As you may have heard, Chuck Berry died yesterday at age 90. A towering figure in popular music, he was one of rock and roll’s first and most important artists and an influence on countless performers. An exhaustive 16-CD collection of his work appeared last year. Read my review here..
Leonard Cohen, one of the greats of popular music, has died at 82. He was one of a kind. Fans can take some comfort in knowing that he lived an incredible life and that some of his best work and years came in his last decade. He won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The May 29 edition of the New York Times Magazine carried a piece by Chuck Klosterman called “Which Rock Star Will Historians of the Future Remember?” In the article, Klosterman postulates that in 300 years, all that anyone would remember of rock would be one artist. He also suggests that that artist would be Chuck Berry.… Continue reading Will Chuck Berry Be All That Endures from Rock?
Guy Clark, a terrific songwriter and, by all reports, an equally terrific human being, has died after a 10-year battle with lymphoma and other conditions. He will be remembered for such superb songs as “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” This is another big loss in a year that has already witnessed the deaths… Continue reading R.I.P., Guy Clark
Merle Haggard, who died this week on his 79th birthday, was one of the most important singers, songwriters, and performers in the history of country music. He mattered as much to that genre as, say, Ellington did to jazz or Sinatra did to pop. If you think those are overstatements, perhaps you’ll change your mind after spending… Continue reading R.I.P., Merle Haggard
The rock world lost three big names in January: David Bowie, the Eagles’ Glenn Frey and, finally, Paul Kantner, who cofounded Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. While Bowie’s death grabbed most of the headlines, all three artists were important, and it was the loss of Kantner that hit me most deeply. The Jefferson Airplane were… Continue reading Paul Kantner (1941–2016)