Trashcan Sinatras’ Francis Reader pays tribute to 2016’s under-the-radar deaths
Genteel, suave and literate Scottish pop band Trashcan Sinatras had a busy 2016, releasing new album Wild Pendulum and touring the world. If you haven't given it a spin, you can stream the whole thing below.
If you're still full of the holiday spirit, you can also check out Trashcan Sinatra seasonal single, "My Christmas Dream," below as well.
We've been asking artists for their year-end lists, and Trashcan Sinatras' frontman Francis Reader has sent us an interesting one. "2016 has seen plenty of notable deaths, and has to a degree been defined by them," he tells us. "These may have escaped notice." His list is 2016's "Ten Under-the-Radar Deaths." Francis offers up a a poem, along with commentary on these huxleyed losses. Read below.
TRASH CAN SINATRAS PRESENT: TOP 10 UNDER-THE-RADAR DEATHS
I'm not solemn
I just find
The obit. column
huxleyed (v) - to have one’s own death overshadowed by the death of someone more notable, or by a more notable event, occurring the same day (cf. Aldous Huxley, writer and philosopher, died Nov. 22nd 1963).
2016 has seen plenty of notable deaths, and has to a degree been defined by them. These may have escaped notice:
10. Joan Bates (March 10th) - Princess of Sealand
Princess of the disputed principality of Sealand. Her and her prince occupied a disused anti-aircraft platform 7 miles off south-east England in 1967 and declared independent statehood. In 1978, the platform was stormed by jet-skiing mercenaries, led by two Germans called Auchenbach & Futz, who disputed the throne. The prince and princess weren’t in residence at the time, but their son was, and he managed to fend off the invaders using the family arsenal.
9. Toughie (Sept 26th) - Last of a species
Described by his handler as "very handsome,” the aforementioned Princess of Sealand, had she lived, might have been attracted to the task of transforming and possibly saving Toughie, who was the last-known Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog we had in this world.
8. Scotty Moore (June 28th) - Rockabilly guitarist
Backed Elvis on his first recordings and toured the county fair hayride circuit with him throughout 1954 and 5. He was sacked by Colonel Parker soon after Elvis signed to RCA and saw Elvis again only once, when he was invited to play guitar on the ’68 Comeback Special. If you watch that show, you’ll see Scotty’s the only one onstage who doesn’t laugh at any of Elvis’s very lame jokes.
7 & 6. Gordon Murray (June 30th) / Robin Hardy (July 1st) - Puppeteer/Film Director
On May 3rd, Radiohead released a single called 'Burn The Witch', with a video they acknowledged to be heavily influenced by Gordon Murray’s sweet 70s British kids’ TV show, Trumpton, and Robin Hardy’s classic 70s paganistic romp, The Wicker Man. Both men would die within a day of each other before a month had passed, the latest victims of The Curse Of Radiohead.
5. Pierre (May 6th) - World’s best-dressed penguin
An alpha-male penguin who was shunned by all the other penguins after he went bald and could no longer swim in the cold sea or do any other alpha-male strutty stuff. An aquatic biologist noticed his shivery plight and had a children’s costume-maker make him a waistcoat (vest) wetsuit - in black - with velcro up the front and armholes for his flappy wings. Pierre started swimming again and regained his prominence among the brood. Penguins seem to be very shallow creatures.
4. Tony Barrow (May 14th) - Lucky Liverpudlian
The Beatles’ press officer and a very familiar name and face to Fab Four fanatics like me. He wrote those frothy-but-stylish sleeve notes printed on their earlier albums, coining the phrase ’The Fab Four’ in the process. He took charge of all their press conferences on tour, and was also the producer of all their Christmas fanclub records. These records tell the Beatles story all by themselves if you listen to them in order, from the chirpy, larkabout 1963 one where the band goad and tease each other with quips between broadcasting messages of gratitude to their fans, to the dour and flat 1970 one, which they recorded separately, under duress, in separate countries.
3. Cookie (August 27th) - Good advert for the seed-only diet
Cookie was the oldest parrot in the world. He was 83 when he died in a/the Chicago zoo, and had lived about 20 years more than any other parrot, despite his being described as a very shy and easily-stressed creature.
2. Jock Scot (April 13th) - Edinburgh mod-poet
“I’m a mod, I’ve always been a mod,
My father was a mod before me.
My coat is a Crombie, my shirt a Ben Sherman
The boots on my feet were made by a German.
Outside the kitchen window stands my broken Lambrett
I’m gonny fix it when the weather gets better."
1. Lilia Cuntapay (August 20th) - Teacher and actress
I don’t know anything about Ms Cuntapay, other than she gave up teaching and became the ‘Queen of Phillipine Horror Movies’, but I’m awfully sorry she died, and I ardently hope her name lives on.