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RIP Mr. Dupree

He's responsible for the deliciously relaxed and understated guitar work you remember from Rainy Night in Georgia and the driving chukka chukka whipsnap that propelled Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, as well as her version of Spanish Harlem. And he's lent his masterful musical sense to many, many other tunes from artists as diverse as Ringo Starr, Archie Shepp, Joe Cocker, Miles Davis and Paul Simon. Guitarist Cornell Dupree has died at age 68. Primarily a studio musician, Dupree was more often heard than seen, but you can catch some glimpses of his Southern-fried six-string artistry on this live version of King Curtis' Memphis Soul Stew.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 9, 2012 - 23 comments

Junior Seau RIP

NFL great Junior Seau, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on May 2, 2012 - 110 comments

Facts has died.

Facts has died. The Chicago Tribune offers this tribute.
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 24, 2012 - 61 comments

things that we're sad to see go

At the Gameological Society, John Teti eulogizes Dick Clark the game show host by waxing rhapsodic about Pyramid, including his all-time favorite run in the Winner's Circle.
posted by eugenen on Apr 23, 2012 - 21 comments

The British Les Paul is no more.

R.I.P. Herbert Maurice William 'Bert' Weedon, OBE
posted by unSane on Apr 20, 2012 - 13 comments

Greg Ham found Dead

Men at Work's Greg Ham has been found dead. He was an Australian songwriter, actor and saxophone player known for playing multiple instruments in the 1980s band Men at Work. In addition to the saxophone, he played flute, organ, piano and the synthesiser. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Apr 19, 2012 - 86 comments

""For now, Dick Clark...so long." *salute*

Dick Clark, America's's Oldest Teenager, has passed away after suffering a massive heart attack at St. John's Hospital in LA, TMZ reports (and other media outlets confirm). [more inside]
posted by maryr on Apr 18, 2012 - 161 comments

one of the greats will be leaving the stage

The Band singer and drummer Levon Helm is in the final stages of cancer, according to a note posted on his website Tuesday by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Amy. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 17, 2012 - 137 comments

A dreamer of dreams that is no longer

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, creator of the 911, head of Porsche Cars, has died. A sportscar most people can only ever dream of driving, yet even master it's full potential... Its cousin model the 935 won the LeMans in 1976. A marvel of engineering, built with a mid-rear engine, no other car debatably seems as gracious in elegance and as robust in power. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche creator of the 911, will certainly have touched many in awe, inspiration and confidence with his brilliant conception.
posted by Meatafoecure on Apr 6, 2012 - 49 comments

Eulogy for a pretty swell guy

Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 2, 2012 - 5 comments

A Large & Startling Figure

"How do you like your blue eyed boy, Mr. Death?" Harry Crews has died at the age of 76. He was an author, a teacher, a boxer, a raconteur. But mostly, he was a writer.
posted by Optamystic on Mar 29, 2012 - 30 comments

Who Will Sing for Me? Earl Scruggs

Earlier this year, Steve Martin penned a loving tribute to Earl Scruggs, published in New Yorker. "Some nights he had the stars of North Carolina shooting from his fingertips. Before him, no one had ever played the banjo like he did. After him, everyone played the banjo like he did, or at least tried." A few minutes ago, Steve Martin offered a rare somber tweet: "Earl Scruggs, the most important banjo player who ever lived, has passed on." One could do worse than spend some time watching and listening to Earl Scruggs perform.
posted by spock on Mar 28, 2012 - 103 comments

È morto a Lisbona Antonio Tabucchi

Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi has died in Lisbon. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Mar 25, 2012 - 9 comments

Evil men with evil schemes, They can't destroy all our dreams!

Imagine one person in America directed Star Wars, the original Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Alien and Blade Runner -- basically, all the big sci-fi hits except Star Trek. In Japan, that man existed, and his name was Noburo Ishiguro. He directed Super Dimension Fortress Macross (which became the first part of Robotech), Space Battleship Yamato (called Star Blazers in the U.S.), the classics Super Dimension Century Orguss and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and more. Basically, he had his hand in almost all the major sci-fi anime of the '70s and early '80s except Gundam...

While many of his works were subjected to questionable translation practices (such as changing any mention of sake to "with water from a favourite spring on Earth" in Yamato) when they were adapted for Western audiences in the 1980s, the popularity of his works helped lay the foundation for anime fandom as we know it today.

On Wednesday, Studio Nue co-founder Haruka Takachiho reported that Noboru Ishiguro passed away at age 73.

(Via Topless Robot & Anime News Network)
posted by radwolf76 on Mar 22, 2012 - 62 comments

M.A.R. Barker 1929-2012

Role Playing Game pioneer Mohammed Al Rahman Barker died last week (PDF). Inspired through playing dungeons and Dragons, M. A. R. Barker created what is possibly the world's second RPG, Empire of the Petal Throne, set in the world of Tekumel, a world he would continue to keep building for the rest of his life. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 19, 2012 - 28 comments

Sheldon Moldoff 1920-2012

Sheldon Moldoff, one of the seminal Golden Age comic book artists and the last surviving cartoonist to have had work featured in Action Comics #1, died on February 29 from kidney failure. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 7, 2012 - 15 comments

LSD researcher Gary Fisher passes on.

Gary Fisher, early pioneer of LSD research, passed away today. The news was announced by his friend Lorenzo Hagerty, host of the Psychedelic Salon podcast.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles on Mar 3, 2012 - 24 comments

Ralph McQuarrie, 1929–2012

Ralph McQuarrie, legendary concept artist for Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and many other projects, has passed away at the age of 82. Previously, here and here.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 3, 2012 - 85 comments

La verdad triunfará

In Hiding:The Life of Manuel Cortes the Socialist barber and mayor who hid inside his house for 30 years to escape Francoist retribution was the first publication by the noted oral historian Ronald Fraser who has recently died aged 81.
A gifted and prolific historian of Spain, Fraser helped establish oral history as a discipline in its own right.
His civil war opus Blood of Spain confirmed his scholarship.
He had a long association with the New Left Review which he helped found.
His last publication was Napoleon’s Cursed War: Popular Resistance in the Spanish Peninsular War.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 1, 2012 - 5 comments

This Monkees Gone To Heaven

Monkees singer Davy Jones passes away. [more inside]
posted by Joey Michaels on Feb 29, 2012 - 197 comments

Passing of a Virtuoso

RIP Maurice André [more inside]
posted by plinth on Feb 26, 2012 - 13 comments

The More You Love a Memory, The Stronger and Stranger It Is

Dmitri Nabokov the son of Vladimir Nabokov, who tended to the legacy of his father with the posthumous publication of a volume of personal letters, an unpublished novella and an unfinished novel that his father had demanded be burned, died on Wednesday in Vevey, Switzerland. He was 77.
posted by chavenet on Feb 25, 2012 - 15 comments

The Syrian Army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.

Marie Colvin, an American journalist working for The Sunday Times of London, and French photographer, Rémi Ochlik were killed this morning in the city of Homs, Syria. The two Western journalists were among 20 people killed in a makeshift media center, raising suspicions that Syrian security forces targeted their location by tracing satellite signals. Their deaths follow 19 days of shelling that activists say killed hundreds of trapped civilians in one of the deadliest campaigns in nearly a year of violent repression by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 22, 2012 - 104 comments

Motor City is Burning

Michael Davis, bass player for the bands MC5 and Destroy All Monsters, passed away at 68 on February 17, 2012 from liver failure.
posted by Smart Dalek on Feb 19, 2012 - 28 comments

John Severin December 26, 1921 – February 12, 2012

Legendary comic book artist John Severin has died. He was ninety years old. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 14, 2012 - 43 comments

"I like to feel that it’s my job to instigate the process with a cool drawing that inspires everyone else here into making something really cool, and worth the effort."

Adam Adamowicz, concept artist behind the hugely popular video games Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, passed away this week after a long struggle with cancer.
posted by restless_nomad on Feb 11, 2012 - 37 comments

RIP Nello Ferrara

Nello Ferrara, chairman of Ferrara Pan Candy Co (previously), died Friday at his home in River Forest at age 93. The Chicago Sun Times has an excellent obituary profiling his rather interesting life.
posted by hippybear on Feb 8, 2012 - 30 comments

Wisława Szymborska is dead

Wisława Szymborska is dead.
posted by R. Schlock on Feb 1, 2012 - 60 comments

Don Cornelius, Soul Train creator, RIP

Over its amazing 35 year run, Soul Train provided American television viewers with an incredible panorama, a veritable cornucopia of black popular music, and of course, entertained everyone with their legendary line dance segments. The man who created and hosted the show from its beginnings up until 1993, Mr. Don Cornelius, was on Wednesday found dead in his home, an apparent suicide.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 1, 2012 - 79 comments

R.I.P Clare Fischer

The great pianist-arranger-composer Clare Fischer has died. Besides being a mean pianist who even Herbie Hancock called a huge influence, very few could claim the achievements of this man, who worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, the Hi-Los and other jazzmen to Prince, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Paul McCartney, Prince, and so many more.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Jan 28, 2012 - 9 comments

"Brother Epstein, huh? I can see the headlines: 'Puerto Rican Jew enters monastery, becomes the first 'Schlamonk."'

Dear Mr. Kotter,
Please excuse Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo DeHuevos Epstein from class. He has an appointment in heaven.
Signed,
Epstein's Mother
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 26, 2012 - 88 comments

Jonathan Keith Idema

"It will probably always be unclear who, exactly, Jonathan Keith Idema really was".
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Jan 26, 2012 - 33 comments

"I need to feel the winter, grey colour to me is the most poetic. It allows me to leave the prison of my imagination, everything that is grey suits me."

Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has passed away. "[He was] possessed of a singular style that has long divided critics... visually evocative, often beautiful, his films contain long sections with little or no dialogue." In 1995, he won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes for Ulysses' Gaze, and three years later, the Palme D'Or for Eternity and a Day. A career in clips. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jan 26, 2012 - 9 comments

The days of our kind are numbered.

Nicol Williamson passed away on December 16th in Amsterdam from esophageal cancer at the age of 73. You might remember him as Merlin in Excalibur or Father Morning in Exorcist III. Rest in Peace
posted by tribalspice on Jan 25, 2012 - 37 comments

What is Dub?

Speaking of Dub (the real kind), just over one year ago the music world lost one of its pioneers in the realm of dub and roots. Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson produced some of the most hard driving reggae ever released. RIP. [more inside]
posted by Jibuzaemon on Jan 21, 2012 - 9 comments

RIP Johnny Otis

Chances are that sometime, somewhere, out of the corner of one ear, at least, you've heard the iconic (yet all-but-forgotten) "Willie and the Hand Jive". Set to a Bo Diddley beat, it was an infectious little number that made quite a splash back in its day. Here's a fun live version of the bouncy tune, complete with the three largest dancing girls you're ever likely to see, and here's the original 1958 recording. The composer of the tune, the son of Greek immigrants who decided that the world of black music was where he wanted to be, was one Johnny Otis, who has just died at the grand old age of 90. Shortly after its release, "Willie and the Hand Jive" was covered by early rock icons like Bo Diddley and, across the pond in England, Cliff Richard. But apart from his most famous tune, Johnny did a LOT of recording and performing throughout his lengthy career, so there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 19, 2012 - 42 comments

R.I.P. Everything Man

The world just got a little less funky. Jimmy Castor passed away today. You might know him as the doo-wop Junior who replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers. You might know him forYou Might know his hits Troglodyte, Hey, Leroy, or maybe the Bertha Butt Boogie. You might even know his Magic Saxophone. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Jan 16, 2012 - 18 comments

RIP Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle, creator of St. Trinian's, dies at 91.
posted by Ideefixe on Jan 3, 2012 - 36 comments

Ben Breedlove

This is My Story: Part One, Part Two. (youtube videos) Ben Breedlove passed away on December 25, 2011. (Last link contains autoplaying video) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 30, 2011 - 10 comments

"Philosophy of language is the foundation for all the rest of philosophy"

Eminent analytic philosopher, logician, anti-racist activist, Tarot scholar, and Catholic Sir Michael Dummett has died at 86.
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Dec 29, 2011 - 29 comments

So Do My Heroes

The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony Kennedy
John Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Dec 28, 2011 - 33 comments

To tweet, perchance to dream

The final tweets of some notable people who died this year. Some other final tweets.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 27, 2011 - 31 comments

What next?

Kim Jong Il is dead.
posted by meows on Dec 18, 2011 - 440 comments

Eduardo Barreto 1954 – December 15, 2011

Comic book artist Eduardo Barreto, best known for his work on such DC titles as New Teen Titans and various Superman projects, not to mention his work on the Judge Parker newspaper strip, has died at the age of 57. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 16, 2011 - 8 comments

RIP Christopher Hitchens

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
posted by naju on Dec 15, 2011 - 491 comments

"If I am kept away from writing I become physically unwell. It is art and the creation of art that sustains me." Russell Hoban 1925-2011

Depending on when and what you started reading you may know Russell Hoban as the author of the children's book Bread and Jam for Frances or the post-apoocalyptic sci-fi novel Riddley Walker. Hoban also wrote Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas which was made into a one-hour Christmas Special originally aired by HBO in the 70's and re-released as recently as 2008. He published one book of poetry, The Last of the Wallendas, which included many dark poems such as The Dream of the Kraken. Hoban died in London last night, aged 86. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Dec 14, 2011 - 83 comments

Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David: 1948 to 1990

Between February 1989 and May 1990, there were three significant deaths in the Sesame Street world. The first was Joe Raposo, a significant musician for Sesame Street and Electric Company. The last was Jim Henson, mourned by Big Bird, remembered by Frank Oz, and celebrated in song by many (from the St. John's Memorial, detailed here). The second person to die in this time period was Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David. Unlike Joe and Jim, there were no television tribute to Northern's life and career on Sesame Street or Broadway. Instead, David, once a young, cool, urban guy, who was studying to be a lawyer while working at Mr. Hooper's storeand the initial romantic interest of Maria, left the show through a letter, read by Gordon. The story behind David is told below the fold. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 12, 2011 - 25 comments

Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and Joker creator, RIP

Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and creator of the Dark Knight's arch-nemesis The Joker, died yesterday in his sleep at the age of 89. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Dec 8, 2011 - 21 comments

Christopher Logue, 1926-2011

"Almost everything I do is based on other texts anyway. Without plagiarism, there would be no literature. I'm a rewrite man." The poet Christoper Logue has died, aged 85. Logue had a varied career, at various points serving in the British Army (and being arrested for espionage after a drunken threat to sell secrets), writing pornography under the nom de plume Count Palmiro de Vicarion, recording George Martin-produced, "heroically daft" jazz recitals of the poems of Pablo Neruda (YT) and regularly contributing to the British satirical magazine Private Eye, where he edited Pseuds' Corner, while finding the time to be arrested again, for civil disobedience as part of Bertrand Russell's Committee of 100. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Dec 4, 2011 - 14 comments

Howard Tate, soul man, 1939-2011

The man who lent his wonderfully warm and soaring voice to the rolling soul ballad Get It While You Can, the limber southern funk of Eight Days on the Road, the coolly driving How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark, the mellow soul lilt (with breathtaking falsetto interjections!) of I Learned It All the Hard Way and so many other delightful soul numbers has died. Farewell Howard Tate. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 4, 2011 - 17 comments

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