David Bowie, the infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and personas, died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.
Mr. Bowie’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Steve Martin, on Monday morning.
He died after having cancer for 18 months, according to a statement on Mr. Bowie’s social-media accounts.
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family,” a post on his Facebook page read.
His last album, “Blackstar,” a collaboration with a jazz quartet that was typically enigmatic and exploratory, was released on Friday — his birthday. He was to be honored with a concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31 featuring the Roots, Cyndi Lauper and the Mountain Goats.
He had also collaborated on an Off Broadway musical, “Lazarus,” that was a surreal sequel to his definitive 1976 film role, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”
Mr. Bowie wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut. His music was always a mutable blend: rock, cabaret, jazz and what he called “plastic soul,” but it was suffused with genuine soul. He also captured the drama and longing of everyday life, enough to give him No. 1 pop hits like “Let’s Dance.”
B.B. King, the larger-than-life guitarist and singer who helped popularize electric blues and brought it to audiences for more than six decades, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89. King, who was diagnosed with diabetes nearly 30 years ago, was hospitalized last month due to dehydration. Last October, he was forced to cancel eight tour dates for dehydration and exhaustion. His attorney, Brent Bryson, confirmed his death to the Associated Press. – Source: Rolling Stone
One thing to remember; if there had never been a B.B. King; there would have never been a Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or none of the rest of them white people who were inspired by this man.
We lost the man who made “The Frost.” It’s a sad day for classic Rock and Roll in Michigan.
It was a final medical battle Dick Wagner couldn’t win.
Wagner, the Michigan-bred guitarist renowned for his work with Alice Cooper, the Frost, Lou Reed and others, died this morning in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 71.
Wagner succumbed to respiratory failure at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, where he had been in intensive care for the past two weeks following a cardiac procedure.
The guitarist had famously overcome a series of medical issues during the past decade, retraining himself on guitar after a stroke paralyzed his left arm. He re-emerged to begin recording, writing and performing gigs, including a triumphant homecoming concert at the Magic Bag in November 2011.
Wagner was born in Iowa, moved with his family to Waterford as a child, and later settled in Saginaw. He was a key figure in southeastern Michigan’s emergent rock scene in the 1960s, a go-to guitarist who made his name with the Bossmen and the Frost.
He was eventually recruited by Alice Cooper for the milestone 1972 album “Welcome to My Nightmare,” and went on to A-list session work with the likes of Reed, Peter Gabriel and Rod Stewart. Rock lore has long held that Wagner was a secret hired hand on albums by several high-profile bands.
There has been a great deal of talk and hype about Led Zeppelin doing a reunion tour — and Robert Plant is having none of it.
It’s been nearly seven years since the show at the 02, and the topic of Zeppelin’s aborted tour still rankles Plant, who has come to a pub near his North London home to talk about the group’s new series of archival release. As explains himself his decision to not tour with Zeppelin, he leans forward with menace, and his eyes nearly double in size. “You’re going back to the same old shit,” he says. “A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that’s shitty about about big-time stadium rock. We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox!”
Nearly all of Plant’s peers are happy to deal with such a circus considering the insane financial rewards. “Good luck to them,” he sneers. “I hope they’re having a real riveting and wonderful late middle age. Somehow I don’t think they are.”
Needless to say, Jimmy Page has a very different take on the situation. “There’s bound to be fallout if you just do one show,” he says. “At the time of the 02 show we were led to believe there were going to be more. You’ll have to ask Robert why he changed his mind. I don’t even know if he considered it. I don’t know what he thinks.”
I hate to say it, but, I do get Robert Plant’s point. He is simply not interested in cashing in on Led Zeppelin’s legendary status.
One thing people have to understand about Led Zeppelin is this: By 1980, when Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham died the band was basically running on the vapors of a different era. Jimmy Page was doing heroin, John Bonham was going on drinking binges that would last for days. Now Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were living totally different lives; as they were totally sober and trying to be in a band. This lead to friction in the band. This was further compounded when Robert Plant’s five year old son Karac died of a stomach infection. Jimmy Page nor John Paul Jones showed up for the funeral. This angered Plant greatly.
Plus too, and this is the part that nobody really talks about anymore, but it’s the truth; by 1980, Led Zeppelin sounded, well, dated. By 1980, Zeppelin sounded like, well, the 1970’s and young people of that era had moved on. The young people of the 1980’s were listening to punk and new wave. The ones of listened to rock and roll, had found other bands to listen to, seeing that Led Zeppelin was taking forever to release records. So, a bit of their fan base had been peeled off. So, by 1980, Led Zeppelin was seen largely as a novelty act.
Please Note: I do not write the following as a critic, but as someone who really liked Bonham’s drumming and am saddened that Bonham died the way he did and as a grandson of a man, who was a working alcoholic who tragically died really young:
As a drummer, I feel that I can say this: The only reason Led Zeppelin was what they were, is because of John Bonham’s drumming; this is why they did not attempt to replace him, after he died. The other guys were great musicians, but Bonham’s drumming rounded out and really made that sound. Bonham’s own son does not even remotely sound like him at all. Not only that, but even Bonham’s drumming sound was the result of some old school studio trickery and careful editing of tape; especially in the later years, as the use of alcohol began to cause his drumming ability to suffer. In his later years, Bonham’s inability to do “triplets” was very obvious. Bonham never lost timing, that I’ve ever heard; but his later drumming was not nearly that of his young years. When Bonham was sober, he played well. When he was drunk, he was awful. Bonham, when drunk, would become verbally abusive towards the other band members; this is clear in the intro of one of John Bonham’s isolated tracks of “Fool in the rain.” Bonham could not even count off a song to start a session take without making a mistake.
My point is this: Robert Plant simply does not want to go back to that place again; and quite frankly, I do not blame him one bit.