December 3 2015 saw the sudden, but not all that unexpected death of former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver vocalist Scott Weiland, at the not great age of forty eight.
Three weeks later, and just four days after he was at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles celebrating his 70th birthday, former Hawkwind vocalist, and current Motorhead writer, bassist and singer; Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister ceased to be at his home…shortly after playing a video game that staff at Hollywoods “Rainbow Bar and Grill” had brought to him, on finding out he was unwell. Only two days before his death, had he had been told of cancerous tumors in his brain and neck.
OK, 2015, you were an ass and we get that, but what has followed in the year since has been a poke in the eyes, a kick in the balls, and a red hot poker (sideways) up the arse. Never have so many talented and renowned musicians been taken in such a short period of time, never have we seen the demise of so many artists. 2016 you fucking suck.
Headbangerwoman touched on the death of David Bowie in January, also just a few days after celebrating his birthday, and the release of his latest record BLACKSTAR. Bowie was 69 and had been living with liver cancer for quite some time.
With many music fans still in mourning over Bowie, a slow and steady cull of musicians starts to occur
Glenn Frey of The Eagles at age 67 on January 18
Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane 74 on January 28
Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire at age 74 on February 3
Former Prince protege Denise “Vanity” Matthews who was only 57, died on February 15
Country singer Sonny James died on February 22 at age 87
Joey Feek, one half of Country duo “Joey and Rory” was next, at the very young age of 40. Yet another cancer victim. March 4 was the date
Emerson Lake and Palmers Keith Emerson was next. At age 71 he died on March 11
March also saw the deaths of Frank Sinatra Jnr at age 72, and Phife Dawg aged 45
Merle Haggard departed on April 6 at the age of 76
Of course after Bowie, the next real shock death was Prince. The musician had been reported as having a very heavy cold just days earlier, and his plane had made an emergency landing to allow him to receive medical treatment. Prince was actually playing a few sold out shows in the US, and recordings of him at those concerts show an upbeat, intense, and incredible performer. Unfortunately the purple one was in the grips of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, and it would be a self administered fatal dose of that very same drug that would kill him at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota on April 21. Prince Rogers Nelson was 57 years old
The remainder of April and heading into May the Grim Reaper took
Papa Wemba 66
Billy Paul 80
Jane Little 87
Emillio Navaira 53
Guy Clark 74
Nick Menza formerly with Megadeth at age 51
June didn’t let up either…the old guy with the scythe just kept on coming…
Singer and You Tube sensation Christina Grimmie was murdered at a public appearance aged just 22 years old
Grammy winner Ralph Stanley was taken on June 23 age 79
Bernie Worrell followed on June 24 at the age of 72
Elvis’s guitarist Scotty Moore was next on June 28 at the respectable age of 84
Clarinet player Peter Fountain was a few years older at 86. He departed on August 6
August wasn’t done yet though…
Three Doors Down founder Matt Roberts died August 20
Toots Thielemans August 22 at 94
Juan Gabriel on August 28 at the age of 66
September was a better month unless you were Shawty Lo, who died on September 21 at the young age of 40
Late October saw another sudden death, this time of Dead (or Alive) singer Pete Burns. Cardiac arrest was the reason. Burns was very well known for having over 250 plastic surgeries. He was 57.
Leonard Cohen was the next “big” musician to cease breathing. At 82 Cohen had previously found major success, not only as a performer in his own right, but as a prolific writer for other musicians. In reports given out by the press it seemed that Cohen was aware he would shortly depart and was ready for the journey. He died on November 7
November also took
Pianist Leon Russell 74
Holly Dunn 59
Sharon Jones 60
With November out of the way, you’d think that we could breathe a sigh of relief, but no, no, no
Christmas Eve saw the expiry of long time Status Quo staple Rick Parfitt. Though suffering from heart issues for many years, it is reported that a bout of pneumonia was the cause of death.
Boxing Day, December 26 saw the very shocking death of former Wham, and very successful solo artist George Michael, at the age of just 53. Michael had been expected to attend a function with his partner Fadi Fawaz. Fawaz tells that he arrived at Michaels home to find him dead in bed. Medical investigation is still ongoing.
Singer (and of course; very, very famous movie star) Debbie Reynolds was the most recent to die at the age of 84 died, she died on December 28…just yesterday. Did you know that her song “Tammy” ousted Elvis Presley from the #1 spot in 1957….Well now you do
So 2016 was a sad year indeed for music fans. Of course there are so many more celebrity deaths that have occurred in 2016, that it just adds to the huge sense of loss felt by fans of music and movies. But Headbangerwoman has chosen to stick those remembered for their music, for this article
Here’s hoping that 2017 can leave the fuck alone, all of the fabulous musicians that remain with us, and perhaps provide us with some future stars
Let’s raise a glass to hopes of a MUCH Happier New Year
KG Headbangerwoman December 29 2016
As a writer, you generally focus on one particular genre; be it music, politics, art or current affairs.
As a long time sufferer of several chronic illness, Headbangerwoman Karen Graham has also contributed to a few articles to health related websites, and now she has published a book about living with chronic illness, under the pen name Erica Worth.
In 1994 Headbangerwoman didn’t pay to gain entry to The Phoenix Festival in Long Marston, Stratford Upon Avon, England, where a much younger and way edgier NOFX took the main stage, early on Sunday July 17. Again on November 7 2016, Headbangerwoman didn’t pay to be granted access to the first of two SOLD OUT NOFX shows at Union Hall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The most recent show came with pit access; Not that being at eye level with Fat Mikes pasty knees is really an admirable spot, but at least it provided a barrier between Headbangerwoman and 600 sweaty, rowdy fans who were already shoving, clamouring, and hurling, um…”stuff.” Not to mention the odd prick hurling themselves.
Even before the band appeared on stage there was an urgency for some to start pushing and shoving the crowd towards the barrier. Security, while trying their hardest to diffuse any situations that were brewing were advised by the bands management to leave it alone. They did just that and the intensity appeared to level out…there are no reports of major injuries.
Aside from one compete prick jumping on stage and kicking Fat Mike in the ankle that he’d recently injured at a Vancouver show, there was relatively little in the way of knob headedness. Maybe he was hoping he’d get kicked in the head and have a story to tell….
NOFX fans are in the crowd to drink in the atmosphere. This show had atmosphere in gallon buckets. There was (as always) banter, and there was drinking, but most importantly there was music.
MOST in the crowd sang along to every last motherfucking song at this show. They were probably four years old when Headbangerwoman attended her first NOFX show. Bridging the age gap is apparently something that these four middle aged, less than conforming blokes do well. They certainly managed to attract every misfit and freak in the Greater Edmonton for this show. A formidable achievement. Bo Derek had long since done a runner, and most of those in attendance would be in fact leaving to go home with Bo Diddley….
While many would be reviled at a middle aged portly bloke with a mohawk, wearing a black dress, and preaching his particular brand of art on a stage, in this moment it was exactly perfect. Michael Buble, while he is surely pleasant and all that, just doesn’t have what it takes, like Fat Mike does.
NOFX have managed near cult status, while keeping it so ground roots that it almost beggers belief, and it seems entirely possibly that they could pull off a full week of SOLD OUT shows in this very conservative town, no issue.
Tonight will be the same, but different…
Huge thanks to Chad
KG Headbangerwoman November 8 2015
Photography by Karen Graham All Rights Reserved
The story is that Stahmer, founder of the Farm Rock series, has been screwing people over.
His FB profile….and him, are nowhere to be found.
Read Eddie Trunks story here.
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Picture by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli Photography
With Carla Turco