2016 was a horrible year every which way you look at it and in every walk of life from culture to politics and everything in between. From the death of civility, especially in politics to the death of some of the most iconic, talented and influential people from every corner of music to the national spotlight, we lost so many and Death kept at it all the way to New Year’s Eve with the death of Mash actor William Christopher, 84 (Father Mulcahy). Every year there is always major deaths and lots of them, but none quite to this level of extraordinary people from the beginning of the year with David Bowie to the end of the year with Golden Age Hollywood actress and icon, Debbie Reynolds 24 hours within the death of her daughter an icon in her own right, Carrie Fisher.
Unfortunately, with the aging baby boomers and the few Golden Age celebrities in their 90’s, Norma Lear & Carl Reiner (94), Mel Brooks (90) to celebrities in their 100’s, Kirk Douglas & Olivia DeHaviland (100) and Professor Irwin Corey (102), years like 2016 will be the norm.
For us tail end baby boomers, our youth is disappearing right in front of us.
But hey, it is just LIFE, not to be taken that serious.
2016 took a lot of icons that had a heavy influence in their selected fields, from music, film, writing, news, sports and politics.
David Bowie, 69, Rock Star And Legend, The Man Who Fell To Earth, made a bunch of the greatest albums of all time: Hunky Dory, The Legend Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Alladin Sane, Low, Heroes, Scary Monsters, and Blackstar (Even in death, still shaping pop culture) and tracks of all time: Changes, Rebel Rebel, Life On Mars, Oh You Pretty Things, Jean Genie, Fame, Fashion, Heroes, Sound And Vision, Let’s Dance, The Man Who Sold The World, Stay, TVC 15, DJ, Look Back In Anger, Young Americans, Stay, Golden Years, Moonage Daydream, Starman, etc. etc. and Lazarus
Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, R&B/Rock/Pop/Funk/Disco Star, Multi-instrument Player. Arguably the greatest live performer in the past century. Shockingly died by suicidal overdose. I come to this theory because in his last months on this mortal coil, he almost die while on an airplane, and announced to fans at one of his last shows that he couldn’t play guitar anymore. The fact that he was found dead in the elevator of his massive recording studio eerily resembled his lyrics in “Let’s Go Crazy”:
If the elevator tries to bring you down, go crazy, punch a higher floor. And when he O.D.d he did.
In 5 decades he made some of the greatest albums: Dirty Mind, 1999, Sign Of The Times, Parade, The Gold Experience, Graffiti Bridge, and the last great Renaissance Piece of music and film, Purple Rain, and singles and tracks or all time: Partyup, When You Were Mine, I Wanna Be Your Lover, I Feel For You, 1999, Little Red Corvette, Lady Cab Driver, Free, Let’s Go Crazy, Erotic City, When Doves Cry, Take Me With U, I Would Die 4 U, Kiss, Raspberry Beret, Pop Life, Controversy, Sign Of The Times, Adore, Starfish And Coffee, Hot Thing, U Got The Look, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Gold, Shhh, etc, etc, and Purple Rain.
Sir George Martin (Beatles Producer), Alan Rickman, George Kennedy, Patty Duke, Pat Harrington, Don Calfa (Ozone Park Native, The Corpse of Weekend At Bernie’s), Garry Shandling, Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass, Alan Vega (Suicide), Vanity, Harper Lee, Edward Albee, Robert Vaughn, Maurice White, Malik “Phife Taylor, Ken Howard, Merle Haggard, Doris Roberts, Morley Safer, Juan Gabriel, Gordie Howe, Jo Fox (British Parliament Labour Party Member, assassinated a short time before the Brexit decision), Gordie Howe (the great one before Gretzky), Joe Garigiola, Lonnie MacIntosh, Joanie “Chyna” Lauer (pro wrestling champion, overlooked female pioneer), Scotty Moore (Lead guitarist for Elvis Presley), Garry Marshall, Elie Weisel, Fyuvish Finkel, Gwen Ifill, John McLaughlin, Gene Wilder, Bill Nunn, Jean Shepard (A Christmas Story narrator), Arnold Palmer, Thomas Ford, Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive singer), Kevin Meaney, Shimon Peres, Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson…
… and Muhammad Ali, The Greatest Of All Time
Last year also saw the demise of shame, culture, ethics, morals, honesty, hope, privacy, and affordability. Although those are just things that can be revived if as a nation we all…