We lost some good men (and women) this year…
Some big big names and legendary leaders have died this year which is always terribly sad and also a reminder of the circle of life which goes something like: BORN > UP > DOWN > UP > DOWN > UP > UP > DOWN > DOWN > DOWN > DOWN > UP > DOWN > UP > UP > DOWN > UP > DIE. The UPs and the DOWNs change but the bookends of BORN and DIE stay exactly where they are, and if you were to spin the planet in fast forward it’d probably be a bit like that scene from Yellow Submarine where The Beatles suddenly grow long grey beards while singing When I’m 64… only not a cartoon. I have no idea where this is going except to say that one day the cold hand will grip us all, so I thought it important to honour the brothers and sisters held dear to Interestment who left this mortal coil in 2013. You won’t find greats like Mandela, O’Toole, Frost, Briers or any number of others here, not because they’re not wonderful but because they’ve either been vastly accounted for elsewhere or simply because the loss of this ten stings that little bit stingier. It’s basically a Top 10 of recently dead people…
Younger brother of Bobby, Cecil was one half of Womack & Womack with his wife Mrs Womack. Had she not taken his surname they’d have been Womack & Cooke on account of her being Sam Cooke’s daughter, no less. RIP Cecil Womack.
I don’t even know where to start with Donald Byrd, my love for the man runs deeper than the vastest ocean and soars higher than the most ungodly mountain. I once argued that he was more influential to modern music than James Brown which is almost definitely not true, but by gum he was pretty fucking groovy. RIP Donald Byrd.
Like any pothead or student from the 1990s I could recite much of Withnail and I and particularly key to the fun of that movie are the scenes where Uncle Monty is yearning to bum Paul McCann. RIP Richard Griffiths.
Probably most famous for his performance of Freedom at Woodstock, Richie Havens is one of my favourite singers of all time – in folk/soul terms I might even place him higher than Terry Callier which is really saying something. RIP Richie Havens.
The founding member of The Doors will now be reunited with Jim Morrison in the afterlife, where Jim will presumably still be spouting druggy nonsense while 74-year-old keyboardist Ray listens wearing comfy slippers. RIP Ray Manzarek.
This one came out of the blue and it still stings. The man behind the greatest character in the greatest TV show ever made, and that includes Breaking Bad, The Wire blah blah you know the whole list by now. RIP James Gandolfini.
One of the true greats when it comes to going on holiday and somehow morphing the experience into an insightful and absorbing documentary, Whicker was like a gentleman Karl Pilkington. RIP Alan Whicker.
In 2011 Tura Satana bid farewell to this mortal coil, this year her co-star from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! joined her in a higher realm. I like to think they’ll be beating the shit out of sleazebags for all eternity. RIP Haji.
My first memory of Lou Reed is when he did that awful version of Soul Man for the movie of the same name in the 1980s. You know, the slightly racist one about the white guy blacking up to get into college. Luckily Lou’s back catalogue more than makes up for it. RIP Lou Reed.
One of the most lovely reggae falsettos of all time, Junior also made one of reggae’s greatest anthems. RIP Junior Murvin.
Any more for any more?