Jump to content

Dead People


Bananaman
 Share

Recommended Posts

What relevance to the thread is Syd Barratt? He died less than ten years ago.

 

Because his iconic status owes itself to the "mystique" surrounding his early departure from the public eye -- due to an obvious mental breakdown -- and his strange and eccentric behaviour thereafter, such as the time he showed up at the recording of Wish You Were Here. He left the stage and lost his mind before his time; it's the exact same phenomenon that we see with those who literally died before their time.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've long been bemused by the resurrection of Nick Drake, as I recall that throughout the eighties he was dismissed (along with many others) as 'hippy shit'. I always resented that judgement as I used to listen to him in the early seventies when he was still relatively obscure. But in the 1990's he became cool and interesting, a lost romantic genius, poet and poster boy for a new generation. An early death can certainly do wonders for a career. Shame that few people listened to him while he was alive.

 

The 80s thing is fairly explainable, by the twenty year rule. Basically, people in every decade look at the before as being "uncool", dated and something to react against. Then 20 years after their heyday they become retro-chic, and are rediscovered.

 

I wasn't around when Drake was alive, so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't he have had quite a bit of publicity during his career? He was signed to the leading Indie label of the time, had a good producer and don't appear to have skimped on recording costs. I wonder whether he was driven enough to hustle for success.

 

So had he not died would he have the same status today? Well, there've been a few rediscovered lost folkies in recent years. People like Vashti Bunyan who made an album in the early seventies then set off in a horse and cart to live at Donovan's commune in the Hebrides (when she got there it had closed) and only resurfaced in the early 2000s after she bought a computer and googled herself and found her lp was worth £100s. Linda Perhacs who has just released her first lp since 1970, or Shelagh McDonald who disappeared after a bad trip in 1971 and resurfaced living in a tent in 2005 when she read an article about herself in a discarded paper.

 

You could look at Nick as being the first of the rediscoveries. Partly because he had influential supporters singing his praises but maybe because the romantically doomed English poet-singer was an easier sell to Mojo and Uncut etc than a California Dental technician (Perhacs) or a mum in Ireland (Bunyan). But I still think his Island albums would have found an audience eventually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really an 'icon,' but Cozy Powell died in spectacular rock 'n' roll style - driving at over 100mph on the M4, over the limit with alcohol and on his way to meet his [married] girlfriend. Excellent drummer.

Wasn't he also on his mobile phone at the time? I believe his last words, according to the person he was talking to, were 'oh shit...'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now Cozy's Dancing with the Devil. Saw him at the Lido in late 70's. Thunderous, is how I remember him. No match for John Henry Bonham (RIP) though, IMO.

 

Tommy Bolin, Paul Kossoff, both heroin overdoses. What is it with heroin? Disgusting stuff. In between vomiting spasms I remember thinking, ''Why would anyone wanna feel like this all the time?'' All a very long time ago and a first and last time for me but its popularity still amazes me.

 

It'd be interesting to find out how many of these 'Dead People' met their demise through excess.

 

So, did/does excess come with the territory of stardom? Has all that type of decadence taken a back seat in todays generation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought towards the end of 2013 that it had been a bad year for deaths in the music industry. Some of my favourite artists passed away last year, such as Kevin Ayers, Richie Havens, J.J.Cale, and of course Lou Reed. We also lost Alvin Lee, Ray Manzarek, and many others. I thought we'd also lost Wilko Johnson but he seems to be hanging on and has just recorded a swansong with Roger Daltrey. January 2014 also saw the death of Phil Everly. I think perhaps I'm just getting old....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought towards the end of 2013 that it had been a bad year for deaths in the music industry. Some of my favourite artists passed away last year, such as Kevin Ayers, Richie Havens, J.J.Cale, and of course Lou Reed. We also lost Alvin Lee, Ray Manzarek, and many others. I thought we'd also lost Wilko Johnson but he seems to be hanging on and has just recorded a swansong with Roger Daltrey. January 2014 also saw the death of Phil Everly. I think perhaps I'm just getting old....

Life seems so unfair.

 

Des O'Connor's still going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At least they've died after long careers where they've had the chance to see where their muse takes them in middle age and beyond. The iconic ones Bananaman mentions left behind two or three lps and that gives them an infallible aura because they died before the tired album about how boring it is to be touring and how fabulous partying with your celeb friends is. They never had a down period or needed to reinvent themselves.

 

It's interesting you mention Kevin Ayers, maybe his sort of career is the one Nick Drake could have had?

 

In fact, maybe artists who didn't die young help us imagine the kind of careers that the 27 club could have had? Nick Cave, for example, could easily have died around the end of the Birthday Party or his first lps. He would have left a few good records, a romantically debauched death, and iconic photos of himself. He could easily have sat alongside Ian Curtis or Sid Vicious on moody a teenager's bedroom walls. But, his most commercially successful, artistically ambitious and greatest creative achievements happened after that period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...