Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You never know what you got 'til it's gone (Mike and the Mechanics)

I guess show biz deaths are evenly spaced throughout the year but it seems that we've had an unusually large number of them recently.

Since the hysteria over Whitney Houston (in February) we've had a steady stream in the last four months.

These are the big and bigger names:

Davy Jones - Hey hey he was a daydream believer.
Ronnie Montrose - guitarist in his own band that also contained Sammy Hagar.
Donald 'Duck' Dunn - Memphis Giant genius bassist.
Earl Scruggs - the great banjoist who with Lester Flatt was a titan of the bluegrass world. I can recite the lyrics to The Ballad Of Jed Clampett off by heart.
Jim Marshall - made great amps that delivered the music of Hendrix et al.
Dick Clark - Mr American Bandstand. He seemed, like Cliff and Macca to have drunk from the fountain of youth but no one lasts forever - well maybe Macca will.
Aussie Greg Ham from Men At Work who had a string of MTV hits in the 1980s.
The grizzled Levon Helm from The Band. He always appeared older than his coBanders. A great voice, a great singing drummer (the greatest?) and a great character.
Adam Youch from the Beastie Boys.
Donna Summer - she worked hard for the money.
Robin Gibb - another member of the giant selling Beatle wannabe Bee Gees.
Doc Watson - another bluegrass titan.
Richard Dawson - people of my generation remember him best as the spivy pom in Hogan's Heroes.
Ray Bradbury - the sci fi writer who gave us Fahrenheit 451 among other works.
Bob Welch was a member of Fleetwood Mac and had the huge solo hit Ebony Eyes.
Doug Dillard - country rocker
Rodney King was a celebrity, I guess, for getting beaten to a pulp by crazed LAPD officers who were then exonerated by an all white jury. This, of course led to massive riots. What a bizarre world we live in at times.

Quite a list.

I turned on the news this morning before SWMBO went to work and learned that Victor Spinetti had recently passed away (June 18).

Victor (or as Paul McCartney called him - Mr Spinetti) was born in Wales to an Italian father and a Welsh mother. He is famous for his memorable appearances in three Beatle films - A Hard Day's Night, Help and Magical Mystery Tour.

It is his turn as Professor Foot in Help that I love the most. Not many days go by that I don't use one of his best lines from that film.

He's an idiot. Degree in woodwork. I ask you!
Go to the 4min20 mark for the scene in question.

His appearance in the Mike and the Mechanics video for All I Need Is A Miracle as the nasty club owner is also quite special. Note also that another Help alumni, Roy Kinnear, appears in this as well.

Thank you Mr Spinetti.

Love and peace - Wozza

No comments: