Tag Archive | Obit

RIP DEVO Drummer Alan Myers

DEVO
DEVO: Alan Myers is on the Far Right ( Image Source)

Alan Myers, drummer for the pioneering new wave rock band DEVO from 1976 to 1986, passed away on June 24th, 2013 after a long bout with Brain Cancer. He was 58 years old. Myers’ uniquely metronomic drumming style can be heard on now legendary DEVO albums such as Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Duty Now for the Future and Freedom of Choice, the title track of which is one of my favorite DEVO songs. RIP Alan.

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RIP Studio Legend Andy Johns

Andy Johns

Andy Johns, who famously produced or engineered ground breaking albums by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull and The Rolling Stones, to name but a few, has passed away on April 7th, 2013. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, although Johns had recently been hospitalized with liver ailments.

Andy Johns was part of an amazing musical legacy that included his older brother, producer Glyn Johns, who famously worked with The Who (among a laundry list of legends). His sons Ethan and Will Johns are working musicians and his nephew, Evan Johns (son of Glyn) is also a producer.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to interview Andy Johns when I was hired to write a bio for an indie band whose record he had produced. The band’s management and publicist were completely clueless about how to effectively spin this band and it was my idea to add John’s input to the bio. He was fun to talk to and definitely knew his shit.

Sadly, the group’s handlers disagreed with the artistic slant I put on the bio, another writer was brought in and I was paid a kill fee for my efforts. Hilariously, when I eventually received a finished copy of the band’s album, along with the new bio, I did notice that direct quotes pulled from my interview with Johns were integrated into the new piece, with no credit to me. What a bunch of dicks. Andy Johns was 61 years old. RIP, Andy.

RIP Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert Young
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Iconic Film Critic and author Roger Ebert passed away today, April 4th, 2013, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. The Chicago Tribune, has a loving obit at This Link. RIP Roger, I miss you already.

RIP Legendary Music Producer Phil Ramone

Phil Ramone
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Fourteen time Grammy winning record producer Phil Ramone passed away in New York today, March 30th, 2013. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed. Ramone was 72 years old (though I have seen two sources cite his age as 79, not sure where that is coming from as his year of birth is given as 1941). A brief list of artists Ramone worked with includes Burt Bacharach, Bono, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. CNN has more information and celebrity remembrances in a nice obit at This Link. RIP, Phil!

RIP Former Who Manager Chris Stamp

Chris Stamp and Roger Daltrey
Chris Stamp with Roger Daltrey (Image Source )

From Ultimate Classic Rock:

Chris Stamp, who co-managed The Who during their rise to rock stardom and released the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first single and album via his Track Records label, has died of cancer at age 70.

According to Billboard, Stamp passed away Saturday night (Nov. 24) at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He met the Who while making a film about the rise of rock music in England, and went on to become the group’s co-manager alongside Kit Lambert. The pair worked with the group until their dismissal in 1975, with Stamp also earning production credits on Who albums including Magic Bus and Quadrophenia.

Stamp and Lambert (who died in 1981) formed Track Records in 1968 and released Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love and other classic albums by Hendrix along with records from The Who, Arthur Brown and Golden Earring.

After reportedly conquering his own substance abuse problems in 1987, Stamp began a new career as an addiction counseling therapist. He reconnected with the Who in later years by participating in documentaries and writing liner notes for re-releases of their classic albums.

The Who paid tribute to Stamp both on their official website and from the stage, with singer Roger Daltrey telling the crowd at the group’s Detroit concert Saturday night their former manager was a person “without whom we wouldn’t be the band we were.”

Stamp is the brother of actor, Terence Stamp.

RIP Sherman Hemsley, Gong Fan

Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson
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Best known for his role as George Jefferson on the popular 1970s sitcom, The Jeffersons (a spinoff of All in the Family, on which he also starred as the same character), actor Sherman Hemsley passed away on Tuesday, July 24th at the age of 74. While Hemsley is primarily famous for his acting resume, he was also a musician who once collaborated with Jon Anderson of Progressive rock band Yes. And according to a 2009 article from Magnet Magazine, Hemsley was an eccentric, prog rock aficionado who had a sweet spot for the band Gong. Read on and have your mind blown little at This Link.

RIP Victor Spinetti

Victor Spinetti and Beatles
Victor Spinetti with John Lennon and Paul McCartney on the set of The Beatles’ Film, A Hard Days Night

Victor Spinetti, who was an established British film star in 1963 when he agreed to make a movie with a pop group called The Beatles died on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 in London, of cancer. He was 82 years old. Spinetti was the only actor besides the four Beatles to appear in the films A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour. Read more about the life and career of Victor Spinetti at the NYTimes official obit, found at This Link.

RIP Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury 1966
Ray Bradbury in 1966 (Image Source)

Genre defining Science Fiction/Horror writer, Ray Bradbury, has passed away on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at the age of 91. I read so many of Bradbury’s novels and short stories as a kid I can’t even name them all. But one of his short stories, “All Summer in a Day” was just so simply devastating in its impact, I doubt I could ever forget it. Now I want to re-read everything again. His work is amazing. There’s a very sweet remembrance/obit on Bradbury over at Indiewire.com that’s my favorite of those I’ve read so far today, if you want to check it out. RIP Ray, you changed modern literature so much and influenced generations.

RIP, Levon Helm

Levon Helm Drumming
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Musician and Actor Levon Helm (Born Mark Lavon Helm), best known as the Drummer for The Band, has passed away on April 19, 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 71 years old. I was fortunate to see Levon play drums once, during a taping of the the short-lived Sundance TV Show, Spectacle, which was hosted by Elvis Costello. Levon appeared on the Build a Band episode, where he was joined by fellow musical legends such as Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint. What an amazing set those guys put together! The East Portland Blog has an excellent Obit and remembrance of Levon’s life at This Link that’s both heartfelt and extremely compelling. Worth checking out even, or perhaps especially, if you didn’t know much about him. RIP, Levon. You will be missed.