R.I.P.

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Big Man R.I.P.: The Top Five Non-E Street Band Performances By The Late Clarence Clemons

The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, passed on Saturday due to complications from his recent stroke. He was 69. Saxophonist Clemons was perhaps the most essential member of the E Street Band, but his appearance on Lady Gaga’s latest single “Edge of Glory” is a potent reminder of the range of his body of work outside Bruce Springsteen collaborations. Here are his five best:

5. Ian Hunter, “All of the Good Ones Are Taken”
Clemons has a really great solo two-and-change minutes into the title track off Ian Hunter’s 1983 album All of the Good Ones Are Taken (though a stand-in appears in the music video). Without his performance, this Mott the Hoople member’s solo effort wouldn’t have had its single (especially since guitarist Mick Ronson only played on one song). This largely forgotten video used to get a lot of play on local and syndicated non-MTV video shows.
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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons (1942-2011)

Sad news to pass along this evening: Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, the renowned saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, passed away earlier this evening as a result of complications from the stroke he suffered earlier this week.

We’d like to pay our respects to The Big Man by programming 24 hours of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band on VH1 Classic. Starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, we’ll be airing the concert films Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City (2000) and Live In Barcelona (2002) back-to-back for 24 consecutive hours.

Clemons first rose to prominence in 1971 after agreeing to team up with fellow Asbury Park, NJ musician Bruce Springsteen. The Bruce Springsteen Band, as they were called back then, didn’t make it very far, but Bruce reconstituted the group a few years later under the moniker of the E Street Band and, as they say, the rest is history. Clemons became an instrumental part of Springsteen’s band, contributing some of the most famous sax solos in music history on songs like “Born To Run” and “Jungleland,” and was such an integral part of Springsteen’s creative process that The Boss wrote the song “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and included their origin story as part of one of the verses.

Earlier this evening, Springsteen released the following statement about Clemons:
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by (@unclegrambo)

Songwriter Of Golden Girls Theme “Thank You For Being A Friend” Dead At 59

People reports this morning that Andrew Gold, the 1970s era singer-songwriter, died on Friday night after suffering a heart attack. Gold got his start as a multi-threat talent (session player, producer, songwriter) in the dynamic Los Angeles music scene of the early seventies, gaining widespread acclaim for his work as a multi-instrumentalist and arranger on Linda Ronstadt‘s seminal 1974 album, Heart Like A Wheel (#164 on Rolling Stone‘s Top 500 Albums of All-Time). His success with that project enabled him to launch a solo career, which arguably culminated with his 1977 Top 10 Billboard hit, “Lonely Boy.”

However, Gold will likely be best remembered for penning “Thank You For Being A Friend,” which was a success in its own right when it was released as a single in 1978. However, it wasn’t until singer Cynthia Fee re-recorded the song in 1985 and NBC producers chose it as the theme song for The Golden Girls that his song reached iconic status. In his memory, take a listen to his original take on the song above. Gold was 59 years-old.

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R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011)

The widely-spreading rumors of Gil Scott-Heron‘s death are, sadly, true. Jamie Byng, the Canondale publisher who, as The Guardian reported in February 2010, not only reprinted several volumes of Scott-Heron’s poetry but also made the poet the godfather of one of his sons, confirmed the tragic news on Twitter.

Musician and poet Scott-Heron rose to prominence with his powerful 1970 debut Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, featuring his most famous recording, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” His politics and his art remained intertwined throughout his life, as in the anti-nuclear weapon song “We Almost Lost Detroit”:
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by (@unclegrambo)

Cali Swag District Member M-Bone Gunned Down In Los Angeles

Sad news to pass along on this gloomy Monday morning. TMZ is reporting that M-Bone —one of the members of Cali Swag District— the band that taught us all how to Dougie, was killed in Los Angeles last night. According to law enforcement officials, M-Bone (real name: Montae Talbert) was standing in front of his car outside of a liquor store when he was gunned down during what appears to be a drive-by shooting. Cali Swag District leader C-Smoove tweeted a few hours ago, “Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone.” He was 22 years old.

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