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 Post subject: The Band of Heaven
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:36 am 
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I have been thinking of starting a thread such as this for some time -- since the anniversary of John Lennon's death last month -- but I couldn't quite think of how to phrase it. I still haven't really figured it out, but I decided not to let that stand in my way.

There have been a number of "popular musicians" in the past several decades who I believe have had a profound effect on society, but who were taken from the mortal world early in their lives. Here is a partial list of those who I am thinking of:

John Lennon
Bob Marley
Jimi Hendrix
Janis Joplin
Jim Morrison

I thought it might be interesting to share some thoughts on the effect that these people lives -- and deaths -- have had on society in general and/or on us personally. Is this something that anyone else would be interested in discussing?

(Note: It doesn't necessarily have to be limited to popular musicians, although that is mostly what comes to my mind.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:51 am 
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still raining, still dreaming
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Thanks for starting this thread Voronwë.

So many names :(

For what it's worth, here are lines I wrote on hearing of Jimi's death.

jimi hendrix died today
of an overdose.
drugs.
it's raining and i'm stoned on acid.
hendrix is dead
outside the rain
continues the afternoon as though
nothing happened
as though he were still alive still
playing electric high-speed
guitar
all over my body
and thousands more
but he's dead
and still the trees drip rain
still the afternoon goes on.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I would add Tim Buckley, Gram Parsons, Brian Jones to the list as well. :(

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Ever mindful of the maxim that brevity is the soul of wit, axordil sums up the Sil:


"Too many Fingolfins, not enough Sams."

Yes.


Last edited by Sassafras on Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:56 am 
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:shock: Wow. :shock:

That's very powerful, Sass.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:29 am 
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Janis Joplin and I were the same age, almost to the day. (Only we weren't. I just looked it up and she was a year and a half older than me, after all.) I listen to her music quite often. She was doomed to die young, to flame out in a grand way. Think what her life would have been if she'd lived!

"Oh, lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz,
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends..."

She actually pronounced Porsche properly, which I found endearing. She once won "the ugliest man on campus" prize. She was a hard living girl with no sense of self-protection and that enormous capacity for the blues. It seems like her story could end no other way.

I was never a fan of Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison. To put it mildly! Loathe them both, sorry to say, Voronwë. I have heard hardly anything of Marley's. But John Lennon? I was "John girl". There were Paul girls and George girls and Ringo girls, but the smart girls were John girls. I don't think I cried over any other "celebrity" death, just John Lennon's and Janis Joplin's.

Sassafras, your amazing and beautiful poem on Jimi's death reminds me of the poem Auden wrote on the death of Yeats.

I listened for much of the morning on CBC radio to two things: an amazing documentary on Mozart; this is his 250th anniversary year. (The other story I listened to was about Ariel Sharon. ) What a delight the Mozart story was to listen to, interspersed with bits of his music. Even people like me, who know next to nothing of classical music, know and love Mozart without really knowing that we do.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:49 am 
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Janis Joplin - a truly accomplished and knowledgeable musician, far beyond what her fans gave her credit for, I think.

Like you, vison, I was not a great fan of Jimi Hendrix but my understanding is that he was also a really accomplished guitarist. Jim Morrison's lyrics I continue to love; and Bob Marley gets lots of airtime in Philadelphia though I can't say that I followed his career at all. My daughters are big fans of his.

George girl here <raises hand> and, yes, his death was more of a blow than I thought it would be. I wrote a poem for that occassion but I have to transfer it to the new computer (my permanent mantra it seems).

The thing that impressed me most about Harrison is the number of musicians he convinced to tithe to charity. And both the Doors and the Dead, I believe, have refused to allow their music to be used in commercials and such, large monetary gains notwithstanding. Commitments like that to one's art and to one's community win my respect.

Jn

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Last edited by Jnyusa on Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:55 am 
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George was a much greater song-writer than he is often given credit for. And many people believe his album "All Things Must Pass" was the greatest "after-Beatle" album of all.

I liked them all, all the Beatles. They seemed like they would be fun guys to know, if you know what I mean. Whereas I never had the slightest inclination to think that way about any Rolling Stone.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:15 am 
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Whereas I never had the slightest inclination to think that way about any Rolling Stone.

But now they make the rest of us look young! :rofl:

Jn

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:18 am 
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vison wrote:
I liked them all, all the Beatles. They seemed like they would be fun guys to know, if you know what I mean. Whereas I never had the slightest inclination to think that way about any Rolling Stone.


No, but they had that "mad, bad and dangerous" to know aura that was not without a certain allure. (I actually saw the Rolling Stones once when Brian Jones was still alive. I think I was about 12. I went to the concert because my friend liked them; I was a Beatles girl. But I must tell you, they put on an amazing show. I was completely won over.)

I loved John Lennon. I feel like I grew up with him. He was one of the most important mentors I had. I loved his music, but I also loved his wit and style. He gave me hope that there was a broader world out there, beyond my white-bread suburban reality and my miserably unhappy family. I don't mind saying that I cried as if I had lost my dearest friend when I heard that he had been murdered.

I loved Bob Marley too. I came to know his music later in life, so he wasn't as profound an influence on me. He made me think I liked reggae music. I listened to a lot of it over the years. What I finally figured out is that I liked Bob Marley and a few others, not the genre as a whole. In fact I think that's true of all kinds of music - it's the artist, not the genre, that speaks to me. I remember many happy evenings dancing to Bob and the Wailers. How that bass rhythm would almost get into your bones.

Janis Joplin always seemed like she was going to burn out young, didn't she? I remember worrying about her and her hard living long before she died. She was a blazing comet, destined for immortality rather than long life. For me, Janis singing Piece of My Heart is one of the moments of my youth.

I was so furious when Janis and Jimi Hendrix died within a month of each other in 1970. Drug overdoses. What a tragic waste. Hendrix was a guitar god, and I never learned to appreciate those as much as some other people did - but he made some great songs, and he was cooler than cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:23 am 
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Right now there's a string of Jimi Hendrix MP3 ads at the bottom of the page.

We're channeling, folks! We're channeling.

Jn

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:13 am 
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Freddie Mercury of course. I went to see Queen with Paul Rodgers last year and shed many tears for Freddie during the concert. It wasn't schmaltzy or manipulative, there was just genuine emotion there. When Roger Taylor sang "Those Were the Days of Our Lives" they played some very old footage of their trip to Japan and the wave of raw emotion that swept through the crowd when Freddie appeared was physically painful to me. Even more emotional was Brian Mays solo rendition of "Love of My Life" on 12 string guitar. Although the song was originally written by Freddie as a Piano/Vocal over the years it had become an acoustic duet that Freddie and Brian performed at many concerts. Well, it was far from a solo performance. Brian got to sing about the first two lines. 10,000 of us sang the rest for him. I looked around and there were many tears being shed in the auditoreum, not least by Brian. He was visibly shook by the outpouring of emotion. It was an incredibly moving experience.

Phil Lynott and Rory Gallagher are two others that I felt keenly, mainly because they were true Irish rock stars, something that was unheard of before the days of U2. The whole nation mourned Lynotts death and it's for him that I remember two tribute songs. One was about him and one was by him. "Phil Old Pal" was written by Brush Shields, his lifelong friend and the man who initially involved him in the music business. Phil Lynott was buried in the Graveyard at Howth, near Dun Laoighaire and in Brush Shield song we hear a mournful wailing rendition of the "Whiskey in the Jar" riff as he sings "The fishing boats are lying safe at Howth, and Phil old pal, so are you."

The song that Lynott wrote for Elvis is probably my favourite tribute ever:

It was a rainy night the night the king went down
Everybody was crying it seemed like sadness had surrounded the town
Me I went to the liquor store
And I bought a bottle of wine and a bottle of gin
I played his records all night
Drinking with a close, close friend

Now some people say that that ain't right
And some people say nothing at all
But even in the darkest of night
You can always hear the king's call
You can always hear the king's call

Well they put him away in Memphis
Six feet beneath the clay
Everybody was crying
Everybody said it was a plain grey day

Me I went to the liquor store
And I bought another bottle of wine and another bottle of gin
I played his records all night
And I got drunk all over again

Now some people say that that ain't right
That ain't right
And some people say nothing at all
I say nothing
But even in the darkest of night
You could always hear the king's call
You could always hear the king's call

I wonder if you're lonesome tonight
And I'd rather go on hearing your lies
Than to go on living without you

Now some people say that that ain't right
And some people say nothing at all I say nothing
But even in the darkest of night
You could always hear the king's call
You could always hear the king's call
You could always hear the king's call

Now the stage is bare and I'm standing here
They might as well bring the curtain down
I cried the night the king died


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:51 am 
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What everyone has said about Janis. :(

Buddy Holly
Gene Vincent
Otis Redding
Cass Elliot
:cry:

and Kathleen Ferrier
:cry: :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:08 am 
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This thread is a very good one. It reminds me of the rant from gonzo musician Ted Nugent. I never cared much for his music and his hunting as orgasm life style is offensive to me. I generally find him to be a giant pain in the posterior and ignore him at every opportunity. The one thing that I do agree with is when Nugent rants on about all the musicians he came up with that destroyed their lives stupidly due to drugs. That is not a thing to romantacize about.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:34 am 
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Right you are, sf.

It also seems though that all these rock stars who died at an early age died in statistically improbable ways. Plane crashes rather than the much more probable car accident; gunshot wounds, drowning in a swimming pool, heart failure (though Morrison did tax himself to the limit with drugs they were not the proximate cause of his death).

It's definitely a high-risk lifestyle, and you wonder that neither the artists nor their producers have wisened up to that by now.

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:44 am 
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Of course, that does not apply to Lennon or Marley. Both were taken away from us by means completely out of their control. And both were tremendous threats to the Establishment, because of their ability to communicate the message of Peace. I consider both to be modern day prophets and martyrs, and I hope to my best to see that their message and mission lives on.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:15 am 
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:hug:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:35 pm 
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Willie Nelson, not so much for his singing, but his song writing abilities. I know most people can't stand the way he sings, and that he is country, but I like his voice and love most of the songs he has written.

I leave it up to the rest of you to find out exactly how many songs he has written. ;)

And Mr. Pretty Woman, he should be there also. Roy could sing, with seemingless effort, he'd open his mouth and out jump the perfect note.

And one of my personal favorites...another country star, but not for what people think. Vince Gill, because of his guitar playing ability, a little know ability that he humbly keeps to himself. The Dire Straits begged him to join the band because of that ability. He said no, he said his love was singing and writing.

And of course John. Imagine


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:14 am 
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Oh my this list can be nearly endless.

I have loads of names to add to the list.

For now I will toss out a couple of drummers.
Keith Moon and John Bonham.

They were pretty much self inflicted deaths, but I just think they succumbed to the exhorbitant lifestyle.

Two of the best drummers, and two of the most left brained people around.

To call them wild childs would be understating things quite a bit.
I just don't think you can take away their wildness without taking away their skills or maybe life they breathed into their music.
Two sad losses.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:08 am 
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Billie Holiday


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:47 pm 
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*raises hand*

I was always a George girl. His death reallty affected me. I always wondered what it must have been to have lived through the deaths of Lennon and Morrison...I was born far too late.


Another - Jeff Buckley. This is one loss I feel personally. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:08 pm 
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One of a the saddest was Richey James of the Manic Street Preachers, he was such a tragic figure, obsessed by suicide and death, on the eve of a US tour Richey dissapeared and I guess is now assumed dead. His car was left parked by the river 7.

The manics for those of you who don't know were a politically aware very smart group of young men who assualted the charts in the early 90's, exhibiting a combination of Welsh valleys socialism and punk sensibility they were a voice for the those who were not listened to in the spirit of all that's best in rock and roll.

If you get chance to read about them I would commend it even if you don't like the music they had something provocative to say.

Since Richey went the manics have become less provocative.

Nicky Wire has said many interesting things, such as they were the last of the "Educated Poor" - those who recieved free higher education, done away with by M Thatcher, and extended by T Bliar.

Just one line of a song for you, the first line from a chart topper

"Libraries Gave us power"

I can't think of anyone else who would have got away with it.


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