Tag Archives: age

Chuck Berry – Dead at age 90

Artist: Chuck Berry
Tune: Johnny B Goode

From WaPo:

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.

St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him No. 6 on its list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Mr. Berry so embodied the American rock tradition that his recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on a disc launched into space on the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977. (More at WaPo)

 

Prince dead at age 57

Prince belongs with a handful of musicians who changed everything. After you heard Purple Rain (or When Doves Cry, I Wanna Be Your Lover, or Pop Life), music changed for you a little bit. It was different. Better. Richer.

Prince. His Purple Badness is dead at age 57.

From Rolling Stone:

A singular force, he famously performed, produced and wrote nearly all of his own songs at the beginning of his career and would go on to build a music empire out of his home near Minneapolis as he expanded his musical vocabulary. Four of his albums topped the Billboard 200, and the RIAA awarded 20 of his LPs with gold, platinum and multiplatinum plaques.

At the peak of his career in the early Eighties, Prince embraced acting. He starred in the 1984 blockbuster Purple Rain and would go on to appear in 1986’s Under the Cherry Moon and 1990’s Graffiti Bridge, the latter two of which he also directed. He also wrote the screenplay for Graffiti Bridge.

Prince won several awards for his music in his lifetime. His first major trophy was a Grammy for his Purple Rain album in 1984; that same year, he also won a Grammy for writing “I Feel for You,” which Chaka Khan had made a hit. The next year, he took home an Oscar for the Purple Rain score in 1985. The following year he earned another Grammy for “Kiss,” and won two more in 2004 for the songs “Musicology” and “Call My Name,” both of his 2004 album Musicology. In 2007, he earned another for “Future Baby Mama,” off his Planet Earth LP. He won several MTV Music Video Awards dating back to the mid Eighties and he won a Golden Globe for “The Song of the Heart,” which appeared in Happy Feet.

Roger Ebert dead at age 70

roger ebert

I truly love movies. Back in the day, when I had time, it really didn’t matter what kind of movie was in the theater, if I had time I would go. I saw Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (one of the worst movies of all-time!!!). Nope, I wasn’t drunk. I went to the movies because I loved all of it. In the late 1980s, the sound systems got better. We got stadium seating and nice comfortable chairs. I really and truly love going to movies.

In both high school and college I took film criticism courses. I learned about jump cuts, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and D. W. Griffin. I learned about lighting and how it can tell a story. I simply loved movies but when I read about movies in the newspaper (we had newspapers back then) I despised the contempt most film critics had for just about everything. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about see Richard Corliss from Time Magazine.) Then, somehow, there was Roger Ebert. He was a guy who can enjoy a regular movie.  The rest of the film critics, at least to me, seem to hate movies and love to find flaws which they can pick apart. It wasn’t that Roger Ebert didn’t see the flaws. He did. But he was able to see past the flaws and enjoy the movie anyway.

Almost none of the formal, stuffy-nosed critics liked the 1977 classic Star Wars. Roger Ebert did. As a matter of fact, Ebert was with us, the regular folks. He loved it. That may be one of the reasons that I truly enjoyed listening to and reading Roger Ebert. He was genuine.

I will truly miss Roger Ebert. As a matter fact, the last year or so, I’ve been following his tweets. He embraced technology, another aspect to enjoy about his personality.

My heart goes out to his family.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Roger Ebert loved movies.

Except for those he hated.

For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.

“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”