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Posts Tagged ‘Tripping Daisy’

Died On This Date (December 29, 2013) Ben Curtis / Secret Machines, School Of Seven Bells

Posted by themusicsover on December 29, 2013

Ben Curtis
September 23, 1978 – December 29, 2013

ben-curtisBen Curtis was a founding member of  the two popular indie rock bands, Secret Machines and School Of Seven Bells.  Born in Layton, Oklahoma, Curtis moved to Dallas, Texas while still in junior high.  A gifted guitarist, drummer and songwriter, he and his brother, Brandon Curtis, formed Secret Machines in 2000 and moved the band to New York City.  The space rock group released several acclaimed singles, EPs and albums and even opened for u2 during a 2006 show in Mexico.  In 2007, Curtis and identical twins, Claudia Deheza and  Alejandra Deheza launched School Of Seven Bells, a popular shoegaze band who went on to release numerous records to critical acclaim as well. Their most recent LP, Ghostory, came out in 2013.  Curtis also played in UFOFU and Tripping Daisy during his career.  In early 2013, it was announced that he had been diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma but initially, that it was treatable.  In August of 2013, several musicians held a benefit concert to raise money to help with his medical expenses.  Devendra Banhart along with members of Interpol and the Strokes took part.  Ben Curtis ultimately died from the cancer on December 29, 2013.  He was 35.

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Died On This Date (October 12, 2011) Paul Leka / Co-Wrote “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”

Posted by themusicsover on October 12, 2011

Paul Leka
February 20, 1943 – October 12, 2011

Photo by Joseph Bly

Paul Leka was an American multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and songwriter who is perhaps best remembered for collaborating on two of the 1960’s most famous “one-hit wonders.”  Leka was just a child when he first took up the piano, and by his mid-teens, he was already writing songs.  His first major hit came in 1967 with the Lemon Pipers’ bubblegum hit, “Green Tambourine.”  The song, co-written with Shelley Pinz, ultimately  reached #1 on the pop charts and was later recorded by Status Quo, Tripping Daisy, and Lawrence Welk, to name a few.  His next hit came in 1969 when “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” written with Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, topped the charts for Steam, which was actually a group of studio musicians fronted by DeCarlo.  The song has since been covered by the likes of the Nylons, the Belmonts, and Bananarama who made it a hit for the MTV generation in 1983.  The popular chorus of the song – reportedly written by Leka – has since become a standard at sporting events around the world, used primarily as a victory chant over the opposing teams.  In 2011, the chorus was sung by American crowds in celebration of the death of Osama Bin Laden.  Throughout his career, Leka also collaborated with the Left Banke, REO Speedwagen, Gloria Gaynor, Harry Chapin, and many others.  Paul Leka died of lung cancer on October 12, 2011.  He was 68.

Thanks to Roch Parisien for the assist.



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