The Mike Tyson one...
That's an internet joke, right? Please, tell me it's a fake account.
The shock death yesterday of Prince at the age of 57 prompted immediate worldwide reaction which bore witness both to the man's undeniable talent and influence, and the internet age's obsession with celebrity. The newsgasmic blanket coverage... BBC website featuring blanket Prince coverage The Guadian's website showing …
Re: Seems to be a mass die-off of celebrities at the moment
This was covered by the BBC radio programme 'More or Less' which, in conjunction with the Open University, looks at statistics in public life.
They of course noted the difficulty, because of fuzzy definitions of what one considers a celebrity, but after some analysis they concluded that yes, 2016 has seen more famous deaths than would be expected.
The Guradian's analysis, on the other hand, appears to just be yabbing in about how many z-list celebrities there are these days. Ah well. Prince, Bowie, Rickman, Wood, et al were no mere celebrities, they were famous for being very good at stuff.
But along with the conclusion about a 'bad year' they also offered an explanation, in that the number of celebrities that were recognized increased over the decades from the 1950's onward because of the influence of television (and before that, radio, film, newspapers and theater would all have had their effect on boosting the number).
Those celebrities, who would have been in their 20s and 30s when telly was new, are now in their 70s and 80s. And in the decades after the 60s, celebrities tended to do things that damaged their long-term health ("I hope I die, before I get old"), so are probably candidates for an earlier death.
So it's really not a huge surprise. I predict that the number will increase year-on-year for the next 25 years or so, and then plateau, and then people will lose interest as the Internet age celebrities reach an age when they start dying. Either that, or we'll get Logan's Run type euthanasia, or people will transferred their conscienceless into robots.
Drudgs, look at that cyclist who was stripped of his titles for being found to be on drugs, I mean, winning the tour-de-france whilst ripped off his tits was no mean feat.
Last time I tried drudgs and cycling I couldn't remember where I'd left my fucking bike!
This was covered by the BBC radio programme 'More or Less' which, in conjunction with the Open University, looks at statistics in public life.
A Top Programme, which should be mandatory listening for all commentards.
I often pound the Beeb within these hallowed e-halls, but More or Less is the sort of thing that on its own (well, as a series) justifies the entire licence fee.
You'd think he was the messiah ffs.
Whilst I sort of agree with the sentiment - news channels and the internet have gone way overboard about this - you must acknowledge that he had a massive influence on popular music, not just the songs he performed himself, but all the work he did for other bands, and the industry as a whole.
There are a few radio stations over here at the moment who are currently playing a track from him as roughly every 5th song at the moment and going on non-stop about it.
Seems somewhat hypocritical when I can't recall them playing any of his songs at all for several years now prior to yesterday's sad news.
No denying his influence or talent, I just wish it didn't need his death to get his music actually played. Or maybe I just need to retune my radio again and clean out some of the presets.
"No denying his influence or talent, I just wish it didn't need his death to get his music actually played."
I was in an office on Tuesday and they had some local radio station or other on, and I heard Raspberry Beret. That particular play will stick in mind because of the timing, and what you say. I specifically commented on it; I don't listen to the radio all that much - mostly I think they play utter rubbish, and this was a very enjoyable exception.
There are few things more beloved to the great unwashed than a dead pop/rock star. They go crazy for it. Double crazy if there's a tragically-young angle. You only have to see the utter tosh that was said after Lemmy died, and Jackson, and Cobain, and Elvis, and Lennon, and Morrison.
Prince was a great artist. I liked him. He was a bit weird. Anyone dying at 57 is tragic. That's all that needs said.
But he was, suggested someone who's name I've forgotten, like a cross between the Beatles and James Brown.
Should also have added "crossed with multi-instrumentalist and production wizard Todd Rundgren".
And if I knew the names of any famous stageshow people (Cirque du Soleil?) I'd add them too.
If you want to complain about non-entitities, the Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame is over there somewhere.
The little guy will be missed - but all you doom-sayers out there take note, Keith Richards is still very much alive and kicking and people have been saying "he's next" for nearly 20 years now.
So what's the take home point? Always wear clean underwear and clean your browsing history every time you close your browser.
Iggy Pop was 69 this week.
Respect to the man, but I'll guess that he won't be getting good odds at William Hill. Or maybe he will in person, if they expect that his estate won't collect.
Yeah, yeah, I know it is bad taste. But that is as NOTHING to what I was pulled up for today by a colleague. I wince just to think what I said.
Mind you, this is one of the best comment columns for a long while, so there's a silver lining for all?
Keith Richards is still very much alive and kicking and people have been saying "he's next" for nearly 20 years now.
A bit longer than 20 years methinks. Back in the early 70s when he was in Melbourne I said: "Good morning Keith". He said: "Who the fuck are you?" A real gentleman is Keith :-)
started disappearing back in 1970 when Hendrix died. Been downhill ever since.
It is Friday so time to raise a glass to those who have made so much enjoyable music (pre (c)Rap etc).
To name but a few of those
He's had more that two hits as himself, and he's also written hits for other artists, as well producing them. He's had his own attitude towards the music industry, and was releasing several albums a year which were only sold through his website for a period. But all that doesn't really matter, just watch the man play the guitar:
Ah, the 2007 Superbowl half time show. Thank you
Utterly stunning, in a way which we probably won't see again.
Some suggest his guitar playing in While My Guitar Gently Weeps is worth a look, but as a *show*, the Superbowl has it by a long way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y (WMGGW at the 2004 Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame with a star cast including Prince).
Journo: "Mr Clapton, how does it feel to be the greatest guitar player in the world?"
Clapton: "I don't know, you'd better ask Prince."
BBC 6Music has been doing a stalwart job since the news came out yesterday:
Some stuff I'm delighted to hear again, a few I haven't heard before. Not one I'd rather they'd skipped, which is quite remarkable.
RE 'just watch the man play the guitar:'
Couldn't agree more, I'm a dyed in the wool rock fan but I have always got time for Prince due to his prowess with a guitar and all round musicianship. Checkout Purple Rain, Sign of the Times and the album 'Little Red Corvette' was on (the name escapes me now).
A truly class act...
People invest so much time and energy in to musicians. We buy the records, we listen to them in happy times, sad times, when we first get intimate with a woman or a man.
In really, really shit times for me, I turned to the Manic Street Preachers. The anger of a lot of their songs helped me through dark times. When my Dad died I was listening to the "Wrecking Ball" album by Bruce Springsteen, and the songs on there reminded me of my Dad anyway. But the song "We Are Alive" just stuck out with the lyric:
Let your mind rest easy
Sleep well my friend
It’s only our bodies that betray us in the end
My Dad having had two heart attacks, lung cancer (asbestosis) and a stroke died at the age of 72. It's hard enough having a parent die, but when you're 25 and you know people in their 50's who have both parents still around, you feel robbed of not having that same sort of time with your own father. The song though comforted me though, as really a body is just dust. Whatever is inside us goes beyond the body. Where it goes no one knows, and it's not something I want to expand upon or cause a religioous argument yet again.
After this though, the Manics came out with "Rewind The Film". I was at work and I was beyond excited about the song's release. I watched it, listened to it, and I broke down in the middle of the office. All 6ft 3 of me in an office full of women. Even know writing the last 3 paragraphs it's hard not to get emotional. Yes it was upsetting to listen to but now I can listen to it and be reminded of the times I had with my Dad through my interpretation of the lyrics.
But those two songs from Springsteen and the Manics mean that they are, to me, best friends. They don't know who I am from Adam, but to me they have been there and helped through dark times. So when they inevitably die and break up, I will have lost friends who won't come back and be there for me in another life event.
So when people are voicing their opinions, their experiences, talking about their loss, I think they have every right to do so. Whatever Prince, Bowie, Lemmy etc meant to those people is of no ones concern. Let them mourn someone or miss someone who they may never have met, but might have meant the world to them.
The obvious irony in Prince's death receiving the quintessential social-media-age response is that the guy himself was one of the least "social media" celebrities out there.
Indeed, his attitude towards the Internet in general was ambivalent at best, frequently dismissive of it and outright hostile on occasion.
"On June 12, 2006, Prince received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his "visionary" use of the Internet; Prince was the first major artist to release an entire album, 1997's Crystal Ball, exclusively on the Internet (although he did take phone orders for it as well...1-800-NEW-FUNK)
Actually in the last year he was quite active on twitter and instagram - which he renamed to Prinstagram.
He was actually very funny and to his die in the wool fans (yes I am one) he was very generous. Saw him do 7 nights at Paisley Park in 2002 for $250. Would cost more to see some dross in the charts for a single concert now (ignore the flights/hotels/car rentals etc!).
The outstanding memory - after one show he invited everyone in the audience (probably 1500 of us) to join him at the cinema (that night happened to be a pajama party!) and watch Minority Report and at 1am we were following a white limo through Minneapolis to the local cinema where he had hired the whole thing out and paid for the popcorn and drinks for everyone.
Down vote because you have no clue.
The name change spelling etc. gave him a way out of his contract with the corporate music business.
Sinead got a haircut around that time to fcuk them as well.
World class talent and way way smarter than your wildest wet dream.
"Nothing compares to you"
That article only talks about thyroid cancer ( where the body naturally concentrates iodine, radioactive or not), and I'm suspicious of its tone. Even if I wasn't, then on the assumption that many different environmental factors can contribute to cancer risk, there are just too many factors to take into account. Only the other day, I was listening to the Australian BC Radio National Science Show, and a segment was the risk of throat cancer from cunnilingus (men are more likely to get it as a result of the HPV virus after accounting for hetro/homo folk, so working assumption is that women are afforded some resistance if they encounter it in the cervical area. So yeah, a populations sexual behaviour can change, as does food, chemical pollutants, working patterns, worrying, reading the Daily Mail, etc etc etc etc.
Well, there was quite a buzz around his sell out shows in London (he said he would play as many nights as required for everyone who wanted to see him to see him) and his blistering Super Bowl half-time show.
But yeah, I accept your observation. Maybe you can instigate an annual "Spontanous celebration for famous living person we've not heard much of for a while Day"?
The Grauniad's own obit will likely be in the papers before too long. In recent years it's attempted to become a second class copy of Buzzfeed, and done it sufficiently badly that there's still been a stream of staff moving from Guardian to Buzzfeed UK. If the Grauniad get a few more deals like the Panama Papers they *might* recover a few paying readers, but if they don't, most of what they now offer is available for free elsewhere, and who wants to pay to read paid-for advertorial?
Case in point: Prof Sir David Mackay, RIP. Covered (and covered well) here at El Reg within 24 hours or so:
Mackay wasn't exactly unknown at the Guardian: he'd written a few articles, they'd reviewed SEWTHA, and he was reasonably frequently referenced 'below the line'.
It was several days before they rolled out a Mackay obit (though it was OK when it finally did arrive):
I never saw it get any front page coverage though (had to go looking for it):
6Music's Radcliffe+Maconie starting the show with "delirious". The whole 6Music weekend's going to be similar, and you know what, they can probably fill the weekend with decent tracks without too much duplication. Not that many artists could manage that.
I forget who kicked the bucket at Christmas. It seemed like deaths of public figures were rising. 2016 has amply confirmed this.
I could have swooned to Marilyn Monroe, long before I was really old enough to comprehend the enormity of getting the hots for a woman who died before I'd ever been to school. These days I'd be more captivated by Hedy (and not Hedley) Lamar; and, ffs, Jean Harlow! It freaks me out a little getting an emotional reaction other than sadness, seeing images of these long-dead women. I've been smitten by Grace Slick since my early-teens, yet she was born before either of my parents - both of whom have died. Maybe I'm the only one this bothers (or maybe the others are all at the Funny Farm!); anyway I've certainly thought about it! And it seems pretty clear it's a consequence of these images - of great beauty, of talent, notably moving, talking images, of them at their peak - being preserved, and forever. And it messes with our (or my) gestalting. Or perhaps I mean parsing.(Ironically I find this as difficult a concept as irony!).
Anyway, this effect was amplified by television. After all it's via television I came to feel like I knew those sirens of the silver screen. And (in the UK anyway) I am of the first generation to grow up with TV. And as per Grace Slick, we are seeing, now, that the famous people we grew up with, in Living Colour, preserved at the height of their beauty and/or talent, are old and grey. And at New Year I knew they were going to be popping their clogs at an exponential rate from here on in. It was a very depressing thought! Because, as was particularly noted when Bowie went, they have been a more-or-less constant presence in our lives.
With some, it feels like losing a friend; but overall it's probably like watching the world you knew, die. Seeing how quickly it went by, seeing someone in their twenties for most of your life and suddenly they're in their seventies.
History doesn't really repeat itself, because the race moves on. We are aware of things our ancestors had no conception of (while no doubt we forget hard-won lessons we're too busy to consider). Probably few but Science Fiction writers have an inkling of the psychological effect of personal computing (or massive State surveillance), for the long-term effects of television are only beginning to be felt. No-one in history has experienced the form of loss this first television generation is feeling now.
Maybe some are claiming to be more affected by the death of Prince than seems, for them, believable; but remember the outpouring of grief for Diana; all the flowers, the crowds lining the roads and railway tracks. The only attention I ever paid her was when I was stopped in traffic opposite the Albert Hall and saw her in the limo turning into Kensington Gardens right in front of me; but while I didn't mourn her, even I was shocked - and saddened - by her death. Which felt like there must have been some kind of hole in my life; some emptiness at the core, that this was a surrogate to. Every time I've been shocked when someone part of the incidental scenery of my life has died, I've felt, not quite unconsciously, that it is not that they were dear to me, but that the event re-inflames that raw nerve at the heart of my being, where something is missing but I know not what.
Unlike most of those who've gone this year, Prince didn't shock me. He wasn't on the radar. Likewise Paul Kantner, who otherwise meant a lot more to me than ol'
See how I made this about IT there!
Perhaps my greatest regret is that I won't be around to see how the race - if it ever does - adapts to this phenomena.
dunno about Clapton joking, but I can remember him playing two concerts a year apart at Lancaster Uni in the late 1970's. I was the bouncer on the stage door at both, and Eric was, shall we say "out of it". He was so out of it on the second date that - according to his roadie - the crew didn't bother to plug his guitar in. Nico Ramsden did all the guitar work (or at least, all you could hear).
Funnily enough, the young groupie who insisted she was going backstage with Eric on the second night (when she refused to leave the hall the roadies grabbed her, threw her in the dressing room and slammed the door) ended up briefly as my girlfriend 20 years later. I had a clear memory of that night - she had none, probably due to substance abuse.
Aside from the death of a criminally underrated musician, what really hacks me off is this....the number of people talking about looking for his stuff online so that they can remember a greatly-loved musician, but they can't because he worked so hard to get bootleg material removed from YouTube, etc.
If you really love and admire him that much, you ought to have a load of his stuff on your media player / CD rack already, and not need to go looking for stuff online....unless you're just being reactionary, of course, and never really gave that much of a fig about him while he was alive....
Strange coincidence, but perhaps fitting for such good friends.
After his TV work, Choppers' talent for moving musical instruments landed him a job as a roadie. It was while passing through Minneapolis in the 70's with the Monkees reunion tour that Chopper met Prince and introduced him to the MIND EXPANDING properties of 'little brown bag'. Their week long drinking binges remain legendary in tea culture. And, as they say, the rest is history ...
So.......are we running a sweepstake on the next one to go? Who's the oldest and ugliest?
Strangest thing is....while some of the drug-preserved seem to go on and on, the cleanest living are the ones who get heart attacks. People like Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Dave Brock seem to have been everlastingly pickled
I've read that he's got a vast archive of as-yet unreleased material. Likely worth hundreds of millions.
According to Wiki, he wasn't presently married and had no surviving children. Who will inherit his wealth and future income?
It's very sad when such talent dies young. Almost by definition, effectively irreplaceable.
I am reading comments on FB/Twitter etc about people being 'devastated' by his death..'devastated'? There seems to be no end to the escalation of alleged emotions at the moment.
If my wife or child died, I would be devastated - Prince has died and its a shame but no more than that surely?
As we get older, it seems death gets closer. The young who are "devastated" by this seemingly must have been sheltered and they think that everyone is immortal (or should be). We're not. No one gets out of this life alive. Some go unwillingly, others do it to themselves. And there's those who were in the wrong place at the time being healthy and with their whole life in front of them.
It's sadness all around when the great and the not-great die. If some of these "devastated" people would look beyond the celeb crowd, and maybe at someone they see regularly but never talk to, the world might be better off. There's too much hiding behind the computer/smartphone and not enough real human face-to-face interaction.
As we get older, it seems death gets closer.
Not just seems; it does. I went close for the third time last December. Good to make a habit of looking up old friends before they go. Odd thing about the "celeb crowd", or the ones I've known anyway, is that they are all just people like you and me.
See the forums.
I'm not "devastated", but I am a wee bit sad that that talent will not be around.
Much can be said for his talent. Even more about his ego. The last tour he did was completely unlike the music industry standard of announcing a year in advance and selling ahead of the curve. It made the shows much more appealing (even if I did miss out). And the turnouts he got made it abundantly clear he was still massively popular. (he did two here in T.O. with only 8 hours notice, both sold out, and *not* a tiny venue)
The intertubz reactions to "stars" dying lately does tend to go over the top, especially in light of the lack of reactions to things like the quakes in Japan, mass shootings in sub-Saharan Africa, bombings in various locations around the Arab world and events in "The Stans" or Turkey of late.
I will agree in some respect with Jason B's comment, if we all (the species) saw one another more closely than "those people over there" we'd be a better creature as a species, however I think that we (as a species) would need to have far better ability to separate our emotional and logical circuits. (This from the kid who was constantly referred to as Spock when it came to relationships in school). Perhaps the celebrity of death will help us all learn to be a little more open minded. (I can hope.....)
In any case, I'll be listening to my 80's station tonight -- all 80's friday night and I'm quite sure they'll get lots of Prince in there.
When he bought a farm in Chanhassen, first thing he did was put snow fence all around it and had a silver K-car with 'security' stenciled on the side blocking the driveway. Took something like a year to get a proper chain link fence and gate put in. You'd think with his money he could have got it done in a few months. Oh, well, gave us all something to shake our heads about.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sad product known as snow fence, look here:
For those lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the K car, I won't ruin your day...
And aren't guitars heavy?
Depends. It used to be that if you wanted a nice long sustained note, yes*. But these days it's all done with electronicz...
* Or Godley and Creme's Gizmo. Small, keyed plastic wheels that pressed down on the strings, yielding resonant, synthesizer-like sounds from each string.
It's not the moderators' fault- your comment just took time to get here from the South Pacific. You might want to pay your ISP extra to have it sent by air instead of land (those boats take their time to carry IP packets halfway across the world).
If you *will* live in a far-off part of the world named after a Rogers and Hammerstein musical, what do you expect?
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