Rrrrrhh Rrrhhh Rrrrrrhhhhhh. That’s Wookiee for “We will miss you, Peter Mayhew”.
The 7′ 3″ British actor is best loved as the original Chewbacca in five of the Star Wars films. In his final film, The Force Awakens, he shared the Chewbacca role with his successor Joonas Suotamo. Mayhew mastered the art of performing in a massive costume and mask, imbuing the character with life. His expertise was called on twice more, as a consultant on The Last Jedi and Solo.
Chewbacca would make my “top 10 sidekicks” list any day. As kids we all loved Chewie for his raw strength and loveable personality. Peter gave him that personality. Rest in peace.
The most brilliant mind in a generation has gone. Stephen Hawking’s impact will be felt for generations more.
You may be familiar with A Brief History of Time, but are you familiar with Hawking’s musical debut, “Keep Talking”?
Pink Floyd used Hawking’s voice in their 1994 track from The Division Bell. Please enjoy as we remember the great Stephen Hawking. Rest in peace.
If any single person in the rock world seemed destined to keep on truckin’ despite a terrible diagnosis, it was Pat Torpey. Even though he had Parkinson’s disease, he was still participating in Mr. Big in every way except physically playing the drums. He wrote the parts and oversaw their performance by Matt Starr. He was in the videos. He was so positive and inspiring in interview footage.
This debilitating disease finally took Torpey’s life at age 64.
This one hurts. Mr. Big is one of those underrated bands made up of fantastic players, but largely ignored. They had the dreaded “one hit” (“To Be With You”), but that’s not the song we’ll use here to remember Pat Torpey.
Listen to the power, precision and sheer rock and roll that is Pat Torpey on “Addicted to that Rush”.
Rest in peace.
And then there were none. “Fast” Eddie Clarke, the last original member of Motorhead, has passed to the great beyond at age 67, of pneumonia.
Our correspondent Uncle Meat is quoted as follows: “Whatever people are calling heaven these days just got louder than everyone else. RIP Fast Eddie…and hello to the reunion of the band that used to be here to kick your ass.”
The original Motorhead was decimated in recent years, with “Philthy Animal” Taylor and Lemmy both passing in late 2015. Now the three are reunited, jamming again whilst Michael Jackson and George Michael plug their ears in agony. Motorhead is dead — long live Motorhead!
“Fast” Eddie should be recognised almost as much for his notable band Fastway (with Pete Way of UFO). Post-Motorhead, Fastway are often remembered as the band who did the soundtrack to Trick Or Treat in 1986. 1983’s Fastway and 1984’s All Fired Up were also notable entries in the genre.
It should be stated for the record, that “Fast” Eddie was far from “Heavy Metal Bullshit”. You will be reading more about “Heavy Metal Bullshit” in the months to come. “Fast” Eddie was old fashioned and greasy, able to groove with the baddest bass player on Earth. Listen to his playing on “Bomber”. It’s all meat and gravy, no fat.
Rest in peace “Fast” Eddie!
A moment of utter shock: waking up on the morning of May 18 2017 to discover that Chris Cornell, the pipes behind Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, has passed away at age 52. One of the greatest (if not the greatest) set of lungs behind the grunge era is gone.
According to the BBC, Cornell played a concert with Soundgarden last night in Detroit. His passing was “sudden and unexpected”. The family is asking for privacy at this time.
What are your memories of Chris Cornell? For us it’s the psychedelic and insane video for “Jesus Christ Pose”, a landmark of the grunge era and a showcase for his finest lead vocals.
R.I.P Chris Cornell.
There was a time when Paul O’Neill (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage’s “sixth member”) was my favourite lyricist, period. He did, after all, write the most emotional rock opera I’ve ever experienced (Streets, by Savatage). More people are familiar with TSO than Savatage, but for me, the impact that Paul’s music had on my soul via Savatage cannot be measured.
Rest in peace.
Thank you for Rock and Roll.
2017 rolls on like a mini-2016. The latest casualty is former Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls who was on every Sabbath album from Heaven and Hell (1980) to Forbidden (1995). He played bass and sang when need be. For that period of Sabbath’s history, he was the only stable member excluding Tony Iommi himself. Geoff passed at age 68, after a battle with lung cancer. He was rarely pictured with the four “main” Sabbath members, but he was more important than most of them. Rest in Peace.
I first met Mac in the early 90s when I was dragged to the Walper by a mutual friend of ours Jeff Marsland (aka Chewie). Not long within the set he played Tori Amos – “Pretty Good Year” and Motorhead – “Ace of Spades” and I was hooked. Then being blown away by Six Months … as well as the re-named Hibakusha. Actually my most memorable Paul moment on stage was when Hibakusha broke into Supertramp’s “School” at the Starlight. One of the greatest covers I have ever seen.
Years after that I was fortunate enough to join the infamous MacLeod poker nights, and this was where we started becoming close friends. Also through him I was fortunate to meet and get to know his great and talented friends. We just seemed to enjoy pretty much exactly the same things… music…sports…darts…and I would say most of all…comedy. Considering how long before this I had admired him as a musician, it was surprisingly quick and easy for me to put that away and just look at him as my friend. A few times Paul brought up the first poker game I went to .. and said this statement that always made me laugh: “I had to be friends with you. You had the balls to tell me to my face, in front of my friends, that Scott Deneau was the the best guy you’ve ever seen with just a guitar and a voice.” I can still picture the look on his face when he would say it and it still makes me laugh.
One Canada Day at the Boathouse (the year would have been 2011 ish? maybe?) Paul played two full sets of all Canadian tunes. Some of the songs he pulled out of the air that night were classic. They weren’t perfect. Some of the lyrics were wrong. But with every song the crowd just wanted to see what was coming next. His interactions with Kevin Doyle that night were so much fun. This was followed by an after hours set of Who tunes with Paul only singing and Chris Latta on guitar. Totally kicked my ass. Hard to forget moments like these.
A few amazing years of playing darts with the man. Getting my ass thoroughly kicked most of the time. Loved going to war with him for a few years on the same team. His personality shone through every dart venue we played at. What can I say? The man knew how to own a room.
I was lucky enough many times to get the gift of him just picking up his guitar and singing. Sometimes singing along but mostly just soaking it in. And then we would go back to comedy. And lots of it. Every time I would go over to his sister’s place he would be so “on” with the comedy. Relentless. The man loved making people laugh. So, included here is one of his favourite bits from his all-time favourite comedian Norm MacDonald. This is what made the funniest guy I know laugh.
Long live old Harold Delaney.
A multi-site collaborative memorial.
Boppinsblog tribute – Jeff Beck Blow By Blow album review
1001 Albums tribute
Do you use social media? If so, you probably know the same sinking feeling that I do.
You wake up in the morning and open your Facebook and/or Twitter. Your feed is flooded with a certain musical artist. “This was my favourite song of theirs…”, or “I still remember the first time I heard them.”
I knew this morning was one of those days when I saw Sir George Martin’s face, and heard tons of his music, all over my social media. Another legend lost. This time we can say he lived a long, fruitful life. Sir George was 90.
Music writer Dale Sherman today highlighted that George Martin was the first real “modern” producer. It was he who learned to push the recording studio to the limits. He put his stamp on the songs, and was one of the first to do so. They called him the “Fifth Beatle” and I think that is very true. He was a collaborator, a teacher, and a genius. Of course, he produced so many more bands than just the Beatles, but who will he always be identified with? There is only one correct answer.
My personal favourite non-Beatles recording of his was Aerosmith’s cover of “Come Together”, and for the Beatles it would have to be “Tomorrow Never Knows”. “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the most brilliant thing the Beatles ever did, sounding as modern today as it did in 1966. Though it’s not the song that best represents the George/Beatles sound, I think this is their greatest achievement.
RIP, Sir George!