Archive for the ‘RIP’ Category

RIP Gary Richrath

September 14th, 2015
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690fbcb294ffb5909ebc8e3a72a8d341Everyone who thinks REO Speedwagon are a cheesy 80’s band have never heard their love album, You Get What You Play For. A great straight up rock band.

I’ve always love Gary Richrath as a guitar player. So sorry to hear he passed away this weekend at the young age of 65. May he rest in peace.

I remember watching this one live.

For certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair


Richard Dawson 1932-2012

June 3rd, 2012
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Never mind all those people who are going to want to talk about Family Feud upon the death of Richard Dawson yesterday, he should be remembered for his part as Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk in Hogan’s Heroes.

RIP Richard Dawson, who passed of Esophageal Cancer at the age of 79 yesterday.


RIP , ,

Gary Moore – 1952 – 2011

February 6th, 2011
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From my hometown of Belfast, Gary Moore was one of the greats of guitar, and way too young to die.

Rest in Peace Gary Moore (in the silver jacket):

RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' , , ,

John Lennon: 30 Years Gone

December 8th, 2010
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It’s about the music, the simple, beautiful music. Watching the Wheels, a song about people’s reaction to John dropping out of the music industry to raise his son, Sean, between 1975-1980. It is simple, elegant and beautiful. What more where you looking for in a song?

Rest in Peace John Winston Lennon, 30 years gone.

RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' ,

Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

November 28th, 2010
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Regina lost two times today, at the Grey Cup and favourite son Leslie Nielsen died in Fort Lauderdale, FLA. Nielsen was suffering from pneumonia. He was 84.


Pat Burns 1952-2010

November 19th, 2010
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So sad to hear the news that Pat Burns has lost his battle with cancer. The former police officer and three time NHL coach of the year died today at the too young age of 58.

For Leaf fans under 55, the greatest Leaf season had the hard nose father figure of Pat Burns behind the bench. Few doubt that wonderful year would have happened without him.

The Leafs may be hapless and cupless in the colour TV era, but Burns was neither, winning a cup with New Jersey in 2003. Burns career coaching record is 501-353 (plus a bunch of ties) a stunning .744 winning percentage.

RIP Pat Burns: one of the good ones.


Hockey, RIP , , ,

Former Cambridge Hornet Center Peter Zezel Dies

May 27th, 2009
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Back in the early winter of 2002 my five year old son, and his hockey team, were invited to play at the intermission of a Cambridge Hornets hockey game. It was one of the first, if not the first, game Peter Zezel would play with Cambridge.

Zezel joined Cambridge after almost dying in 2001 of hemolytic anemia, a rare blood condition. Zezel ‘s return to hockey was an accomplishment after his near death, and he was the night I saw him the most dominant player on the ice. He didn’t score all, or even any goals as I recall, but when he was on, the play revolved around him. His passes where ungodly, his puck control far above anybody else on the ice.

Off ice, Zezel was considered a class individual, who retired from a fifteen year NHL career in 1989 to be close to a family member dying of Cancer. His imdb page notes that he was Mustang Player#1 in the 1986 Rob Lowe Cynthia Gibb hockey um… classic, Youngblood. He was also Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson’s cousin.

Yesterday afternoon the family of Peter Zezel made the decision to remove him from life support after a return of the hemolytic anemia. He was 44 years old.

Hockey, RIP , , , , , , , ,

The Day the Music Died

February 3rd, 2009

On Feb 3rd 1959, 50 years ago today, The Winter Dance Party, a travelling rock and roll show, played at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The show featured Frankie Sardo, Dion & The Belmonts, The Big Bopper, Bobby Vee & The Shadows, Jimmy Clanton, Ritchie Valens, Fabian and Frankie Avalon. Buddy Holly and the Crickets headlined.

portraitThe show was moving on to Fargo North Dakota, and Holly chartered a A Beech Bonanza for his band. However, his band didn’t go. Instead, bassist Waylon Jennings gave his seat to The Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson, who had the Flu, and guitarist Tommy Allsup gave his to Ricthie Valens, who won a coin toss at the ballroom for Allsup’ seat on the plane. Upon hearing of the new flying arrangements, Holly told Jennings, “Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up,” to which Jennings replied “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.” Jennings was haunted by the exchange for the rest of his life.

The rest can be told best by the Civil Aeronautics Board:

The aircraft was observed to take off toward the south in a normal manner, turn and climb to an estimated altitude of 800 feet, and then head in a northwesterly direction. When approximately 5 miles had been traversed, the tail light of the aircraft was seen to descend gradually until it disappeared from sight. Following this, many unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the aircraft by radio. The wreckage was found in a filed later that morning.

All aboard the flight died. The only body in the wreckage was that of pilot Roger Peterson. Both Holly and Valens were found seventeen feet from the plane, Richardson’s forty feet.

It was the first major death of the rock and roll era. Twelve years later Don McLean would write American Pie about the accident, noting it was The Day The Music Died. It is a phrase that has stuck and is today generally regarded as such.

There would be more deaths of the rockers we loved. Last week another plane crash, the Lynyrd Skynyrd one was in the news, and Jim Croce also perished in a small plane. There are too many to mention that went by substance abuse, some in car crashes, some suicides. But the Day the Music Died is unquestionably the most remembered, the most cited.

Buddy Holly is, fifty years later, still a major musical figure, one of the absolute greats of rock and roll. Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper less so. But all three are remembered today as pioneers in the music so many of us came to love.

A long, long time ago…

I can still remember

How that music used to make me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance

And, maybe, they?d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver

With every paper I?d deliver.

Bad news on the doorstep;

I couldn?t take one more step.

I can?t remember if I cried

When I read about his widowed bride,

But something touched me deep inside

The day the music died…

And in the streets: the children screamed,

The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.

But not a word was spoken;

The church bells all were broken.

And the three men I admire most:

The father, son, and the holy ghost,

They caught the last train for the coast

The day the music died.

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye

Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry

You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie

‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin'

Billy Powell 1952 – 2009

January 29th, 2009

When rock ‘n’ roll fans think of the Lynyrd Skynyrd sound they usually think of the three guitar assault, the voice of Ronnie Van Zandt.  But a key element in the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd was the piano playing of Billy Powell. Powell was one of the best rock and roll piano players ever and played with Skynyrd from before their first album until his death yesterday of an apparent heart attack at his Florida home.

Powell survived the famous Skynyrd plane crash into a Mississippi swamp that killed Van Zandt, Guitarist Steve Gaines and back-up singer Cassie Gaines with just a facial laceration, although one severe enough that he almost lost his nose. He was the only member of the band able to attend the funerals of his band mates.

In the end, you can’t beat a bad heart, and yesterday Billy Powell called 911 complaining of difficulty breathing. Paramedics found him in the bedroom, apparently still holding the phone. He was 56 years old.

Piano solo at 2:32

RIP, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin'

Saturday Fluffernutter: The Monday Edition

November 10th, 2008

Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

Blair MacLean (1943 – 2008). So sad to hear of the death of the surviving member of MacLean & MacLean, Blair MacLean, of heart attack at age 65 last week. Canadian comedy duo MacLean & MacLean ran from 1972 to 1998, but had their greatest successes through the 1980’s. It is still not Christmas around the Hespeler Towers without MacLean & MacLean Go To Hell spinning once on the turntable.

MacLean’s partner, brother Gary MacLean passed away in 2001 of throat cancer. To mark the kind of man he was, Blair and his wife moved from Nova Scotia to Winnipeg to help care for Gary’s sons after his death.

Note: That’s all I got around to writing last week, and normally would have scrapped the whole thing, but I felt I wanted to pay small homage to Blair MacLean.

Fluffernutter, RIP

Saturday Fluffernutter: Kiddie Diddler Gary Glitter; you say protester, I say…; Isaac Hayes 1942 – 2008 RIP.

August 16th, 2008
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Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

People this week were picketing the L.A. Premiere of Tropic Thunder. Apparently actor Robert Downey Jr. used the word retard, a new no-no in the politically correct world: they are to be called protesters.

Kiddie Diddler Gary Glitter will be released from a Viet Nam prison next Tuesday after serving 2 years and five months of a three month sentence for abusing children. He will then be deported to Britain, where he will be met by police, interviewed and required to sign the sex offender registry.

Glitter has said that returning to Britain is a matter of priority for medical and dental treatment, hopefully because somebody has kicked his teeth in.

The latest Led Zeppelin news, courtesy of Ramble On: Guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Leona Lewis will be part of the “handing over” as part of the closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics on August 24th. Finally a reason, any reason, to watch the Olympics.

Isaac Hayes, performer of “Theme from Shaft,” writer of “Soul Man,” and voice of Chef, died last Sunday at his Memphis Home. Hayes was part of the legendary “Stax records writing and production team, along with David Porter and Booker T and the MGs, was responsible for much of Stax legendary output through the early 1960’s.

Hayes was reportedly found beside his still running treadmill, yet another celebrity to die while exercising.

Fluffernutter, RIP, The Mighty Zep

Bo Diddley: December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008

June 2nd, 2008
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Saturday Fluffernutter: Danny Federici – 1950 – 2008

April 19th, 2008
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Three days after Warren Zevon passed away in 2003 Bruce Springsteen opened his Toronto Skydome show with the song My Ride’s Here. Standing centre-stage accompanied only by violinist Suzie Tyrell on his left and keyboardist Danny Federici playing accordion on his right, Springsteen paid tribute to an old friend, and began the best of six Springsteen shows I have seen. Two days ago, Federici himself succumbed to cancer. The last Springsteen show I saw occured last October, a mere month before Federici would leave the E-Street Band to pursue treatment for his melanoma.

Federici was with Springsteen almost from the beginning, making his first E-Street Band appearance on Springsteen’s 2nd release, 1973’s The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. He would spend the better part of the next 35 years playing organ, and occasional accordion, with them. But he turns up before that, in an earlier Springsteen band called Steel Mill


“Danny and I worked together for 40 years – he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much…we grew up together.”
—Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen also has a video up of the last Federici performance, on March 20, 2008 in Indianapolis:

E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici treated Indianapolis fans to a special appearance at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 20th. Danny’s performance was a profound expression of the healing power of music and community, all the more poignant in light of his death just a few weeks later. Here, from the Indie show, is an excerpt from one of Danny’s signature accordion performances on the rarely-played Sandy.

One of my favourite Springsteen moments, a video of him playing Fire at an acoustic benefit put on by Neil Young for The Bridge, “a San Fransisco – based program that would make available vocal computers for severely handicapped children who otherwise had no way of speaking.” (Glory Days, page 443). It is Springsteen on guitar and singing, Nils Lofgren on guitar and Federici on accordion:

RIP Danny Federici, and thanks for the memories.

I was staying at the Marriott
With Jesus and John Wayne
I was waiting for a chariot
They were waiting for a train
The sky was full of carrion
“I’ll take the mazuma”
Said Jesus to Marion
“That’s the 3:10 to Yuma
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here”

The Houston sky was changeless
We galloped through bluebonnets
I was wrestling with an angel
You were working on a sonnet
You said, “I believe the seraphim
Will gather up my pinto
And carry us away, Jim
Across the San Jacinto
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here”

Shelley and Keats were out in the street
And even Lord Byron was leaving for Greece
While back at the Hilton, last but not least
Milton was holding his sides
Saying, “You bravos had better be
ready to fight
Or we’ll never get out of East Texas tonight
The trail is long and the river is wide
And my ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here”

I was staying at the Westin
I was playing to a draw
When in walked Charlton Heston
With the Tablets of the Law
He said, “It’s still the Greatest Story”
I said, “Man, I’d like to stay
But I’m bound for glory
I’m on my way
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here
My ride’s here

Fluffernutter, RIP, Springsteen is still Boss

Saturday Fluffernutter: Lindsay does Marilyn; Indy does Indy; The Curse of Roadhouse?

March 8th, 2008
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The nutty stories from the fluffy world of celebrities.

Lindsay Lohan has recreated a series of Marilyn Monroe pictures done in 1962, which have come to be known as “the last sitting”. In the pictures Lohan poses nude or virtually nude in a series of unprovocative pictures. Bearing in mind that Lohan is 21 and Marilyn was 36 at the time of her shoot, Marilyn looked better. It takes, really, a fair bit of hubris to decide “I can channel Marilyn Monroe. I can imitate the most enduring sex symbol of the 20th century.” Unfortunately, Lohan has more hubris than the rest of the requisite talents to “do” Marilyn Monroe.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is due in theatres in three months, on May 22. The first trailer has been released and can be seen at the official Indiana Jones site:

He protected the power of the divine.
He saved the cradle of civilization.
He triumphed over the armies of evil…

Best line –
Indy’s associate (could that be Marcus?): “This ain’t going to be easy.”
Indy: “Not as easy as it used to be.”

Roswell New Mexico, Niagara Falls and those cheesy Indiana Jones special effects, this one looks like it has a bit of everything.

It is being reported that Patrick Swayze is fighting Pancreatic Cancer. Camp Swayze is denying reports that he is terminally ill, has lost 20 pounds and the cancer spread over the course of his chemotherapy. Unfortunately, far too often when rumours like this appear, the reports are accurate, the denial just that. Lets hope that Patrick Swayze truly is OK and progressing as well as his people say he is.

I am trying to decide whether Patrick Swayze’s cancer reports, coming the same week as his Roadhouse co-star Jeff Healey succumbed to cancer, is ironic or just a sick twisted coincidence. Either way it’s a sad testament to how pervasive this disease is. If not for Swayze saving the visual and Healey saving the audio, Roadhouse may have turned into one of the worst movies ever. Either way it was saved by two very good performers, both of whom we got bad news this week. I paid my respects to Healey when the news of his death emerged Sunday night so I won’t repeat myself. But I will mention that hearing much of the Healey music this week, I was reminded in retrospect he was an amazing guitarist and musician who, if the Gods granted fame and fortune based on talent alone, would have been a huge star. Truly one of the best, and I would add, a very underrated singer.

Fluffernutter, RIP

Jeff Healey 1966- 2008

March 3rd, 2008
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I first saw Jeff Healey play on the New Music back in the early 80’s. John Roberts was J.D., and he did a story on a blind teenage phenom who played blues guitar with the guitar across his lap. He cited Jimi Hendrix as an influence and played in a very Hendrix style.

Five or six years later, in 1988, Jeff Healey was on the charts with the album See The Light. It included the hit songs Confidence Man, the title track and perhaps Healey’s biggest hit, a wonderful version of John Hiatt’s Angel Eyes. His second album two years later, Hell To Pay, featured a stunning version of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It takes a man among guitar players to tackle a classic Eric Clapton solo but Healey pulled it off.

Sadly, Jeff Healey has fought cancer all his life, losing his sight to Retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, at age one. Last January (2007) it was announced that Healey had had been diagnosed with lung cancer surgery the previous December, and had undergone surgery to remove the cancerous tissue.

Jeff Healey passed away last evening at St. Joseph’s Hospital Toronto. He was 41 years old and leaves a wife and two children, 13-year-old daughter Rachel and three-year-old son Derek. At Home in Hespeler offers condolences to the family of Jeff Healey, a great Canadian talent gone far too young.

from Singles Scene

Guitar Greats, RIP