2016 has gotten off to a rather shaky start, if you are a fan of music and movies. Hell, let's call it what it is: damn crappy. Thanks universe :-(
I look at the artists we've lost recently and each and every time it's been like a punch in the gut. The singers of songs and actors of scenes that make up the story of so many people's lives, tragically ripped from the fabric of our popular culture. Though the entertainment world has certainly lost more than these few names over the past month or so, these are the ones that have had the biggest impact on me:
Scott Weiland: Enigmatic, sexy and troubled singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. A '90s grunge heartthrob, if Doc Martens and cocaine were your thing.
Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: Bass master and leader extraordinaire of Motorhead, rock god, hero to many, sufferer of no fools, taker of no bullsh*t.
Alan Rickman: The Brit who played bad very, very well. And, oh, that voice. Wands up for Severus Snape - the secret crush of every naughty, nerdy Potter fangirl, especially if you grew up liking Nine Inch Nails (not that I'm talking about anyone specific or anything).
Glenn Frey: One half of the genius behind one of the greatest bands in rock history, the Eagles. Did you get that last part? One of the greatest bands in rock history has lost one of its founders. That's a pretty profound statement right there if you are a pop or rock music lover or even sort-of appreciator. The man who brought us such AM Gold hits as Desperado and Hotel California and such memorable characters as Jimmy Cole from "Miami Vice" (yes, I'm joking - sort of).
Frey's death was the latest (as of press time)?in a string of deaths to hit at the tail end of 2015 and very beginning of 2016. If Frey was the only artist of his magnitude that we lost this year, it would have been bad enough...
But Bowie. We lost David Bowie, too, damn it. The fact that he was gravely ill was apparently a well-kept secret because when he died from cancer on Jan. 10, just two days after his 69th birthday, the shock was felt around the world. I don't think I'll ever forget hearing the news on Sirius radio, with my kid, the next generation of rock music lover, strapped in beside me. We both openly wept. It was profound.
Losing Michael Jackson in 2009 was huge for me as far as losing a pop star and an icon. But losing Bowie is huge as far as losing an innovator, a creative genius, a trend maker, a provocateur ... a rebel. His music lives on but his death will take some time to get over. It's hard to imagine living in a world without Bowie in it. But, as a popular meme floating around in the days after his death put it, given the age of the Earth, we were lucky to have lived during the same time. Though the stars will look very different today and every day now that he has moved on, our world is better for having had him in it.