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In Memoriam – February 2011

Here are February’s additions to the celestial chorus.There are a couple of people who died far too young: Clare Amory (35), Canadian folk-singer Diane Izzo (43), English punk singer Phil Vane (46) and grunge pioneer Rick Kulwicki (49) all died of natural causes. Argentinian musician Sergio Embrioni took his own life, and that of 33-year-old harmonica-plating rapper was cut short in an apparent murder.

From a personal point of view, I was saddened by the death of Gary Moore, whose Still Got The Blues (For You) is something of a “our song” for Any Major Wife and myself, and by that of the underrated soul man and enthusiastic propagandist for the benefits of cunnilingus, Marvin Sease. I was also strangely saddened to learn of the death of Peter Alexander, an ubiquitous figure on TV when I was a child in Germany who was the epitome of the Germanic square. I don’t necessarily admire his artistic legacy, but his death reepresents the departure of another link to my childhood.

Among the musician deaths, one might list the artist and illustrator Suze Rotolo, ex-girlfriend of Bob Dylan who was pictured with Zimmerman on the cover of the The Freewheeling Bob Dylan LP.She died on February 24 at 67.*

Tony Levin, 71, British jazz drummer, on February 3.

Gary Moore, 58, rock guitarist with Thin Lizzy and singer, on February 6.
Gary Moore – Still Got The Blues (For You) (1990)

Marvin Sease, 64, soul singer, on February 8
Marvin Sease – I Gotta Clean Up (2001)

Joan Bonham, 81, member of The Zimmers, mother of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, on February 9
The Zimmers – My Generation (2007)

Bad News Brown, 33, Haitian-born Canadian rapper and harmonican player, murdered on February 11
Bad News Brown – Reign (2009)

Peter Alexander, 84, bestselling Austrian Schlager singer, on February 12
Peter Alexander – Die kleine Kneipe (1976)

George Shearing, 91, jazz pianist, on February 14
Nat ‘King’ Cole & George Shearing – Let There Be Love (1962)

Rick Kulwicki, 49, guitarist of grunge band The Fluid, on February 15

Sergio Embrioni, 50, guitarist of Argentinian rock band Enanitos Verdes, of suicide on February 17
Enanitos Verdes – Lamento Boliviano (1994)

Phil Vane, 46, singer with punk band Extreme Noise Terror, on February 17
Extreme Noise Terror – Pray To Be Saved (1991)

Terry Clements, 63, guitarist on most of Gordon Lightfoot’s hits, on February 20
Gordon Lightfoot -  The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald (1976)

Harrell ‘Buddy’ Jones, 70, country and rock & roll drummer, songwriter and manager of Leon Russell, on February 20

Rudy Robbins, 77, country singer with The Spirit of Texas and stuntman, on February 21

Enoch Sullivan, 73, founder of bluegrass group The Sullivan Family, on February 23

Jens Winther, 50, Danish jazz trumpet player, on February 24

Eddie Serrato, 65, drummer of Question Mark & the Mysterians, on February 24
Question Mark and the Mysterians – Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby (1967)

Clare Amory, 35, drummer of New York noise-improv band Excepter, on February 25
Excepter – Kill People (2008)

Diane Izzo, 43, folk singer, on February 25
Diane Izzo – Horse Of Diana (1999)

Mark Tulin, 62, bass player of garage-pioneers The Electric Prunes, on February 26
The Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (1966)

Eddie Kirkland, 88, American blues guitarist, in a car crash on February 27.
Eddie Kirkland – Have Mercy On Me (1962)

A. Frank Willis, 60, Canadian folk singer and comedian, on February 27
A. Frank Willis – Dirty Old Town


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  1. Andy
    March 4th, 2011 at 01:18 | #1

    In a macabre way, I look forward to each month’s installment of In Memoriam. I guess I just like to see some of the less well-known performers get some recognition, even if they will never appreciate it.

    So far, I have not felt the breath of the reaper while reading about these deaths. When natural causes take some of the major stars of the Sixties I will begin to feel very old. When they reach the Seventies I will become afraid.

  2. halfhearteddude
    March 4th, 2011 at 07:10 | #2

    Yes, that’s how it felt to me with the death of Peter Alexander, though he was big already in the ’60s and, possibly, before that.

    Thanks for telling me that you look forward to this feature. It’s very time-consuming, and the feedback (usually just one comment from the very kind Rhod from Australia) sort of suggested that it wasn’t really worth the effort.

  3. Douglas
    March 4th, 2011 at 17:18 | #3

    I look forward to these posts, too. As Andy mentioned, it feels awkward expressing that. But please don’t stop! I’m sure there are countless other readers out there that just aren’t the posting kind.

  4. Rhod
    March 5th, 2011 at 00:25 | #4

    I agree with Andy

    I look forward to the In memoriam posting each month as a way of education as I have not heard a lot of these artists and if by these posting it raises the awareness of an artist then it must be for the good.



  5. March 8th, 2011 at 05:27 | #5

    I too look forward to the deaths every month. Sorry, that came out all wrong.

    Bad News Brown – talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy of a name. “Mrs Brown, we’ve got some bad news.” “Oh, where is he? In the police car?” “Erm, no…”

  6. March 9th, 2011 at 00:46 | #6

    I concur. These posts make me aware of folks I’d not known about and remind me of folks I’ve forgotten about. I appreciate them very much. Good of you to mention Suze Rotolo.

  7. Beauregard
    April 2nd, 2011 at 07:44 | #7

    I like these posts simply because I want to pay my respects – even for the folks of which I was not aware or minimally aware. Your song selections give us at least a one song basis of knowledge and allows a chance to recognize the passing of music talent. Since music is so important to each of us who pass through here regularly, this opportunity to reflect on these folks and their talents is very much appreciated by me and clearly by the other folks who have commented and many who haven’t.

    Like many of the others, I feel awkward writing about it because of the death correlation – maintaining a respectful silence is a common way of acknowledging the death of others. But I do want to emphasize, I have great respect for music and musicians, and you have provided an avenue that allows me to privately address their passing respectfully. For that alone, you have my deep appreciation and thanks.

    And I love a lot about the rest of the site too.

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