Take A Break, Reaper!
The world of entertainment lost a great mime artist on Christmas Eve. You can read about him here
Then on December 28th, the reaper had another go and took Lemmy Kilmister, front man to Motörhead, two days after he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure.
Watch Motörhead perform their iconic Ace of Spades here:
Then the reaper decided Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, had to go with him too. In official news on her cause of death, her family stated that Cole was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension after her kidney transplant in 2009.
Here’s Natalie in action:
That didn’t satisfy the reaper, because he came back for David Bowie on the 10th of January, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Blackstar. Bowie had been diagnosed with liver cancer, but had not made the news of his illness public.
It would appear his final album was his requiem, with Lazarus being his goodbye.
And here’s the always amazing Space Oddity:
However, a 9th planet may have been discovered behind Pluto…
On January the 14th, the reaper took a break from musicians, deciding instead to take an actor – a much loved actor at that. He came for Alan Rickman. Another 69 year old Brit who’d been diagnosed with cancer 18 months prior to his death.
Rickman, like Bowie, were forging their career paths at a time when the arts were seen as a necessity rather than a luxury, the latter of which is the case in our increasingly soulless age of austerity.
To quote Billy Bragg:
“It is not only the timing of his death and that fact that he was 69 that links Alan Rickman to David Bowie.
Both were working class kids from council estates who went to art school where they gained enough confidence in their own creativity that they were able to go on to find fame and fortune.
Is it still possible for working class kids to realise their potential in such a way?
The art schools are almost gone, those that survive now charge a fortune. The social mobility that Rickman and Bowie experienced is increasingly stifled.”
Letting the reaper take access to the arts away from us too is something we can fight.
His desire for our talented game changers, not so much.
You can watch Alan Rickman in action here:
On January the 17th, the reaper, still not sated, came back for Dale “Buffin” Griffin, who was a founder member of Mott The Hoople, the band who rose to notoriety presaging punk with the wildest stage act the UK had seen since the early Rolling Stones. This time the death was Alzheimers.
Their most recognised song is probably All The Young Dudes (incidentally, written by David Bowie), which you can watch here:
A day later, the reaper returned for Glenn Frey, founding member of The Eagles. Frey died from complications as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The Eagles had many memorable songs, but the most well known probably has to be Hotel California, which you can see here:
It’s Friday the 22nd of January, and for now, all is quiet on the reaper front.
It had been thought that the reaper had paid another unwanted visit on January the 20th, this time taking with him muppet and rock legend, Animal – however, it’s even been proven that Animal lives!
Dingle Fingle, aka Stephen Grindle, quotes on the subject:
“All the worlds a stage, and so entertaining on the other side must be heaven?”
In the meantime, here’s who we have left (let us know if this meme is missing any – we’ve already spotted one…):
This post has been about the famous people that have been snatched up by the reaper, but our thoughts also go out to all who have lost those that are famous to the them… Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends.
We’ll end with this “Holy Sonnet” by John Donne, in which he tells the reaper not to be proud:
What are your thoughts on all the talent we’ve lost over the last 4 weeks? Let us know in the comments…