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]
Grindcore fan that happened to be a goat passes away. Star of an unlikely web meme dies young due to leading a metal lifestyle.
Philip Chevron - "singer, writer, composer, punk rocker, poet, Radiator, Pogue" - passed away from esophageal cancer on October 8th, far too young at only 56. He was most widely known as the Pogues’ rhythm guitarist, who penned "Thousands Are Sailing", a haunting ballad about Irish immigration to the USA that quickly became a live favourite (in later shows usually sung by Phil himself). [more inside]
"In 1955 "Rock Around the Clock" went to the top of the charts and turned Bill Haley into the king of rock and roll. Twenty-five years later, he was holed up in a pool house in Harlingen, TX, drunk, lonely, paranoid, and dying. After three decades of silence, his widow and his children tell the story of his years in Texas and his sad final days." (Via)
Ron Asheton, influential guitarist and bassist for The Stooges and Destroy All Monsters, has passed away at age 60.
Legendary artist Alton Kelley created a graphic style that rocked the world beginning in the psychedelic sixties. His concert posters, logo designs, LP album covers, and fine art have forevermore defined that time. Kelley passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, June 1, 2008 of complications from a long illness.
Todd Skinner falls to his death Sport and free climbing pioneer/entrepreneur, Todd Skinner, died over the weekend in a 500-foot fall. Sadly, it appears that his death was from a "..very worn.." belay loop on his harness. I met Todd about 10 years ago, and was struck by his warmth and enthusiasm. He spent almost three hours at a dingy Seattle climbing gym with about 10 neophyte femail climbers. He helped us all climb better and have more fun. He was generous with his praise, and offered truly helpful instruction - his ego did not get in the way (unlike many climbing instructors/"stars"). He'll be missed.
Pioneering instrumental-rock guitarist Link Wray - one of the original rockabilly artists, credited with having invented the "power chord", which has become the basis for modern rock and alternative music - died this week at the age of 76. You'd probably know him from his song 'Rumble', used on the 'Pulp Fiction' soundtrack. The English-speaking media hasn't picked up on the story yet, but various blogs, the Spanish and Danish press - translation here - and various music messageboards were all over the story 24 hours ago.
The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo They called rock music jump blues during the World War II era, and this amazingly talented clown was its master, with over fifty Top 10 R&B hits -- eighteen reached #1 -- between 1942 and 1951. Chuck Berry identified with him "more than any other artist." James Brown said, "He was everything" and considered him one of the earliest rappers. A pioneer of music video, the first black artist to cross over from the "race" market to a white audience and a central link between big bands and rock, he was a primary influence on Bill Haley, Ray Charles and B.B. King, who once said, "I wanted to be like him." Rest in peace, Louis Jordan. [Dozens of one-minute song clips here]
John Entwistle, The Who bassist, dies in Las Vegas on the verge of a U.S. tour.
George Harrison is gone. It's not totally unforseen, but is still a little sad. Here comes the sun has always been one of my favorites. It has a gentle way of making me smile. That's a nice legacy to leave people .