Deaths mark horrible month for music fans

04Apr 2016
Editor
The Guardian
Deaths mark horrible month for music fans

FOR the last 30 days music fans in Tanzania and the world in general,have been rocked by a succession of deaths of icons across the genres — a potentially heavenly super-group that would have David Bowie and Natalie Cole on vocals,

Glenn Frey on guitar, Motorhead's Lemmy on bass and Mott the Hoople vet Dale Griffin banging the drums.

It does feel, to paraphrase "American Pie" singer Don McLean, like the month the music died. (As for McLean, he himself contributed to this feeling of musical malaise after being arrested last Monday on a charge of domestic assault.)

The current spate of future sad-song lyrics started with the news that Lemmy, the gravelly-voiced heavy metal pioneer whose real name was Ian Fraser Kilmister, succumbed to cancer on December, 28 last year.

Those not familiar with Motorhead's brand of hyper-fast, punk-infused music could hear its influence in bands like Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer.

Three days later, Grammy winner Cole died from heart failure induced by lung disease. She may have been Nat "King" Cole's daughter, but she emerged as an R&B force in her own right. Her cover of her dad's "Unforgettable" still lives up to its title.

On January10, this year, Bowie also passed away after a battle with cancer, one that he hid from his fans. Exploding onto the music scene with the 1969 song "Space Oddity," the British rock and roll icon never stopped evolving.

Generations of fans followed him from his Ziggy Stardust days and his gender-bending sexuality through his '70s anthems and into his MTV-friendly dapper pop of the 1980s.

He left those fans a heck of a goodbye present, a new album, "Blackstar," released on his birthday on Jan. 8, two days before his death.

Griffin, who also collaborated with Bowie on Mott the Hoople's signature hit, "All the Young Dudes," followed his friend to the great beyond eight days later.

Frey, a founding member of the iconic classic rock band The Eagles, died at the age of 67 in New York City, the victim of complications of rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

Eagles co-founder Don Henley called the singer/guitarist, the band's "spark-plug," and as the voice behind "Take It Easy," it's hard to argue.

And though less well-known by mainstream audiences as the rest of the names that will unfurl during "In Memoriam" segment at the Grammy Awards next month, the world sounds a little poorer after the death of soul singer Otis Clay.

His 1972 gospel-powered hit, "Trying to Live My Life Without You," is now a more literal anthem for his fans. And another loss for the music industry in a 30 day span rife with them.
ends