Entries tagged with: RIP

25 result(s) displayed (76 - 100 of 403):

by Bill Pearis

stormPinkfloydGabrielHouses of the Holy

Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, has died aged 69, the band's management has confirmed.

A childhood friend of the founding members of the band, he became their designer-in-chief, fashioning a string of eye-catching creations.

Most-famously he designed the prism spreading a spectrum of colour across The Dark Side Of The Moon.

His credits also include albums by Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and Muse.

His family released a statement saying he died peacefully on Thursday surrounded by family and friends.

"He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003," it said.

"He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia."

Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist Dave Gilmour released a statement in which he said the artworks Thorgerson created for the band had been "an inseparable part of our work". - [BBC]

As one-third of groundbreaking graphic design company Hipgnosis, Storm Thorgerson helped create some of the most iconic album covers of the '70s and early-'80s (hell, ever), including T-Rex's Electric Warrior, Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Peter Gabriel's third album (the melty one), not to mention most of the art for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. When that company disolved in 1987, Thorgerson formed Storm Studios and continued working with Pink Floyd, as well as doing covers for Catherine Wheel, Muse, Ween, Audioslave and many more. Rest in peace, Storm.

Most of his work with Hipgnosis can be seen here and a couple video interviews with Storm are below.

Continue reading "Legendary album art designer Storm Thorgerson, RIP"

by Bill Pearis

IMAGE

I wish it weren't true, but as much as it pains me to write these words, Scott passed away on April 15, 2013. He was a wonderful, loyal friend as well as a brilliant musician, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

Scott had been planning to start recording a new Game Theory album, Supercalifragile, this summer, and was looking forward to getting back into the studio and reuniting with some of his former collaborators.

If listening to Scott's own music is too painful for you right now, as it is for me, I can tell you that he absolutely loved David Bowie's new album, The Next Day. He found Bowie's late-career resurgence to be hugely inspirational. I'm sure that if there had been a 2013 chapter of Music: What Happened?, one of the songs from that album would have been right at the top. - [Loudfamily.com]

This is a big bummer. I have a deep affection Scott Miller's '80s band, Game Theory, who mixed '60s influences with powerpop and new wave. Their albums The Big Shot Chronicles and Lolita Nation still get pulled out fairly often on my stereo. His post-GT band, The Loud Family, were pretty great too.

In addition to his contribution as a musician, Scott was a huge music nerd/enthusiast and his best-of-year lists (1966 - 1999) on Loud Family's website were a giant source of discovery for me, personally. He turned that and other writing on the site into a fantastic book, Music: What Happened?, which is highly recommended. Scott was 53. Rest in peace.

If you're unfamiliar with Game Theory, their many out-of-print albums were made available to download for free here via Loud Family. (You should really grab Lolita Nation.) The videos for Game Theory singles "Erica's Word" and "The Real Sheila" are below.

Continue reading "Scott Miller (Game Theory, Loud Family), RIP"

Deftones

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who suffered from a serious car accident in 2008, has passed away at 42. A statement from his family (via Billboard) reads:

Our dearest Family,

This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.

He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi's son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.

With great love and "Much Respect!" Mom J (and Chi)

Chi is a founding member of the band and has played on all of their albums, except the two most recent ones -- 2010's Diamond Eyes and 2012's Koi No Yokan -- because of his condition. Rest in peace, Chi. You'll be missed.

Watch some videos from his time in the band below...

Continue reading "Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, RIP"

winters

Mr. Winters was at his best when winging it, confounding television hosts and luckless straight men with his rapid-fire delivery of bizarre observations uttered by characters like Elwood P. Suggins, a Midwestern Everyman, or one-off creations like the woodland sprite who bounded onto Jack Paar's late-night show and simperingly proclaimed: "I'm the voice of spring. I bring you little goodies from the forest."

A one-man sketch factory, Mr. Winters could re-enact Hollywood movies, complete with sound effects, or create sublime comic nonsense with simple props like a pen-and-pencil set. - [NY Times]

Comedian and improv legend Jonathan Winters died last night (4/11) at his home in Monteceto, CA. He was 87. A few clips of his still-hilarious comic mind are below. Rest in peace, Jonanthan.

Continue reading "Jonathan Winters, RIP"

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Don Blackman

Musician Don Blackman has passed on, reports Fact, after losing his battle with cancer:

Don Blackman (September 1, 1953 - April 11, 2013[1]) was an American jazz-funk pianist, singer, songwriter, producer born in Queens, New York.
Blackman's neighbor as a child was Charles McPherson, and while still a teenager he played in McPherson's ensemble with Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. At the beginning of the 1970s, he played with Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Roy Ayers, before becoming a member of Lenny White's group Twennynine, for whom he penned songs such as "Peanut Butter" and "Morning Sunrise". He released his self-titled debut solo album in 1982 on Arista Records, including the songs "Holding You, Loving You", "Heart's Desire" and "Since You've Been Away So Long" that became minor hits in Europe.
I first came across the music of Don Blackman via the song "Holding You, Loving You," which was sampled on the classic underground hip hop track "Too Complex" by L. The Head Toucha. Later I came to realize the breadth of his influence in the above mentioned groups, as well as penning tracks as a session musician for the likes of Kurtis Blow, Bernard Wright, Sting, Roy Ayers, Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur and many many others.

R.I.P. Mr. Blackman. Stream two of his classics below.

Continue reading "Don Blackman, R.I.P."

Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in postwar British and world politics and the only woman to become British prime minister, has died at the age of 87.

She suffered a stroke Monday, her spokeswoman said.

Thatcher's funeral will be at St. Paul's Cathedral, with full military honors, followed by a private cremation, the British prime minister's office announced.

Thatcher served from 1975 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the "Iron Lady" for her personal and political toughness.

She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that. -[CNN]

Say what you will about Margaret Thatcher, but there's no arguing her regime (1979 - 1990, and she became leader of the conservative party in 1975) inspired a lot of great music and it could be argued she was as big an influence on UK punk/postpunk as The Ramones and The New York Dolls.

Continue reading "Margaret Thatcher, RIP"

Andy Johns

Andy Johns, the veteran producer and engineer who worked on classic albums by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and many others, has died at the age of 61. The news was confirmed to Billboard.biz by guitarist Stacy Blades, who was working on an untitled project with Johns until the producer was hospitalized last week.

No cause of death was immediately available for the British-born Johns, the younger brother and uncle, respectively, of fellow producer/engineers Glyn Johns and Ethan Johns. However, Blades said liver trouble was one reason why Johns had been hospitalized.

...

Johns' engineering resume, meanwhile, was dotted with landmark sets by the Stones -- including "Sticky Fingers," "Exile On Main Street," "Goats Head Soup" and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" -- Led Zeppelin's "II" through "Physical Graffiti" as well as albums by Mott the Hoople, Jethro Tull and many more. Johns relocated to Los Angeles during the 1970s, where he worked with Van Halen, Joni Michell, Ozzy Osbourne, Cinderella and Eddie Money. [Billboard]

Rest in peace, Andy. Listen to some songs he engineered below...

Continue reading "Andy Johns, RIP"

by Bill Pearis

Siskel & Ebert

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert has died, reports The Chicago Sun-Times, the paper where he worked since 1967. He and Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel influenced the nation first with their movie review show Sneak Previews on PBS and then At the Movies and Siskel & Ebert in syndication. Gene Siskel died in 1999 from complications with brain surgery. Ebert contracted thyroid cancer in the early '00s and in 2006 post-surgical complications left him unable to speak, but his love of movies never went away.

On Tuesday (4/2), the 46th anniversary of his hire at the Sun-Times, he announced on his blog that his cancer had come back and was taking a "leave of presence." He was 70.

In addition to being the world's most famous movie critic, he also was a screenwriter for cult director Russ Meyer, having penned the screenplay to 1970's sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The pair were hired by Malcolm McLaren to make a Sex Pistols movie, Who Killed Bambi, but production was halted when the backers read the screenplay (which he published on his blog in 2010). Hopefully Gene saved you the aisle seat. Rest in peace, Rog.

A few classic Siskel & Ebert clips are below...

Continue reading "Roger Ebert, RIP"

Phil Ramone

A native of South Africa who at age 10 performed as a violinist for Queen Elizabeth II, Ramone spent years working as a songwriter, engineer and acoustics expert in New York before charting a path that would make him a trusted studio partner in the eyes (and ears) of the industry's biggest stars.

Among the albums on which he worked were Streisand's 1967 live 'A Happening in Central Park'; Paul & Linda McCartney's 'Ram' (1971), sandwiched between the Beatles and Wings eras; Dylan's aching 'Blood on the Tracks' (1975); Simon's pop classic 'Still Crazy After All These Years' (1975); Joel's critical and commercial breakthrough 'The Stranger' (1977); Sinatra's last-gasp 'Duets' (1993), a model of technical wizardry; and Charles' final album, the mega-selling 'Genius Loves Company' (2004). - [Billboard]

Phil Ramone, who was hospitalized in February for an aortic aneurysm, died this morning. Rest in peace, Phil. The music lives on.

Deke Richards (center) with Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren
Deke Richards

Deke Richards, a producer and songwriter who was part of the team responsible for Motown hits like "I Want You Back" and "Maybe Tomorrow," died Sunday at age 68, according to a press release from Universal Music. He had been battling esophageal cancer.
Richards was leader of "The Corporation," Motown's songwriting and producing team that was also made up of Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren. The group wrote several hits for the Jackson 5, including "ABC" and "The Love You Save."
Richards co-wrote "Love Child" for Diana Ross & The Supremes, which went on to be a No. 1 hit. -[CNN]
Richards is responsible for writing/producing tracks for Bobby Darin, Diana Ross, Martha and the Vandellas, The Blackberries, Stacie Johnson and many others over the years, helping solidify Motown as the powerhouse that it once was.

Deke Richards may have passed, but his legacy and influence will live forever. Rest in peace, sir.

"RIP beloved friend. I just can't believe you are gone. Will miss you terribly" - Britta Phillips

"So sad that friend #ScottHardkiss has passed on! His music and vivid memories will stay in my heart! #RIP" - Josh Wink

"Very sad to hear Scott Hardkiss has left us" - Optimo

"RIP Scott Hardkiss who made some of my all time favorite techno records and helped change music." - Tricia Romano

"Rest in Power @scotthardkiss ...you live thru your legacy #rip" - KingBritt

"RIP Scott Hardkiss a pioneer a legend a visionary man! My prayers go out to his loved ones and family!" - Junior Sanchez


Scott Hardkiss

"Scott Hardkiss (Scott Friedel), a San Francisco DJ who played a key role in the development of America's rave scene in the 1990s, has died, Big Shot magazine reported yesterday. The cause of death was not specified. Friedel was 43." [Philip Sherburne, SPIN]
Super sad news today about Scott, who, though he has tweeted since, on March 20th posted one final Facebook message that read "Friends...how many of us have them? Friends...ones we can depend on?" Rest in Peace friend.

Continue reading "Scott Hardkiss, RIP"

by Bill Pearis

vintage WFNX bumper sticker...
wfnx

In a poignant signal of a fast-changing media landscape, The Boston Phoenix sent out a short and simple tweet Thursday afternoon: "Thank you Boston. Good night and good luck."

With that terse dispatch, the ground-breaking, Boston alternative weekly, which only six months ago reinvented itself from tabloid newspaper into glossy magazine, put a final punctuation mark on its announcement that its current issue, dated March 15, will be its last. - [Boston.com]

We were sad to learn that Boston's alternative weekly, The Boston Phoenix, shut its doors last week. We were even sadder to hear that WFNX, Phoenix Media/Communication Corp.'s radio station which went from a terrestrial to online in 2008, played its last song ("Old Friend" by Sea Wolf) on Tuesday (3/19) at midnight. Back in the late '80s and early '90s, WFNX was one of the best commercial alternative radio stations in the country, with a rotation that seemed to be made by music lovers and not just a cookie-cutter playlist of other stations's playlists. You'll both be missed.

Not all bad news: the Phoenix's sister publications in Providence, RI and Portland, Maine will stay in business.

Jason Molina at Williamsburg Waterfront in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Jason Molina

Jason Molina, who has recorded as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and under his own name, passed away on Saturday (3/16), according to Chunklet. His death was due to organ failure caused by alcohol consumption.

Jason had been in and out of rehab since 2009, but in 2012 he resurfaced with a great collection of new songs, Autumn Bird Songs. In addition to that release, Jason put out some of the best lo-fi, slowcore, and folk of the '90s and 00's with his very impressive discography. You'll be missed, Jason. Rest in peace.

Listen to a track from Autumn Bird Songs along with some classic songs and videos below...

Continue reading "Jason Molina, RIP"

RIP

Clive Burr, the former drummer of Iron Maiden, died last night at the age of 56. Burr had been suffering from multiple sclerosis, and he died in his sleep.

"This is terribly sad news," said Maiden founder/bassist Steve Harris on the group's official site. "Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time." - [Rolling Stone]

The world is a little less thunderous now. Rest in peace, Clive. Video of Clive in action is below...

Continue reading "Clive Burr (former Iron Maiden drummer), RIP"

Peter Banks

Jon Anderson has paid homage to fellow Yes founding member Peter Banks, who died March 8 at at age 65.

Anderson told Premiere Radio Networks' Sal Cirrincione: "Peter was in good spirits the last couple of times we spoke, even though he had been in bad health of late, but always joking and still ready to create music. I will miss him."

Anderson also confirmed it was Banks who originally came up with the 'Yes' moniker.

"It is true, he was the one who said: 'Yes, we should call the band Yes.' Bless him... a sweet guy... and a wild guitar player."

The current line-up of Yes issued this collective statement: "We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of fellow bandmate and founding Yes member, Peter Banks. He was a huge piece of the fabric that made Yes what it is and our thoughts, sincere condolences and prayers are with him and his family. Peter, we shall miss you greatly." [Classic Rock Magazine]

The unfortunate news above (via Daily Swarm) is that Peter Banks, who recorded on the first two Yes albums, passed away last week (3/8) at age 65. Rest in peace, Peter. Your contributions to rock music will be remembered.

Stream some tracks below...

Continue reading "Peter Banks (of Yes), RIP"

Alvin Lee

WITH GREAT SADNESS WE HAVE TO ANNOUNCE THAT
ALVIN UNEXPECTEDLY PASSED AWAY EARLY THIS MORNING
AFTER UNFORSEEN COMPLICATIONS FOLLOWING A ROUTINE SURGICAL PROCEDURE.

WE HAVE LOST A WONDERFUL MUCH LOVED FATHER AND COMPANION,
THE WORLD HAS LOST A TRULY GREAT AND GIFTED MUSICIAN.

JASMIN, EVI AND SUZANNE

Alvin, sadly, is none other than Alvin Lee of Ten Years After. The shredder passed with quite the legacy though, having played Woodstock with his band and launching a fruitful solo/session career in the early seventies playing with names like Bo Diddley, George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood, Mick Fleetwood, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Frampton and more. Though his guitar skills were nothing short of killer, Ten Years After will probably be best remembered for their hit "I'd love to change to world," which you can stream below.

RIP Alvin, though you are gone, you cannot be forgotten.

Continue reading "RIP Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee"

Bobby Rogers

Bobby Rogers, one of the founding members of the Miracles, the Motown group that shot singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson into worldwide fame, died Sunday morning in his Southfield home after complications from diabetes, his friend Jeanne Sorensen confirmed. Rogers was 73.

"My cousin Bobby, who was like a brother to me, lost his battle and succumbed today," said Claudette Rogers Robinson in a statement. "He has gone on to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Bobby will be missed and mourned by many."

...

He is particularly apparent singing second tenor under Robinson on "You Really Got a Hold on Me."

His singing would have been enough, but the tall, bespectacled Rogers was the most graceful dancer in the group, and he proved to be a deft hand at songwriting as well. With Robinson, he co-wrote many songs, notably "First I Look at the Purse," recorded by the Contours; "The Way You Do the Things You Do" by the Temptations; Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and "One More Heartache"; and the Miracles' smash "Going to A Go-Go." [Detroit News]

Rest in peace, Bobby. Video of The Miracles doing "You Really Got A Hold On Me" in 1964 below...

Continue reading "Bobby Rogers (The Miracles), RIP"

Richard Street

Richard Street, who served with the Temptations during the group's prolific second heyday in the 1970s and '80s, died Wednesday morning in Las Vegas of a pulmonary embolism. He was 70.

Street, a Detroit native, formally joined the Tempts in 1971 after a long association with the group, having performed with Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin of the Temptations in the 1950s vocal group the Distants.

Street's death follows the Feb. 18 passing of Damon Harris, who joined the Temptations at the same time as Street and was with the group for four years. [Detroit Free Press]

Rest in peace, Richard. Some songs from his time in The Temptations can be streamed below...

Continue reading "Richard Street of The Temptations, RIP"

The Staple Singers
Staple Singers

Cleotha Staples, one of the founding members of the renowned Chicago soul and gospel group the Staple Singers, died Thursday at the age of 78.

She had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for 12 years, and had been under 24-hour home care. Her longtime caretaker was with her when she died at 11:11 a.m. Thursday in her high-rise condominium on the South Side, according to her sister, Mavis Staples. [Chicago Tribune]

Rest in peace, Cleotha. Some classic Staple Singers videos below...

Continue reading "Cleotha Staples of The Staple Singers, RIP"

Damon Harris

Baltimore native Otis "Damon" Harris, a one-time member of the legendary Motown act The Temptations, died on Monday after losing a 14-year-long battle to prostate cancer, according to family spokesman Chuck Woodson. Harris was 62.

Harris, a resident of Owings Mills, died at the Joseph Richey Hospice in Seton Hill. Woodson said he was in remission until three years ago. The cancer had "gotten pretty bad" by the end of last summer, Woodson said, leaving Harris in the hospital from November until last week, when he was transferred to the hospice. [Baltimore Sun]

Damon Harris was a member of The Temptations from 1971 to 1975, and contributed vocals to their albums Solid Rock through A Song for You, having sung lead on hits like "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," "Masterpiece," "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)," "Take A Look Around," and others.

Damon followed his time in The Temptations with two albums by his group, Impact, and a solo album, Silk. He was diagnosed with cancer at age 47, and in 2001 he founded The Damon Harris Cancer Foundation.

Rest in peace, Damon. Some songs from his time in The Temptations can be streamed below...

Continue reading "Damon Harris of The Temptations, RIP"

Justin Benoit

Friends, It saddens me to have to tell you of the tragic passing of Justin "Chachi" Benoit.

As many of you know we lived together in my Philadelphia house, and he continued to live there until his passing. He was my friend and band member. He was a genius with impeccable taste. He loved his family, his friends, The Fall and when he would see broken umbrellas on the street. We love him and miss him dearly. Rest In Peace.

Please let's be respectful of everyone's privacy to grieve.

The above message was posted by Wes Eisold to the Cold Cave Facebook (via Pitchfork) regarding the passing of Justin Benoit, who was a touring member of Cold Cave in 2009, and recorded with them on their split with Cold Cave collaborator Dominick Fernow's Prurient project, Stars Explode. Benoit was also a writer and was published through Wes Eisold's Heartworm Press.

RIP Justin. The video for Cold Cave's "Love Comes Close," which he is featured in, is below.

Continue reading "Justin Benoit (Cold Cave), RIP"

IMAGE

A pioneer of the genre, [Ayers] worked with Brian Eno, Syd Barrett, John Cale, Nico and Robert Wyatt during his career.

Bernard MacMahon, director of his last UK label Lo-Max Records, confirmed to the BBC News website Ayers died in his sleep at his home in Montolieu, France.

"He was the moving embodiment of that sixties ideal of creativity, freedom of speech and free love," he said.

BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Stuart Maconie paid tribute to the musician, describing him as a "legendary English musician, a stalwart of the Canterbury music scene".

MacMahon described Ayers as a "character", adding: "You wouldn't forget him if you'd met him. He was father of the underground." - [BBC]

Kevin Ayers, who was a founding member of Soft Machine, was 68. In addition to his work with that band, his 1969 solo debut, Joy of a Toy, is a genuine essential and 1973's Bananamour is pretty great too. But he continued making distinctive records througout his life. Most recently was his 2007 album, The Unfairground, which featured appearances by members of Ladybug Transistor, Teenage Fanclub, Neutral Milk Hotel, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Roxy Music. Rest in peace, Kevin.

Videos and song streams are below...

Continue reading "Kevin Ayers, RIP"

Tony Sheridan

Tony Sheridan, an early collaborator of The Beatles, passed away on Saturday (2/16) in Hamburg, Germany. The musician was 72 years old. The NY Times reports:

Though Mr. Sheridan's involvement with the Beatles was brief, it proved crucial to their career. They met in 1960, when the Beatles -- then a quintet that included John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on guitars, Stuart Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums -- arrived in Hamburg to work as a club band.

Mr. Sheridan, already an accomplished performer, was also playing in Hamburg, and the Beatles both admired his work and emulated his performance style. At times they performed together, and in recent years Mr. Sheridan claimed to have arranged for Ringo Starr's first performances with the group. Mr. McCartney took over as bassist when Mr. Sutcliffe left the band at the end of 1960, and Mr. Starr replaced Mr. Best as the group's drummer in 1962.

Rest in peace, Tony. A live clip of him performing with The Beatles in 1962 is below...

Continue reading "Tony Sheridan, RIP"

Shadow Morton

By all accounts possessed of a brazen, naïve genius -- he played no instrument, could not read music and wrote his songs in his head -- Mr. Morton was almost single-handedly responsible for the wild success of the Shangri-Las, the Queens girl group he introduced and propelled to international stardom.

The group had its first hit in 1964 with "Remember," recorded more or less on a dare in a session frantically pulled together by Mr. Morton, who had never written a song before.

The result, with lyrics and music conceived by Mr. Morton in what he later said was about 22 minutes, was released on the Red Bird label and reached No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart.

A song of lost love, "Remember" was imbued with the lush, infectious strangeness that would prove a hallmark of Mr. Morton's other hits. It employed a narrative, quasi-operatic plot, spoken dialogue, chanting, unconventional sound effects (in this case sea gulls) and lyrics that encapsulated all the ardor and angst of the teenage years.

The song was followed later that year by "Leader of the Pack," written with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. It told the story of Betty, who falls for Jimmy, a young tough on a bike. - [NY Times]

Songwriter/producer Shadow Morton lost his battle with cancer earlier this week. He was 71. In addition to hits for the Shangri-Las, Morton wrote songs for Janice Ian and others, and produced Iron Butterfly's "In-A -Gadda-Da-Vida," as well as albums for Vanilla Fudge and The New York Dolls. Rest in peace, Shadow.

A few of his most memorable songs, below...

Continue reading "Shadow Morton, RIP"

Mark Kamins

Pioneering DJ and producer Mark Kamins, who was instrumental in facilitating the signing of Madonna to Sire Records in 1982, has died.

According to BlackBook, on Feb. 14, he suffered "a massive coronary" in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he has been teaching. A family source has confirmed Kamins' death to Billboard. Word spread on Facebook, where many friends of the Downtown New York City scenester posted remembrances. The particular poignancy of his passing is surely the marking of the chronology of those connected to the incipient development of the biggest musical star of our time -- the mortality surrounding the cultural immortal that is the Queen of Pop.....

....Kamins perhaps distinctly represented a lost New York club scene of debauchery and illicit behaviors, replaced now by bottle service, bankers and strict adherence to officialdom-imposed standards. A fixture at the legendarily uninhibited Danceteria, where he mingled with not only the soon-to-be Material Girl, but also Downtown icons Keith Haring, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys, his remixes included superstars of the time like Kajagoogoo and Ofra Haza." [Billboard]

Steve Lewis reprinted an interview he did with Mark in 2008 along with a tribute at his Blackbook blog. Rest in Peace Mark.