the music’s over…but the songs live on
I’ve known Vinnie for over twenty years and his wife for even longer. We worked together for many years over at the Capitol-EMI distribution offices in Glendale and Burbank, and then he went to Cleveland and eventually I moved to Minnesota with another company. He still toils in the music business trenches while this is pretty much it for me, but we have kept in touch over the years and actually every morning on Facebook he posts his blog links about dead musicians who have passed on this particular date.
This is what his blog covers: Dead Rock Stars. Dead Country Singers. Rock Stars who committed suicide. Rock star Final resting places. Dead Punk Bands. Murdered Rock Stars. Dead Jazz Musicians. Drug Addicts. Junkies. Rock Stars Who Overdosed. Manslaughter. Rappers Who Were Murdered. Gunned Down. Rock Star Grave Sites. Jazz Heroin. Dead Punk Rocker. Murdered Punk. Junkie Rock Stars. Rock and Roll Heaven. Rock ‘n Roll Heaven. Rock Stars On Drugs. Rapper On Drugs. Rock ‘n Roll Groupies. Rock and Roll Grave Yard. Murdered Musicians. Heavy Metal. Glam. Disco.
You learn something new every darn day. For example, April 17th is day literally littered with death. In different years on this date, here’s who died: Eddie Cochran, Chris Gaffney, Linda McCartney, Sable Starr, Danny Federici, Carlton Barrett and Felix Pappalardi. Vinnie provides a brief write-up of each artist and their accomplishments, sometimes adds a video or music clip and shares a little about their death.
“Felix Pappardi wore many hats during his music career. As a producer, he worked with the likes of Joan Baez, the Youngbloods, and most famously, Cream. As an arranger, he worked on albums by Tom Paxton and Fred Neill. As a musician, he played bass for Mountain. And as a songwriter, he co-wrote one of Cream’s biggest hits, “Strange Brew.” It has been reported that Pappalardi had to retire early because he became partially deaf due to the loudness of Mountain shows.”
I knew all that, but what I didn’t know was that on this date in 1983, Felix was gunned down by his wife. Although she claimed is was an accident, she was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide.
Vinnie’s blog is a treasure trove of information and he covers all sorts of souls. And although he manages to do a pretty good job of scouring the news throughout the day, he also welcomes those of us who also keep our eyes and ears open for those that have their’s permanently shut. It’s a bleak gig…but here’s how he came to create the site:
“Back in February of 2008, I had heard that the great Buddy Miles had passed away, so I started searching the various so-called celebrity death sites to see what I could find out. To my astonishment, there were no mentions at any of these places. And then just two days later, Mike Smith the amazing lead singer of the Dave Clark Five passed away. Again, no mention in the celebrity death blog-o-sphere. I felt I had to right this injustice.
So, in honor of Buddy Miles and Mike Smith, I present you, THE MUSIC’S OVER. A place to honor those who have made us dance, reflect, laugh and cry.”
Reflection…that’s what I do each morning when I check in and see who has passed on this date. Sometimes it’s an “oh yeah…I forgot that guy” and other times it can be “wow…had no idea she died”. And more often than not, I take a moment to listen to a song of theirs, or watch a video. If it’s someone I didn’t really know much about, I might dig a little deeper (no pun inteneded).
I like that Vinnie keeps this site alive (again…darn…no pun intended) and I love the tagline of “but the songs live on“.
Because they do, you know.