The Grim Reaper has been merciless lately.
After enduring the losses of David Bowie, Kevin Junior, Scott Weiland, Lemmy, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, The Specials' drummer John Bradbury and Mott The Hoople's drummer Dale Griffin, the month of January 2016 concluded with two more seismic losses to the musical community: Signe Anderson and Paul Kantner, the original lead singer for Jefferson Airplane, and Jefferson Airplane co-founder respectively, both passed away on the same day of January 28th. They were both 74 years old.
March 17, 1941-January 28, 2016
I know and realize greatly that so many of my musical heroes are reaching into a certain advanced age where mortality is more imminent. I understand and yet it is so difficult to accept. In my mind, these individuals performed the impossible; the taking of the ephemeral, inspiration itself, and somehow harnessing its power to create transformative music, share it with the world, and in many cases, completely pushing the art medium forwards to varying degrees. These figures just feel to be so immortal even though I know better. Regardless, I wish that it were so.
I am hoping that the fates will go easier during the month of February, allowing us time to fully heal and process and to hold onto the living that much tighter and for a little bit longer. But for those who have departed, let us not allow their gifts to have been made in vain for it is our duty to ensure that their music is passed onwards and downwards to the next generation and hopefully, they will carry their torches as well.
Keep listening and playing and sharing and feeling. All of these dearly departed artists have meant the world to us and now, would argue, they just may mean even more and their visions may touch us even deeper. I am still planning on writing about David Bowie's final album for you, as well as myself, and I am hoping to have that out to you this coming month. But to do so, I have to re-listen, something I have been somewhat avoiding as I am so stricken by his loss that the process of hearing his farewell may prove to be overwhelming.
But, maybe that is precisely what I need...
However, we do choose to celebrate, honor and remember, to always...