The Music's Over

but the songs live on forever

RIP, Nick Menza (May 21, 2016) Former Drummer of Megadeth

Posted by themusicsover on May 21, 2016

Nick Menza
July 23, 1964 – May 21, 2016

nick-menzaNick Menza was an American metal drummer who is best remembered for playing in Megadeth during a period that many consider their greatest.  Born into a musical family – his father was Don Menza, longtime sax player for Buddy Rich – Menza started playing drums at the age of two.  He began playing professionally at 18 and soon found work as a session player covering many genres of music. His most notable early gig was on recordings for John Fogerty. In 1989, Menza was asked to join Megadeth although he had played with the band live on occasion going back a year prior.  His contributions to Megadeth were felt immediately.  Menza played on the band’s next for studio albums, including the two that many consider the band’s greatest, Rust In Peace and Countdown to Extinction.  On stage, he added a new force to band’s live show, most notably due to his skills on the double bass drum kit.  Menza left Megadeth due to knee problems in 1998.  He went on to play in bands over the years until his most recent, OHM.  It was with OHM that he was playing at a club in Studio City, CA when he died unexpectedly of  heart failure on May 21, 2016.  He was 51.

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Posted in Metal, Musician, Rock | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

RIP, Guy Clark (May 17, 2016) Revered Texas Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2016

Guy Clark
November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016

guy-clarkGuy Clark was the true embodiment of a “songwriter’s songwriter.”  Born in Texas, Clark’s name is rarely excluded when conversations turn to the greats from that state. Alongside contemporaries like Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker, Clark laid down the foundation for what is now simply called Texas Music or Texas Country.  His lyrics, served over mostly sparse blues folk instrumentation, tended to come as close to being called literature as songs could get.  As a performer – and most of the time armed with little more than his acoustic guitar or maybe a second and a fiddle, Clark could leave an audience holding its collective breath in anticipation of the next word coming from his mouth – and many times, that was during his talk leading up to the song. He eventually settled in Nashville where he and his wife, Susanna Clark, often welcomed local songwriters into their home where they could work on perfecting their craft in informal workshops.  This open houses often hosted the likes of Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Young.  Clark’s songs have been hits for such country luminaries as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, and Rodney Crowell.  For his own recordings, Clark garnered numerous accolades, including a Best Folk Album Grammy for his 2014 release, My Favorite Picture of You.  On May 17, 2016, Guy Clark died following a courageous battle against cancer.  He was 74.

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Posted in Americana, Country, Folk, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RIP, Prince (April 21, 2016) Genius

Posted by themusicsover on April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Photo by David Plastik - Click To Order Quality Prints - Discount code: 10OFF

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Prince was his given name, and that’s all he needed to become one of the most well-known, influential, innovative and gifted musicians, songwriters, singers, producers, and performers pop music has ever known.  Born and raised in the Minneapolis area, Prince would eventually come to represent what was known as the Minneapolis sound – a marriage of funk, rock, synth pop, new wave, and dance.  He released his first album, For You, in 1978 and what followed was an astonishing run of 39 albums over the course of 35 years.  Some double, and even triple, albums.  But it was 1984’s soundtrack to his film, Purple Rain, that first sent Prince into the stratosphere. It was his first album to top the Billboard album charts and went on to sell a staggering 13 million in the US alone. Purple Rain is often regarded as one of the top five greatest albums ever made – of any genre.  He was far from done though, as he went on to be recognized with 32 Grammy nominations, winning seven throughout his career.  In  all, Prince scored four #1 albums in the US, and an additional 12 landed in the Top 10.  As a performer, there were very few who could match him when it came to captivating his audiences.  That was put on international display when he did the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2007.  As torrential rains hammered the stage like no other time in Super Bowl history, Prince took the storm and made it his stage prop to gloriously add an exclamation point to his final song, “Purple Rain.”  Rumor has it that when the show’s director asked out of concern what they should do to protect him, the band, and the dancers from being electrocuted, Prince replied, “can you make it rain harder?”   Since 2014, Prince released four new albums, and legend has it that he has enough finished material in his vault to keep releases coming for years if not decades to come.  Whether they will ever see the light of day is debatable.  On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unconscious in an elevator within his studio complex, Paisley Park.  Attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene.  He was just 57.  Cause of death was not immediately known, but foul play or suicide were not initially suspected.

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Posted in Funk, Gospel, Musician, Pop, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

RIP, Merle Haggard (April 6, 2016) Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on April 6, 2016

Merle Haggard
April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016

Merle-HaggardMerle Haggard was a country music legend who, along with Buck Owens, created the blueprint for what would become known as the “Bakersfield Sound,” a reaction to the slickly produced pop leaning country records that were coming out of Nashville at the time. Developed in local honky-tonks, the sound was built around the foundation of traditional country, the twang of a Telecaster, and the rough edge of vocals like Haggard’s.  Haggard also came to represent all that became “outlaw country.”  Songs like “Skid Row,” “They’re Tearing the Labor Camps Down,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “White Line Fever” found a huge audience with fans who could personally identify with the lyrics.  Over the course of a career that spanned five decades, Haggard scored nearly 40 #1 hit singles, a combined total of 25 ACM and CMA awards, three Grammys, and numerous other accolades.  His most recent album, 2015’s Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson, hit #1 on the Country charts and #7 on the Top 200. Not bad for an album that was recorded in just three days.  Merle Haggard passed away on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.  Cause of death was not immediately released although he had been battling pneumonia.

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RIP, Patty Duke (March 29, 2016) American Actress & Pop Singer

Posted by themusicsover on March 29, 2016

Anna Marie “Patty” Duke 
December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016

Patty-DukePatty Duke was an American stage, film and TV star who is perhaps best remembered for her leading role in the 1960s sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, which originally ran for three seasons on ABC.   Prior to that, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in The Miracle Worker.  At the age of 16, she was, at the time, the youngest to do so.  Duke was also a successful recording artist who performed on television numerous times and released six albums.  Her hits included, “Don’t Just Stand There” (which reached #8 on the pop charts), “Say Something Funny” (#22), and “Donna Donna.”  Patty Duke was 69 when she passed away on March 29, 2016. Cause of death was attributed to sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

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Posted in Pop, Singer | Tagged: | 2 Comments »