Thank you, Gene, for being a bright light and making us smile. Not only did I enjoy your performances in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, YoungFrankenstein,and Blazing Saddles, but I really enjoyed your small stint on Will and Grace as Will’s boss Mr. Stein. The world will be a little less bright without you. Gene was 83 and died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Oh, Alan Rickman, not you, too. So sad to see another favorite leave this world a little darker due to cancer. Master Rickman was 69 and will be greatly missed. Like Master Bowie, it has been a delight to share this time on Earth with you. Read the lovely Guardian article here.
On December 3, the world lost a bright rock ‘n’ roll light. Scott Weiland, famous front man for the Stone Temple Pilots (1986-2002; 2008-2013), Velvet Revolver (2002-2007), and the currently on-tour Wildabouts, was found dead, having passed in his sleep, on his tour bus just before a show in Bloomington, MN was scheduled to begin. The music world will definitely be a little more gray without him.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
Here are two of my personal favorites from the Weiland repertoire.
With Stone Temple Pilots:
With Velvet Revolver:
Has anyone heard any of the new music from Scott and the Wildabouts? They released an album under that band name this year called Blaster. It includes a cover of T.Rex‘s “20th Century Boy”, which I find quite pleasing to the ear:
Yesterday, the horror world lost one of the greats. Rest in peace, Mr. Craven, though your handiwork did little to pass on peace to the rest of us. It makes me too sad to know the darkest corners of your mind are now beyond quiet.
Three days ago, the entertainment world lost an iconic and memorable actress: Betsy Palmer. Some may like to chuckle at her role in the 1980 campy slasher Friday the 13th, but that was just one light in a whole spectrum of work–said slasher coming 29 years after Palmer debuted on the small screen. Not only has she made several TV appearances since the 1950s, she’s also had major roles in several series, taken spots as a panelist on popular game shows, and has starred in several horror and non-horror films. She’s had a strong and prosperous career, even working up until the last eight years or so. Her most recent addition to the film world was Bell Witch: The Movie from 2007.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
Please, feel free to read a more articulate tribute to My Lady Palmer from CNN.com.
Four days ago, the music world lost a great talent and legend in his own right. And, like Ludacris said during the Billboard Music Awards tribute on Sunday, as long as we can listen to the music “Blues Boy” King will never truly be gone. The angels are singing with you now, B.B., while the rest of us are left singing the blues.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
In his honor and memory, I present “Lucille” – the song I always think of when I think of Mr. King.
I came to Star Trek and its far-reaching fandom much too late in life. My mom was more of a Star Wars fan, and the time I spent with my dad was not shared with his latent Trekk-iness. But, if there was ever a character in the science-fiction drama that I could relate to, it was Spock. He faced everything logically and did all he could to keep his emotions in check. In fact, he had to, it’s just who he was. That personality trait really spoke to me, and though, I’m sad he’s gone. I know he’s somewhere better.
Live long and prosper.
In honor of Spock and another classic, George Harrison, whose birthday was the 25th, a thoughtful melody to send our best thoughts to those missing their loved ones this week.
Pop singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, famous for the track “It’s My Party (and I’ll Cry if I Want To)” from 1963, passed away on Monday, February 16th. She was 68. Here’s a quote from the original article posted to Yahoo! News from Variety.
Gore’s partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson, told the Associated Press that she died of cancer at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Six years ago, I was taking a road trip from my then-home in South Carolina back to my mother’s house in Iowa. My best friend, who gracefully accepted when I asked him to drive me, offered to make stops anywhere I wanted along the way as long as we could stop in St. Louis to see the Budweiser brewery on the way back.
Without hesitation I retorted with, “Um, hell yeah.”
So, I made two requests: Graceland and Tupelo, MS. My mother is a huge Elvis Presley fan, which I didn’t understand until I hit puberty. Seriously. And, I hate to admit that. It makes it sound like Elvis only makes sense to hormonal women, and that just isn’t the case. I didn’t understand her lusting after him until after puberty, but his talent as a singer and musician never missed the mark with me. I loved his Christmas album before I ever loved Viva Las Vegas, and that was mainly for Ann Margret. Va-va-va-voom!
But I can’t say I didn’t feel something when we finally made it to the memorial and museum honoring Elvis’s birthplace. There were statues, a family car, and an extensive museum chronicling The King’s early life and rise to stardom. They even managed to maintain the very house Elvis was born in, outfitted with furniture from the time period–not the actual furniture the family lived with.
So, on this, what would have been Elvis’s 80th birthday, I want to recount what happened when my friend and I took the tour of Graceland. Though the monument to his birthplace was stunning, it was closed when we arrived and felt rather, well, dead. It was just my friend and I wandering the grounds and trying to see inside the doors of the museum. Graceland, though, offered up a wonderful experience when we reached the Gold Records Room.
In this very room, a large group of people had collected with eyes glued to the walls, display cases, and a large TV mounted up into the left-hand corner of the room. The TV was showing old concert footage, and when Elvis began a rendition of “Amazing Grace” the entire room–which had been bustling with idle chatter and the movement of several bodies–hushed and all eyes turned to the big screen. For a moment, it was just us and The King, gracing us with his talent and his presence. It was the perfect moment and easy to get swept up in. Walking through his home, seeing the living room, the jungle room, and the room where he was last seen alive was an experience I knew my mother would never be able to have. Having these pictures and sharing them with her meant the world to me. I’m still planning on collecting them into a book and printing them off for her. I know she’d love it.
Remembering Elvis and his legacy in the music world always brings a smile to my face, and if you want to take part in that legacy, you can find Elvis albums on Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify for your listening pleasure! You can also read the TIME magazine feature about his rise to stardom.
On December 18, 1997 the tragic death of Chris Farley was reported. To have such a large, energetic personality displaced by something as quiet and sudden as a drug overdose, well, at first, it just didn’t seem physically possible. Not even 40 years of age, just coming into his own fame, and this funny man would dance and jump around no more.
In honor of his big, bright life and quiet passing, here are 10 of the best Farley moments from Saturday Night Live and some of his more popular movies. Rest in peace, you China-shop bull, and just know that you’re still making us laugh.
Chris Farley, A champion of goofballs, Chris never let you forget how to smile. Self-deprecating and unashamed to crack jokes at himself, Chris pulled you in to his world with a crooked grin and a snicker. Physical, seemingly unstoppable, he gave all he had to hear the resounding chorus of laughter. The video I chose is raw, to me, because in this moment he was being genuine and legitimate, — with no surprise, generating laughter — which meant, though wholly vulnerable, standing up and admitting why comedy chose him. (From wotsitooyou)
Andy Kaufman, I was the kid who stayed up late at night to watch things like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Ray Bradbury Theater as reruns, but if I managed to catch some Nick at Nite before them I got to see Tony Danza, Jeff Conaway, and Danny DeVito exchange jokes with Andy — then portraying the character Latka Gravas on Taxi. Again, not until much later in my life (high school and college) would I truly understand the breadth and depth of this man’s desire to laugh. Not necessarily to make others laugh, that was a perk, but he wanted to laugh at us. Never wanting to just be a comic, Andy wanted to be seen as a song-and-dance man — instead, he took the concept of performance to its jarring edges; never minding the fact that he might be upsetting, annoying, or insulting anyone. To him, it was all for a laugh. (From ClassicComedyBits)
Five years ago today, we lost a bright light in the entertainment world: Patrick Swayze. A winning smile, brimming with passion, and ready to face the world, Patrick brought to life a wide range of characters, from Point Break‘s lawless surfer Bodhi to creepy self-help guru Jim Cunningham in Donnie Darko. Probably his most famous role, though, is that of Johnny Castle, the sexy dance instructor, in Dirty Dancing.
That’s the role I’m most familiar with, as my mother watched that movie just about once a week, every week from the moment she bought in on VHS and then DVD–decades. I’ve still got blocks of dialogue trapped in the cobwebby parts of my brain, and I could probably lift Jennifer Grey right up over my head in that iconic last moment lift at the Kellerman’s floor show.
Two of my favorite Swayze movies are To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and Point Break. His loving, warm, and generous Vida Boheme still makes me laugh and smile, remembering the casual smiling, “I think that’s healthy!” when Carol Ann calls her an angel. And after five years, I’m certain he’s lighting up the dance floor in heaven!
Point Break, though, has always been Patrick at his coolest, in my opinion. Full of spit and vinegar, he doesn’t let what’s supposed to be or what’s expected stop him from pursuing his one and only dream, surfing into the alleged hundred year storm. This is a major spoiler alert; so, if you haven’t seen Point Break in its entirety, you may not want to watch the video below. I included the ending sequence here because as soon as I heard about Patrick’s passing this was the scene I thought of. And I hoped that wherever he went, he bounded up on shore–drenched and thankful for air.