Tag Archive | 2011

What If Your Birthday Was on September 11th?

911 Birthday Cake
Image Source

Confession: Most of the time, I can barely recall what Netflick I watched last night or what I ate for lunch earlier in the day, but ask me what it was like to be in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I remember that day like it was still happening. I remember seeing the smoke from the first tower as I stood at the corner of 19th Street and 5th Avenue, walking to work that morning and thinking “Something’s on fire.” I can tell you what the weather was like (the most beautiful late summer Tuesday, ever).

I recall the most minute, bullshit details of numerous conversations I had with people that day. I can tell you what I made for lunch (pasta with chicken in red sauce). I even remember what I was wearing. It’s been ten years since that day and for me it’s like it was, as they say, just yesterday. I’m sure I’ll have the same clarity about September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. If you were in NYC at the time, you can’t ever forget. But think about this: what is that day like for people whose birthday is on September 11th? That’s something I hadn’t really considered until I read this fantastic story in The Awl built around first-person testimonials from10 people who are unfortunate enough to have 9/11 as their birth date. Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 is by far my favorite remembrance piece of the too-many-to-mention that I’ve already read over the past few days. It captures just the right balance of candor and uncomfortable humor that feel appropriate after a decade of 9/11 anniversaries. The piece starts out like this:

Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called “The Hideout,” among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.

George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.

Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always been the best day of the year for me — and then it all goes to shit.

Allison Spensley, 31, mid-career change: It was my 21st birthday, so of course I had plans to go out.

And it just gets more engaging. You can read the rest – and I strongly recommend that you do – Here.

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Where The Down Boys Go: RIP Jani Lane


“Heaven isn’t Too Far Away”

Jani Lane (born John Kennedy Oswald), former lead singer of the rock band Warrant, was found dead at a hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (August 11th, 2011) according to TMZ. He was 47 years old. Lane’s body was discovered at the Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, CA. So far, no official cause of death has been released. I met Jani Lane a few times, as my friend Mike Fasano was Warrant’s drummer for a number of years, and he never seemed like a very happy guy. It’s sad that someone with a lot of talent couldn’t get the help that he needed to overcome his problems. RIP Jani.

RIP Singer & Composer Andrew Gold


From Spinner Dot Com:

Singer-songwriter Andrew Gold, the writer of the 1977 hit “Lonely Boy” and a frequent collaborator of Linda Ronstadt’s, died in his sleep at his Encino, Calif., home on June 3, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 59-year-old had been battling cancer.

Gold seemed destined to find a career in music, thanks to the accomplishments of his family. His mother, Marni Nixon, sang for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, while his father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for his score of the 1960 film Exodus.

Taking up multiple instruments on Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel, Prisoner in Disguise and Hasten Down the Wind, Gold added a charm and robustness to the famous singer’s records. “Andrew was so enormously talented it almost seemed effortless,” Ronstadt told the Los Angeles Times. “He was a real cornerstone of those early records … He was so bubbly and so smart and we were so impressed with what a good musician he was.”

Gold worked as a session musician for James Taylor, Carly Simon and Loudon Wainwright III. His impressive resume also includes the theme song to NBC’s Mad About You and his hits “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You for Being a Friend,” the latter of which was used as the Golden Girls theme.

Gold is survived by his wife, Leslie Kogan, his mother, two sisters and three daughters.

RIP Mick Karn


Mick Circa 1979

Holy Shit! Just got some more bad news: this time it’s Mick Karn, Bassist for Japan, one of my favorite bands of the late ’70s / early ’80s, who has passed away from cancer at age 52. Here are some of the details from The NME:

Karn, who revealed in June 2010 that he had been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, passed away at his Chelsea home today (January 4), according to a statement on Mickkarn.net. The statement added that Karn “was surrounded by his family and friends” at the time of his death, and that he “will be deeply missed by all.” Born Andonis Michaelides in Nicosia, Cyprus, Karn played with Japan from their formation in 1974 until their split in 1982, and again in 1991 during a brief reunion under the new name Rain Tree Crow. He also worked with Gary Numan, Kate Bush and Bauhaus founder member Peter Murphy, with whom he formed Dalis Car in 1984. Karn moved back to Cyprus in 2004 with his wife and son, but returned to London last year. Following his cancer diagnosis, several appeals were launched via Mickkarn.net to help cover medical costs and offer financial support to his family.

Duran Duran bassist John Taylor today paid tribute to Karn on Duranduran.com, calling him “one of the great visual and sound stylists of the late 70s/early 80s.”

Gerry Rafferty, Dead at 63

From MTV Dot Com

Gerry Rafferty, the singer/songwriter behind smooth ’70s hits like “Stuck in the Middle With You,” “Right Down the Line” and “Baker Street” died Tuesday (January 4, 2011). He was 63.

Born in Scotland, Rafferty busked on the streets of Glasgow and formed a folk group called the Humblebums with Billy Connolly, who would go on to become a renowned stand-up comedian and actor. After releasing a pair of albums with the band, Rafferty released a solo record and then formed Stealers Wheel, who scored Stateside success in 1972 — they were viewed as the British Invasion’s answer to Crosby, Stills Nash & Young — with their debut album and, of course, the song “Stuck in the Middle With You, which would achieve additional notoriety when it was prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs some two decades later.

Rafferty would move on from Stealers Wheel and find success as a solo artist with 1978’s City to City, which featured “Right Down the Line” and “Baker Street, which features one of the most legendary saxophone solos in music history and has since been covered by everyone from Waylon Jennings to the Foo Fighters.

His follow-up, 1979’s Night Owl, featured appearances from Richard and Linda Thompson and was a moderate success, though each of his subsequent albums fared poorly on the charts, due in no small part to Rafferty’s reluctance to perform live. He continued to release albums into the 2000s, but for the most part, he disappeared from the public eye, and his later years were marked by a series of reports that suggested he was battling alcoholism. Last month, Rafferty reportedly suffered kidney failure and was placed on life support in an English hospital. U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported that he died at his home in Dorset with his daughter Martha by his side.