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Posts Tagged ‘David Bowie’

RIP, Pete Overend Watts (January 22, 2017) Mott The Hoople

Posted by themusicsover on January 22, 2017

Pete Overend Watts
May 13, 1947 – January 22, 2017

Top row center, with Mott the Hoople.

Pete Overend Watts was the founding bassist for British glam rock band, Mott the Hoople. The band, which featured Ian Hunter on lead vocals during their “classic years,” had originated as the Buddies, made a few more name changes,  until finally settling on Mott the Hoople when Hunter joined in 1969.  After failing to find a large audience after the release of four albums, the band was on the verge of disbanding when David Bowie stepped in and convinced them to give it another go with him producing.  The resulting album, All The Young Dudes and the Bowie-penned single of the same name kicked the band into overdrive and helped solidify their place as deities of the glam rock movement of the mid-’70s.  West continued to play in different incarnations of Mott the Hoople through 1981 and then again for two reunions during the 2010s.  He also worked as a producer, most famously for Hanoi Rocks.  Pete Overend Watts died of throat cancer on January 22, 2017.  He was 69.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour for the assist.

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Died On This Date (November 7, 2016) Leonard Cohen / Canadian Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Leonard Cohen was a revered Canadian poet, author, and most famously, singer-songwriter.  Over a career that spanned almost 50 years, Cohen provided the dimly-lit smoky-bar soundtrack for people who needed hope, lost faith, felt despair, or longed for love. Initially planning a career as an author and poet, Cohen wanted to reach more people, so he switched gears and found himself singing and performing in New York City at the relatively late age of 33.  He quickly became an unlikely pop star – rugged baritone voice, simple chord structures, and a private, guarded life within a profession that celebrated extroversion. His career might have seemed over when upon the release of his most famous song, 1984’s “Hallelujah,” his label head reportedly told him, “Look, Leonard; we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good,” before dropping him.  But his songs eventually caught on, and younger generations of singer-songwriters borrowed them to include in their own canons.  “Hallelujah” alone was recorded by over 200 artists, including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang,  John Cale, and most famously, Jeff Buckley.  In all, Cohen’s tunes have been covered by more than 2000. That list includes such greats as Johnny  Cash, Nick Cave, Willie Nelson, R.E.M., and Tori Amos. In 2008, at the age of 74, and facing financial ruin, Cohen embarked on an ambitious (and triumphant!) world tour that would last about three years before his health started to get the better of him. After getting well, he hit the road again doing a seemingly endless series of impassioned shows that ran north of three hours a piece.  That lasted through December of 2013, when he fell ill again.  But Cohen refused to be bound by his health and set out to record what would be the final two albums of his lifetime, 2014’s Popular Problems, and this year’s You Want it Darker, recorded in his home with him in a wheelchair and singing many of the sessions in physical pain.  That album was released just two weeks before his death, and served as a profound self-eulogy in much the same way as David Bowie‘s Lazarus.  It has been reported, thankfully, that excluding his last album, his late-life career revival earned him around $10 million. Leonard Cohen was 82 when he passed away on November 7, 2016.

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Died On This Date (January 10, 2016) David Bowie

Posted by themusicsover on January 10, 2016

David Bowie (Born David Jones)
January 8, 1947 – January 10, 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

David Bowie was one the most revered rock stars the world has ever known.  In fact, some have gone as far to call him the world’s ONLY rock star.  What can’t be argued is that his originality, influence, creativity, and ability to adapt to, AND buck pop music trends for over four decades is beyond rival.  Throughout his career, he sold over 140 million albums and received a staggering amount of awards and accolades. From the release of his first album, David Bowie, in 1967, through 2003’s Reality, Bowie created records that were for the most part embraced by fans and critics alike.  His many hits included such pop music staples as “Heroes,” “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “The Jean Genie,” “Young Americans,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “Let’s Dance,” and “China Girl.”  In 2004, Bowie suffered a relatively minor heart attack which greatly curtailed his recording and performing output for the next several years.  And then seemingly out of nowhere, on January 8, 2013 – his 66th birthday, Bowie surprised the masses with an announcement that an all-new album would be released that following March. The Next Day, was a welcome return to his art rock roots and quickly shot to the top of the UK charts and #2 on the US charts.  The album was adored by fans and critics.  In late 2015, it was this time announced, that his latest album, Blackstar would be released on his 69th birthday, January 8, 2016. Unbeknownst to most of the world, Bowie was diagnosed with liver cancer just 18 months prior. But rather than have us pity; rather than fade away, Bowie created his own poignantly personal eulogy by way of album and video for “Lazarus.”  Again, the release came out to great praise.  Two days later, David Bowie gone, having successfully elevated his own death to an art form like no other.

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Died On This Date (January 1, 2015) Jeff Golub / Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2015

Jeff Golub
April 15, 1955 – January 1, 2015


At right with Billy Squier. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Jeff Golub was an American guitarist who was as adept at jazz as he was at rock and the blues.  During a career that spanned more than 30 years, Golub released over a dozen contemporary jazz albums while earning a reputation as one of rock music’s most in-demand session players.  He is perhaps best remembered for his years playing on records by and touring with both Billy Squier and David Bowie.  The list of artists on whose albums Golub performed also includes John Waite, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Joe Lynn Turner, and Tina Turner. In November of 2014, Golub learned that he was suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy which ultimately took his life on January 1, 2015.  He was 59.

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Died On This Date (January 7, 2014) Maureen Gray / Philly Sound Singer & Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2014

Maureen Gray
DOB Unknown – January 7, 2014

maureen-grayMaureen Gray was a beloved soul singer whose strong and impassioned voice exemplified what became known as the Philly Sound.  Born in New York City, Gray was just five years old when she made her professional debut at Carnegie Hall.   She sang just one song that night, “Steam Heat” from Pajama Game, and received her first standing ovation.  At just 12 years old, she came to the attention of Chancellor Records who released her first record, “Today’s The Day,” which became an instant hit in the Philly area, making her the envy of her classmates.   Later, she had a Billboard charting hit with “Dancin’ The Strand,” and several other marginal hits. Gary went on to be an in-demand session singer, recording with the likes of Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Bob Marley, David Bowie, George Harrison, and John Lennon.  Maureen Gray was 65 when she died of a rare bile duct cancer on January 7, 2014.

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