An Oral History of TT The Bear's The legendary Cambridge, MA rock club has closed after a months long blowout\wake. Opened in 1981 as a restaurant, when Central Square was still a no-man's land between Harvard and MIT, blighted by urban decay and suburban flight, the venue was soon rebooted as a rock club and soon joined the Rathskellar, the Channel and The Middle East as one of a small group of independent venues that functioned as an incubator for 90s icons such as The Magnetic Fields, Tanya Donnelly, Galaxie 500, Letters to Cleo and, of course, the Pixies. [more inside]
Marlene Sanders’ Feminist Legacy [Slate obit] - "She wrote of her accomplishments: 'As I look back on my career, the women's movement provided an exceptional point when time, place and position all came together to give me the power and focus to contribute to the country’s awareness of the status of women.'" [more inside]
If you've ever visited a Disney theme park, you likely saw the work of Blaine Gibson. Gibson died earlier this month at the age of 97. [more inside]
Burt's Bees (SLYT) Ingram Berg Shavitz, known as Burt Shavitz, was an American beekeeper and businessman notable for founding the Burt's Bees personal care products company with businesswoman Roxanne Quimby. Burt's likeness is featured on the Burt's Bees products. [more inside]
Patrick Macnee, known for his portrayal of the dapper John Steed in the British TV series The Avengers, has died at the age of 93. [more inside]
Tama, the feline station master and mascot of Kishi Station, has passed away at the age of 16. [more inside]
Academy Award-winning composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday. He was known for the scores to Titanic (the soundtrack for which sold 27 million copies), Braveheart, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind among many others. [more inside]
RIP, Jobst Brandt. Brandt established a reputation among cyclists first with his book The Bicycle Wheel, later with his promotion of slick-treaded clincher tires for road bikes, and finally with his presence on Usenet, where he and Sheldon Brown (RIP) were the Pillars of Hercules of technical knowledge about bikes, with Brown on the east coast and Brandt on the west, Brown with his jovial personality, and Brandt with what can euphemistically be described as an insistence on intellectual rigor.
Ornette Coleman has died at 85. Free Jazz. Lonely Woman, from "The Shape of Jazz to Come". What Reason Could I Give?. Skies of America, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Gunther Schuller interviews Coleman; Ethan Iverson on Coleman.
RIP Sir Christopher Lee, actor most famous for playing Dracula in numerous horror films but also notable roles as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies [more inside]
Former NY Post editor and film critic Vincent Musetto has met his own deadline. Vincent, aged 74, was generally acknowledged as the author of the famous tag HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR. You can watch an interview with him here.
Elizabeth McIntosh died this week. She witnessed Pearl Harbor as a reporter (her account was too graphic to be published), worked for OSS in Asia, tried to go back to journalism, wrote children's books, and became an advocate for and historian about women in the OSS and CIA. [more inside]
Jean Ritchie, largely responsible for the revival/survival of traditional ballads and mountain dulcimer as living folk arts in the United States, tradition-bearer of Appalachian culture, national treasure, has passed away at the age of 92. [more inside]
Charles Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal-Democrats, dies aged 55, one month after he lost his seat in the 2015 UK general elections. The police are treating his death as not suspicious. [more inside]
Professional wrestler Tommy Rogers (real name Thomas Couch), best known as one half of the tag team The Fantastics, has passed away at the age of 54. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Rogers "...had been having legal troubles in recent years stemming from fighting. He was to be sentenced tomorrow over a fight with police officers and feared a long prison stay." [more inside]
Anne Meara passed away this past weekend at the age of 85. Meara was a remarkable actress and commedian who is known to modern audiences for her work on "King of Queens", "Sex and the City" and, of course, her slightly famous son Ben Stiller. But Meara also laid claim to one of the longest comedy partnerships in the entertainment industry with her husband Jerry Stiller, whom she first met in 1953 and started working with in the early 1960's. Here are some choice clips from five decades back: Highlights from Stiller and Meara on the Ed Sullivan show. Stiller and Meara illustrate how to break up with someone. Audio of their "Last Two People in the World" and "Moments of Truth behind TV Commecials" sketches.
Lee was the author of over 90 books and 300 short stories, as well as four BBC Radio plays, and two highly-regarded episodes of the BBC’s SF series Blake’s 7 (Sand and Sarcophagus). She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in 2013 and the Horror Writers Lifetime Achievement Award this year, which joined her British Fantasy Award from 1980 for Death’s Master, and her World Fantasy Award for her short story “The Gorgon”.The Sci-Fi Bulletin reports the passing away of Tanith Lee, who had been ill for some time. [more inside]
RIP Marques Haynes, who died Friday at age 89. According to his NYT Obituary, he joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1946 or 1947, and played with them through the late 1970s. (Yours truly remembers him from that goofy Saturday morning show, the Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.) Remembering Haynes. "The things [in basketball] that they do today, Marques started."
John Nash, notable mathematician, died yesterday, with his wife Alicia, in a taxi accident. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 for his contributions to game theory, in particular his discovery of the Nash equilibrium. (previously)
"The life-changing message of 'On Writing Well' is: simplify your language and thereby find your humanity." William Zinsser, journalist and nonfiction writer, passed away earlier this month. His book, "On Writing Well," is one of the definitive works on the craft of writing. [more inside]
On Saturday evening, May 16, BASE jumpers Dean Potter and Graham Hunt died after attempting a wingsuit flight from Taft Point, a 7,500-foot promontory that overlooks Yosemite Valley and El Capitan. [more inside]
Lois Lilienstein, of Sharon, Lois & Bram fame, died at age 78. She was probably best known in Canada for The Elephant Show.
"I am in the depths of despair." Jonathan Crombie, the raven-haired actor best known to a generation of literature lovers as Gilbert Blythe in the classic Anne of Green Gables miniseries(es), has died at age 48 of an apparent brain hemorrhage.
Bridge scene (ending) in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel [more inside]
Bridge scene (ending) in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel [more inside]
Herb Trimpe, long time artist on The Incredible Hulk, died yesterday at the age of 75. In addition to his seven year run on the Hulk, Trimpe drew the first issues of Marvel's G.I. Joe comic and was the artist on the first appearance of Wolverine. Trimpe attended the School of Visual Arts and began his career inking backgrounds for Dell Comics. After serving in the United State Air Force, Trimpe began his long career with Marvel Comics in 1967 making his debut in Kid Colt Outlaw #134. He penciled The Incredible Hulk in a nearly unbroken run from 1968 - 1972. In May 2014, the original art page by Trimpe featuring the first appearance of Wolverine sold for a record $657,250.00.
Intense-eyed character actor and frequent Clint Eastwood collaborator Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette Lewis, died april 7th in his home, of natural causes. [more inside]
On the 2nd of April 2015, 106-year old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira died at his hometown, Porto. Obituaries: The Guardian, Time. [more inside]
Steven Smith, teamaker, passed away last Monday. He was a co-founder of Stash teas, founder of Tazo tea, and most recently, founder of the eponymous Steven Smith lines of teas. [more inside]
John Renbourn, the highly influential English guitar player, and one of the co-founders of Pentangle, has died. There's a nice appreciation from The Guardian here. Farewell, Mr. Renbourn.
Development without democracy? Lee Kuan Yew's lifetime legacy to the world is the living breathing heart of Asian Tigerdom. Singapore's first (and some say only) Prime Minister led this tiny island city state from third world fishing village in one of Britannia's key ports on a major global shipping line to one of the world's richest nations and recognized as "developed". Few CEOs can claim a better track record. Lee Kuan Yew breathed his last on 23rd March 2015, just months before Singapore was to celebrate 50 years as an independent nation in August. Mentor to the likes of Deng Xiao Peng of China and godfather to numerous others, he leaves a complicated future for the country he created out of very little.
A.J. Pero drummer for Twisted Sister during their early eighties peak, the drummer behind "You Can't Stop Rock & Roll", "I Wanna Rock" and of course "We're Not Gonna Take It" (which features some nice drum work) has passed on. Staten Island born Pero, who broke in to rock with the hard rock band Cities was touring with his new band Adrenaline Mob when he was found unresponsive on a tour bus in Poughkeepsie, New York. he was rushed to the local hospital and pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack. RIP, SMF.
Roy Doty, awesome illustrator, particularly known for drawing the popular, 50-year-running Wordless Workshop instructional comic strip for Popular Science, Family Handyman and syndication, the puzzle page for Make, and also the covers and illustrations for popular Judy Blume books Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge and Otherwise Known As Shelia The Great, among many other things, has died at 92. This episode of the Danny Dee Show (YouTube 27m) shows off his drawing and narration skills. Here's some illustrations from his website. Here's a sample panel of Wordless Workshop. [more inside]
Eugene S. Patton, Sr., best known as "Gene Gene the Dancing Machine" on The Gong Show, has died at the age of 82. He had suffered from diabetes. [more inside]
Terry Pratchett, best known for the Discworld series consisting of about 40 books, died today after a long, well publicized battle with Alzheimer's in which he's also been outspoken on right to die issues.
Paul Kalanithi, writer and neurosurgeon, has died. A non-smoker, Kalanithi was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 but still managed to raise money for lung cancer awareness, worked to provide resources for doctors to educate them about palliative care. He and his wife, Lucy, also had a daughter who "filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied". He also wrote moving articles (and previously) that have resonated with many, patients and doctors alike.
Sam Simon, writer, producer, philanthropist and co-creator of The Simpsons has passed away of colorectal cancer at the age of 59. Previously.
Character actor Daniel Von Bargen ("Seinfeld", "Lord of Illusions", "Super Troopers") has died at the age of 64. One tragic footnote is his 2012 suicide attempt that led to his long illness. Here are some facts about Diabetes and Depression and, as always, there is help for those who need it. (Post Title Quote here)
Anthony Mason, iconic Knicks player, dead at 48. Daily Beast: Soul of the 90's. Where are they now in Sports? video interview.
Icthyologist, shark behaviorist, ocean explorer, and passionate conservationist, Dr. Eugenie Clark died on Wednesday from lung cancer. She was 92. [more inside]
Poet, author, director, actor, cultural icon... Leonard Nimoy has passed away at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rest well, Spock, you will be missed.
Today we bid a sad farewell to the last of the old-school Mississippi Hill Country bluesmen: Mr. Robert Belfour was a purveyor or that gritty, driving, riff-based, often one-chord Hill Country style pioneered by people like Mississippi Fred McDowell, and in more recent years popularized by artists like RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Let's take a listen, then, as we pay our respects to the "Wolfman", to some of his rocking, soulful blues. Here's Black Mattie, I Got My Eyes On You, Hill Stomp, Go Ahead On, My Baby's Gone, Done Got Old and You Got Me Crying. And here's an hour-long recording from February 2013, via NPR: Robert Belfour: Live In Concert.
Long time Parks and Recreation writer and recurring character, inventor of the Humblebrag, curator of the goofiest segment on Comedy Bang Bang, and very sexy drummer for the joke band Don't Stop Or We'll Die, Mr. Harris Wittels passed away today suddenly. He will be missed. (Many links extraordinarily NSFW) [more inside]
Comics artist Brett Ewins, co-creator of Deadline, artist for Skreemer and Johnny Nemo, and frequent 2000AD contributor (cover gallery), has passed away passed away age 59.
Legendary former University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Dean Smith has died at the age of 83 (NYT obit). [more inside]
Carl Djerassi, the chemist who synthesised the active ingredient in the first successful combined contraceptive pill, died on January 30 2015 at the age of 91. In addition to his work as a scientist, which yielded more than 1000 papers, he wrote novels, plays and poems. [more inside]