I’m not qualified to write this; Tom Morwood is the guy who should be eulogizing John Prine. Many of us are crushed. As much as Neil Peart hurt early in the year, so John Prine pains us now.
John Prine, age 73, has succumbed to Covid-19, the latest in a list of artists who did not survive the pandemic. When this is all over the view will be very different.
When you have earned the praise of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Tom Morwood, you are the real deal. Prine was that and more.
Rest in peace.
When I was really young, my mom bought my grandpa a copy of Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits for Christmas. He ended up getting two copies. I liked the song “The Gambler”, so I asked my mom if I could have the extra copy. Surprised, she gave it to me, and so in my earliest record collection, I had the Flintstones, Star Wars, and Kenny Rogers.
Several years later, after joining Columbia House music club, my mom purchased a new Kenny Rogers hits cassette for the car. That’s when I discovered “Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In”, a song that we first found hilarious and then realized was funky and cool. Lebowski just made it cooler.
Kenny Rogers passed away at age 81 peacefully at home. Known for his many hits like “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “Lucille”, and his duets with Dolly Parton, country music will always remember Kenny Rogers.
Rest in Peace.
He didn’t have an easy life, so we hope he will rest in peace. Roky Erickson was a songwriter extraordinaire, an innovator, and an influencer. He impacted a young Dave Grohl and befriended ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. He was a founder of the psychedelic rock movement with the 13th Floor Elevators. He also suffered from schizophrenia and endured horrific electro-shock therapy.
Roky Erickson eventually got the right treatment and made a return to recording and touring. Yet it’s his 60s and 70s material that remains immortal.
Recommended listening: The Evil One on CD, which is essentially two albums combined into one. Every single song is amazing, but here’s “Mine Mine Mind” (produced by Stu Cook of CCR). You can tell he was haunted. Rest in peace, Roky.
Sad news this morning. I’d heard through the grapevine recently that one of the members of Blotto was sick. I had a bad feeling about it and this morning I read that Greg Haymes, aka Sergeant Blotto, has passed away from cancer.
This is particularly bitter for me. I only got into Blotto last year. I was so into them that Blotto became my favourite band of 2018. As we drove to and from Toronto to take care of my sick mother in law, we had Blotto blaring in the car almost every time. “Mum” was dying of cancer, and Blotto helped us forget and just laugh while rocking out.
Now Greg Haymes is gone from the very same, dreadful disease, and I’m pissed off.
Haymes was a writer, a musician, and an artist. I’m sorry I only got to know his music in the last year.
Hopefully Blotto can bring you some of the joy that they brought to me when I needed it. Here’s “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard” featuring Greg “Sarge” Haymes on lead vocals.
Stan, you just had to go, I know that. You’ve been here for 95 years and entertaining us for most of them. You gave, and you gave, and you gave. You deserve your rest now.
Stan, I knew who Spider-man was before I knew the Prime Minister of Canada. You brought me the Star Wars comics that kept me going between movies. Through those pages I discovered all that so many of my favourite heroes were yours! Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men…I always preferred Marvel to DC and I can’t really explain why. I liked Superman, but the Marvel lineup was so much better than DC’s. Their characters were more interesting to me, and it was addictive, how storylines weaved through one title to another.
My dad would buy me one new comic on the trip to the cottage each time. I always chose Marvel.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some version of Spider-man is still popular in another 95 years. Perhaps these characters you helped create will be remembered as literary classics. If not, I am confident that the Marvel heroes will be a part of our cultural backdrop for a long, long time.
“I loved you Vinnie…you were such a good guy, and so nice to me…always…always a great fuckin’ guy. And I think it’s bull SHIT that you’re not here.” — a tearful Sebastian Bach
We have no details, but we do know that Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Damageplan and HellYeah is gone. He has joined his brother Dimebag Darrell (1966-2004) in the Great Band in the Sky.
To say the metal world is in shock is an understatement. HellYeah began recording a new album late last year. Vinnie had shown no signs of slowing down. He has always just carried on.
Rest in peace Vinnie Paul Abbott, who inspired a new generation of metalheads to “Walk”.
Chuck Mosley, the guy who Cared a Lot, has passed away at age 57 due to his struggles with addiction.
Chuck wasn’t the first Faith No More singer (even Courtney Love was there before him) but he was the guy who put them on the map with two excellent, outrageous albums: We Care a Lot and Introduce Yourself. Without Chuck, it is entirely possible there might not be a Mike Patton, who was a huge fan already when he took over the frontman role. After Faith No More, he spent some time with Bad Brains and as a solo artist.
Chuck was different to the end. Never one to make safe music. We will miss you, Chuck.
Thanks to Heavy Metal Overload for this news.
My sadness cannot be expressed, nor can the shock. Actor John Dunsworth, best known as the beloved Jim Lahey from Trailer Park Boys, has died at age 71 after a short illness.
Way she goes, bud.
Tremendous sadness today as we learn that Tom Petty has died of a heart attack. (His alias on the first Traveling Wilburys album was Charlie T. Wilbury Jr., hence the title of this article.) Petty suffered the heart attack last night. He was taken off life support today. And the rock world is hit with another shattering blow.
I first heard Tom and the Heartbreakers when they released “Don’t Come Around Here No More” as a video. His career with the Heartbreakers was the stuff of legend, but the music that always touched me most were the Wilburys and his solo album, Full Moon Fever. Each one is virtually its own “greatest hits”.
Tom Petty gave us one of the most enduring anthems, “I Won’t Back Down” among his dozens of hits. He defined an entire style of music. When people talk of a song being “Tom Petty-ish”, you know what it’s going to sound like. Chances are, there are some chiming electric guitars and some southern accents.
Rest in Peace Tom Petty. We hope you’re jamming with your old friends Lefty and Nelson Wilbury in heaven now.
GETTING MORE TALE #580: Music for Your Mental Health 2 – R.I.P. Chester Bennington
A followup to Record Store Tales Part 239: Music for Your Mental Health
No preaching, no lectures. Just personal feelings, regarding another sad rock and roll suicide.
I wasn’t a Linkin Park fan, though I do own the Stone Temple Pilots EP. That’s all irrelevant. I’m a human being, and as a human being, I grieve the loss of one of our own. I don’t know the personal battles that Chester Bennington fought. Nor do I have to. It’s none of my business.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical body. You need both your mind and your body to survive. Injuries and damage to your mental health can be hard to see, even for the one experiencing it. There are resources out there, and there are people to talk to who can help. It’s not necessarily easy to access all the help available and you may need help and guidance to navigate the system. There are other human beings out there who love you. Who need you. There are even strangers willing to help. People who have been through it and understand the pain you may be feeling.
We don’t live in an easy world, or even a friendly one. It is easy to believe you are alone. You are not. You are never alone. Chester Bennington was not alone, but whatever was killing him inside probably made him feel isolated and helpless.
As we mourn yet another great who went long before his time, please try to focus on your own well being. There are other ways to deal with the hurt. Chester Bennington was younger than I am, but he had enough. Many people out there have had enough and don’t think they can take any more. We are all human. We have a tremendous ability to absorb pain but eventually it must be dealt with. There is no shame in it. You are not weak. You are stronger than anyone who hasn’t dealt with what you deal with. The stigma must end. People who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses are not different or abnormal. They are regular human beings just like you. Maybe even more normal than you know.
Rest in peace Chester.