Tag: Obit

RIP Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck anecdote from Duff McKagan’s book:

I arranged for a friend of mine, drummer Slam Thunderhide of the band Zodiac Mindwarp, to have my mom over to his flat for a proper English tea and then to bring her down to the studio where Jeff and I were recording. Jeff had already been playing for a little while when my mom arrived. He’s a virtuoso, and watching him play is like seeing musical butter melt.

After Jeff had played some blistering passes at one song, my mom said, “Jeff, you play really nice guitar.”

My mom was not aware of Jeff Beck’s iconic status—she didn’t know about the Yardbirds or his influential albums like Wired and Blow by Blow.

Unfazed, Jeff answered, “Oh, well, thank you so much, Marie. I thought I messed up that last pass pretty good. Did you like it, then?”

That guy will forever be my hero.

It’s So Easy: and other lies
Duff McKagan

RIP – Russell Banks

Russell Banks, Novelist Steeped in the Working Class, Dies at 82
He brought his own sometimes painful blue-collar experiences to bear in acclaimed stories exploring issues of race, class and power in American life.

A couple books of his I’d recommend:
Rule of the Bone
When we first meet him, Chappie is a punked-out teenager living with his mother and abusive stepfather in an upstate New York trailer park. During this time, he slips into drugs and petty crime. Rejected by his parents, out of school and in trouble with the police, he claims for himself a new identity as a permanent outsider; he gets a crossed-bones tattoo on his arm, and takes the name “Bone.”

The Sweet Hereafter
In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life’s most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?

The Sweet Hereafter was made into a movie, which I also thought was great, check out it’s IMDB page.

RIP – Terry Hall

Here’s a rembrance at BBC:
Terry Hall of The Specials dies aged 63

From Wikipedia:

“Ghost Town” is a song by the British two-tone band the Specials, released on 12 June 1981. The song spent three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in total in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.

Evoking themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities. Internal tensions within the band were also coming to a head when the single was being recorded, resulting in the song being the last single recorded by the original seven members of the group before splitting up. However, the song was hailed by the contemporary UK music press as a major piece of popular social commentary, and all three of the major UK music magazines of the time awarded “Ghost Town” the accolade of “Single of the Year” for 1981. It was the 12th-best-selling single in the UK in 1981.

Last Child of an Enslaved Person Dies

Daniel Smith, who was believed to be the last surviving child of an enslaved person, and who over a long and eventful life witnessed firsthand many of the central moments of the African American experience, died on Oct. 19 in Washington. He was 90.

His wife, Loretta Neumann, said the cause was congestive heart failure and bladder cancer.

Mr. Smith’s father, Abram Smith, was born into slavery during the Civil War in Virginia and was 70 when his much younger wife, Clara, gave birth to Daniel in 1932. While it is impossible to know for certain whether Daniel Smith was the last living child of an enslaved person, historians who have studied his generation say they do not know of any others.

Mr. Smith, a Connecticut-born retired federal employee, liked to say that he led a quiet, unexciting life. Yet he also joked that he was a bit like a “Black Forrest Gump”: He attended the March on Washington in 1963; crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965; and stood in the audience to watch Barack Obama take his first oath of office as president in 2009.

Daniel Smith, 90, Dies; Thought to Be the Last Child of an Enslaved Person
He led a life marked by encounters with touchstone moments in Black history, from the March on Washington to Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

RIP – Anne Heche

I liked this movie and it’s not a bad one to remember Anne Heche with. Recall her character, a therapist, saying, “I think I’m fucking my patients up worse.” (Paraphrased from memory.)


Just as Amelia thinks she’s over her anxiety and insecurity, her best friend announces her engagement, bringing her anxiety and insecurity right back

RIP – Peter Brook

By then Mr. Brook, who took delight in “shaking up terrible, stultifying old conventions,” as he put it, had become a thoroughgoing iconoclast. Some mark that change at his 1960 Paris production of Jean Genet’s “The Balcony,” a work considered boldly subversive at the time. For Genet’s scenes of exotic life in a Paris brothel, Mr. Brook used striking-looking amateurs, found in Paris bars, as well as professional actors and dancers. But a radical revival of “King Lear,” staged for the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in 1962, was more significant.

Not only did Mr. Brook encourage Scofield to play the titanic hero of tradition as a painfully flawed human being, but just before the production’s opening, he threw out the set that he himself had designed, ensuring that the plot unfolded on a bare stage under plain lighting. The resulting epic unforgettably exposed the cruel absurdities of humanity.

Peter Brook, Celebrated Stage Director of Scale and Humanity, Dies at 97
He was called “the greatest innovator of his generation,” leaving an indelible mark with plays, musicals, opera and a relentless curiosity.

“There are three kinds of audiences [for Shakespeare]: a normal audience, an audience with Peter Brook in it, and you lot.”
— Patrick Stewart (former Royal Shakespeare Company member) speaking to the 18th International Conference of Shakespeare Scholars at Stratford-on-Avon

The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups
Ron Rosenbaum