer, Petty: The Biography, revealed for the first time his heroin addiction in the 1990s. Author Warren Zanes said in an interview with the Washington Post Petty had succumbed to the drug because he “had had encounters with people who did heroin, and he hit a point in his life when he did not know what to do with the pain he was feeling”. Petty also suffered from depression, channeling his pain into 1999’s Echo, during which he was also dealing with a divorce. In 2002, he married Dana York and said he had been in therapy for six years to deal with depression. “It’s a funny disease because it takes you a long time to really come to terms with the fact that you’re sick – medically sick, you’re not just suddenly going out of your mind,” he said at the time.

Petty has also been outspoken in his protection of the rights of artists, taking issue with record companies on a number of occasions over what he believed to be unjust practices. Earlier this year he was named MusiCares person of the year for his “career-long interest in defending artists’ rights” as well as for his charitable work with the homeless population of Los Angeles.

     

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Malcolm Young - 1953 - 2017 R.I.P.

Sad news broke yesterday that Malcom Young passed following a long battle with dementia and only a few weeks after his older, musician brother George Young.

Malcolm, along with Angus was the co-founder and acknowledged leader of AC/DC and co-wrote all of their songs since their 1975 debut album High Voltage right up to their final release Rock or Bust. This was to be Malcolm’s swan-song album as his dementia was diagnosed in the April of 2014 and forced him to step down from playing and the promotional tour in September of that year. His place was taken by nephew (older brother Stephen’s son) Stevie.

“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.” As rhythm guitarist for the legendary rock band, Malcolm Young served as an indispensable foil to Angus Young’s arena-stuffing riffs.

Throughout AC/DC’s tenure, Malcolm and Angus Young served as the band’s main creative force, crafting the unmistakable riffs that would make AC/DC one of the biggest bands in music. Together, the brothers would create the music for hits like “Back in Black,” “Hells Bells,” “Highway to Hell,” “Thunderstruck,” “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You),” “You Shook Me All Night Long” and dozens more rock staples.

However, Malcolm’s time in AC/DC was not without strife: A heavy drinker, he briefly left AC/DC in 1988 during the Blow Up Your Video Tour – his only absence from the band up to and until his dementia diagnosis – to go to rehab to curb his drinking problem. After a few months, Malcolm returned to the band and remained sober ever since. “I was not surprised,” George Young said of his younger brother’s sobriety. “When Malcolm puts his mind to something, he does it.”

Edit: From the best, to the best….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-1qjKdPIJw

     

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David Cassidy aka Keith Partridge 1950 - 2017

Teen sensation actor/singer, star of 4 seasons of The Partridge Family and many an early 1970’s bedroom poster.
In recent times, Cassidy has been battling with alcohol addiction as well as being diagnosed with dementia. TV work still came along, post Partridge Family, one of my favourites was when he sent up himself as cabaret singer “Boone Vincent” in an episode of Malcolm In The Middle.

     

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“Likely Lad” Rodney Bewes aka Bob Ferris has passed, aged 79.  R.I.P. Kidda….

     

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Johnny Halliday - 1943 - 2017 R.I.P.

French singer Johnny Hallyday has died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 74.
Hallyway, who was born Jean-Philippe Smet, is survived by his widow Laeticia and their daughters Jade and Joy, a son David from a previous marriage to singer/actress Sylvie Vartan and a daughter Laura from a relationship with actress Nathalie Baye

The pop star, who was known as the ‘French Elvis’, sold over 100million records during his long career.

He stood out from his chart contemporaries in the 1950s when he snubbed traditional music to sing French covers of rock ‘n’ roll songs.

     

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Edward Allen “East Eddie” Clarke 1950 - 2018 R.I.P.

Eddie Clarke, the last surviving member of Motorhead’s classic line-up, has died at the age of 67. The band’s Facebook page announced that the guitarist died in hospital after being admitted with pneumonia.

Clarke, whose nickname was Fast Eddie, played with Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in the heavy metal band between 1976-82. He played on the first six Motorhead albums, later going on to form Fastway with UFO bassist Peter Way.

Motörhead, the archetypal heavy rock band, were not renowned for their good behaviour. In 1976, after playing a set at the Punkaroka Midnight Sun festival in Finland, the trio were warned by the pilot of the airliner on which they were flying home that they would be arrested if they disturbed the other passengers. On hearing this, their guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke poured a vodka and orange down the back of the neck of the person sitting in front of him. Chaos ensued.

This behaviour was relatively unusual for Clarke. While his fellow musicians in Motörhead – the singer Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor – were renowned for dozens of alcohol- and drug-fuelled escapades in the rock’n’roll tradition, Clarke was far less extroverted. As the quiet member of the band, he was the glue between the two extreme personalities, focusing on delivering accomplished guitar riffs and solos. The classic albums he recorded alongside Lemmy and Philthy during his six years (1976-82) as a member of Motörhead are still regarded by the band’s fans as their best.

When Motörhead played live, few bands from the hard rock or heavy metal genres – both of which terms suited their music – could equal them, with Clarke’s lithe, blues-influenced playing a highlight of the sound. However, the album Iron Fist (1982) marked the beginning of a slow commercial decline for Motörhead, compounded by the poor reception of their cover of Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man the same year. Clarke disliked the song, saying: “It sounded awful to me, the whole thing; I thought the song was badly paced, I thought the amount of chords they were putting in was wrong, but Lemmy would not budge, and we had a f*****g row about it.”

He left Motörhead soon after the song’s release, although the circumstances of his departure were never fully clarified. Lemmy later stated that Clarke left of his own accord after making several promises to do so. The guitarist himself explained: “[Philthy] was the main instigator in my being excluded from the band. Notice I do not call it leaving, as it was not my choice. I had imagined dying onstage with Motörhead, so it was a blow when they didn’t want me in the band any longer.”

After Motörhead, Clarke formed Fastway with the sometime UFO bassist Pete Way. The partnership seemed to have potential, but Way departed to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band before they could make much progress. Clarke continued with the band, recruiting a new line-up and going on to record five studio albums with Fastway through the 80s.

His subsequent recorded output was patchy, consisting mostly of guest performances, short-lived collaborations and nostalgic one-off reunions with Motörhead, although a Fastway set at the Download festival in 2007, featuring Toby Jepson of the rock band Little Angels on vocals, was enthusiastically received, as was his solo album Make My Day – Back to Blues (2014).

For Eddie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLqPu62yAOI

 

     

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Dolores O’Riordan 1971 - 2018 R.I.P.

The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan has died suddenly at the age of 46, her publicist has confirmed.
The Irish musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 90s with singles including Linger and Zombie. The Cranberrys were together for over a dozen years before splitting in 2003 and reforming in 2007. They were touring as recently as last year though the tour was pulled mid way through it’s European leg due to Dolores suffering back problems.

A statement from her publicist said: “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session. Just before Christmas, the singer posted on social media that she was fit, healthy and looking forward to being back on the road with the band.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the police were called to a hotel in Park Lane at 09:05 GMT on Monday, where “a woman in her mid-40s” was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is, at this stage, unexplained.

     

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Jim Rodford - 1941 - 2018 R.I.P.

Heard over the week-end that we lost not one of the pioneer names, but one of the lynch pins of British Rock from the 1960s.
Jim was bassist and co-founder of Argent, with his cousin Rod Argent from 1969-76, then joined; The Kinks from 1978-96; a short stint with The Animals II, and then joined The Zombies from 2004 until his death. he was also linked with The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Kast-off Kinks. as well as his own side-project with friends, The Rodford Files..

Jim died following a fall at home on Saturday.

     

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Mark E Smith - 1957 - 2018 R.I.P

Mancunian Post-punk legend Mark E Smith passed on the 24th.  The only constant of some 66 members of The Fall, known for his tempestuous relationship with band “If it’s me and yer grannie on Bongos, it’s The Fall” yet still managing to produce some 32 albums since forming in 1976. He was also noted for his combative, spiky and dark humour.

The Pharmacist - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56dxJjXbnjg

     

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Sir Ken Dodd - 1927 - 2018 R.I.P.

Not “tickled” today to learn of the passing of “Doddy”; one of the last true icons of British stand-up comedy. Known for his marathon “live” shows, Doddy still holds the Guinness record for 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours, and in a 63 year career, also managed 19 Top 40 chart hits.

Classic Doddy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHihHjJ4X80

     

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Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA   1942 - 2018 R.I.P.

Passed peacefully at home in the early hours. After being diagnosed with a rare motor neurone disease at the age of 22 Prof Hawking went on to defy medical predictions and define modern physics.
◾Born 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England
◾Earned place at Oxford University to read natural science in 1959, before studying for his PhD at Cambridge
◾By 1963, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live
◾Outlined his theory that black holes emit “Hawking radiation” in 1974
◾In 1979, he became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the Cambridge - a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton
◾Published his book A Brief History of Time in 1988, which has sold more than 10 million copies
◾In the late 1990s, he was reportedly offered a knighthood, but 10 years later revealed he had turned it down over issues with the government’s funding for science

Of all the plaudits and tributes on social media, my favourite, and the most tongue in cheek is, from “God”:-
“It’s only been a few hours and Stephen Hawking already mathematically proved, to My face, that I don’t exist.”

     

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James Whittaker, born Peter Wiliams; known professionally as Jim Bowen 1937 - 2018 R.I.P.

Another name not familiar over the pond, but a UK stand-up veteran from the 1960s when he continued working as a teacher and Deputy Head as well as working the Club circuit until a series of strokes ended his career in 2011.

Though he did numerous other TV appearances from the 1970s onwards, he’ll be best remember and loved for hosting the darts-based gameshow Bullseye throughout its run from 1981-1995.

     

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There are only three real monsters; Dracula, Blackula & Son of Kong..