This Day in Death

3.28.12: Legendary Banjo Player Earl Scruggs – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:25 pm March 30, 2012

Within the bluegrass community, Scruggs was known for his controversial stance of either a-pickin’ *or* a-grinnin’.


Like Russian literature or parachute pants, country music is something that some people will just never be able to appreciate. And if you’re currently reading this on an iPad, you’re probably one of those people. Go back to your flying car recharge station, Space Man.

The rest of you will be bummed to hear that legendary country/bluegrass banjo player Earl Scruggs died on Wednesday of natural causes. Scruggs is perhaps best known for pioneering a three-finger approach to picking the instrument that is now often referred to as “Scruggs style” or, if you happen to be me, “Straight Scruggin’.”

Pitchfork canted their ironic fedoras in tribute:

The Shelby, N.C. native got his start in Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys in 1945. After leaving Monroe’s band, he partnered with Lester Flatt to form the legendary Foggy Mountain Boys in 1948. By 1955, they were members of the Grand Ole Opry and went on to have hits with “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”. His partnership with Flatt lasted until 1969.

He went on to form the Earl Scruggs Revue, which featured his two sons Gary and Randy. Around that period, he collaborated with several prominent artists, including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and the Byrds (the latter three were featured in the film The Complete Earl Scruggs Story). In 2001, he released Earl Scruggs and Friends, which featured collaborations with Elton John, John Fogerty, and several others. He was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985, and in 2008, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

That all sounds pretty impressive until you remember that Steve Martin can squeeze out albums’ worth of banjo music in-between farting out Cheaper By the Dozen and Pink Panther sequels. Suddenly “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” just doesn’t seem so sophisticated anymore.


Source: Pitchfork

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3.17.12: Ruby Garrett, Owner of Butte, Montana’s Last Brothel – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:22 am March 29, 2012

Somebody crack a window and let some of that sexy out.


If I knew anything about women my eHarmony profile would probably have significantly fewer references to Truck Nutz, so it should come as no surprise that just about the only thing I have in common with brothel owner Ruby Garrett is a belief that prostitution should be legalized. Well, that, and the fact that we both look irresistible in frilly collars. But now she’s dead, and I fear that young people won’t find sex appealing anymore without the moral guidance of a nonagenarian from Montana. The AP reports:

Ruby Garrett ran the last brothel standing in this mining town’s once-lively red-light district with a reputation for kindness toward her girls, but the grandmotherly figure was also a husband-shooting, tax-evading madam who once said that prostitution should be considered a commodity.

Hang on, let’s skim ahead a little…

People who knew Garrett in her later years remembered a kind person who looked out for the women who worked at the Dumas. Ellen Crain, director of the Butte-Silver Bow Archives, said Garrett was a savvy businesswoman who felt strongly about treating the women well and took pride in keeping the brothel clean and orderly.

Little more…

Les Baldwin, one of those who turned out to bid her farewell, told an Associated Press reporter at the party: “I think it’s a crime that a fine woman like this is sent to prison. I’ve done more things wrong than this woman.”

Uh… little more, I guess…

Garrett pleaded guilty in 1982 to failing to failing to pay $51,670 in federal taxes from 1975 to 1978. She received a six-month sentence and was fined $10,000, which she said she paid with a loan from a friend.

How long is this goddamn obituary, AP? Did you seriously just lay out 650+ words on the owner of a whorehouse? I could die falling out of a plane while battling Hilter’s reanimated corpse and I can guarantee you my own mother wouldn’t have half as much to say at my funeral. Is Henry Darger working with the AP or something? Get an editor.

(And let’s take a moment to appreciate how intelligent that last reference was. Thank you.)

Source: Associated Press

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3.27.12: Cancer – DEAD! Kind of! Maybe Eventually. Not Really.

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:31 am March 28, 2012

For those of you who feel my jokes lack subtlety, please note that this is a colon cancer cell. See? That’s why you read the captions, too.


Few diseases have ruled the block as thoroughly or for as long as cancer, although its got a bit of an edge on everything else seeing as how it can attack, you know… any goddamn part of your body at any goddamn time. Take your pick; skin, bones, heart, lungs… If you get any enjoyment out of it, Death can find a way to sprinkle some cancer on it. It’s like the Creole seasoning of diseases.

But cancer’s day in the sun may be coming to a close, according to some nerds at Gizmodo. Take it away, poindexters:

An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science explains that a new treatment—based on an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells—helps persuade the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. To date, it’s been shown to shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice.

Well, awesome. This all seems pretty conclusive. So when can I expect to be able to run down to CVS and bitch that they only have the grape-flavored chewable cancer pills, when everybody knows that tasting grape is only slightly better than having cancer to begin with? A year? Year and a half?

Sadly, it will be some time before such a drug makes it to clinical practice. But with the researchers having just received a $20 million grant to move the findings from mouse studies to human safety tests, you can expect progress to be as quick as possible.

So, yeah, this is never happening. Throw it on the pile of amazing breakthroughs science has come up with that rich people will make absolutely certain we never see, like solar cars or robot servants or a toaster that can toast both sides of the bread evenly JUST FUCKING ONCE. Seriously, that is bullshit. I pay my taxes, at least those owed to bodies whose authority I recognize. Stop shooting my breakfast in the foot, America. Really, you could make a pretty solid case that I’m the only actual victim in all of this cancer stuff.


Source: Gizmodo


3.17.12: Red Bull Creator Chaleo Yoovidhya – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 12:56 am March 27, 2012

A net worth of five billion dollars and a Fantastic Sam’s haircut. The supremely wealthy are so like us.


I’ve never used any kind of energy drinks because I’m almost constantly being chased by mobs of bisexual European swimsuit models, which keeps my blood pumping pretty well. That’s not bragging, it truly haunts my nights to know that one clumsy fence jump and I’ll be buried alive in a slowly churning mass of well-toned and completely uninhibited sexual appetites. But for those of you who do not know the burden of physical attractiveness, you’ve probably relied on a Red Bull or two to keep you up during that all-night drive to Poughkeepsie to see Phish, even though Seth and Brad totally swore they’d share the driving but fell asleep by, like, midnight and didn’t even chip in for gas. God. Your friends are assholes.

Anyway, the creator of Red Bull, a man with the extremely copy-and-pasteable name of Chaleo Yoovidhya, is dead.

Chaleo Yoovidhya was born of poor Chinese immigrant parents in the northern province of Phichit, in 1932, local media say.

He worked as a salesman before setting up TC Pharmaceuticals in 1962.

TC Pharmaceuticals introduced the drink Krating Daeng, which became popular with shift workers and lorry drivers.

In 1984 Chaleo Yoovidhya launched it as Red Bull with the Austrian marketing expert Dietrich Mateschitz, and three years later began selling it in Austria.

So there you go. A man whom you have nothing in common with is dead after creating a drink that you only still buy because you’ve built up a tolerance. I’m not really sure on the message there, but if the internet ended tonight I think we’d all be content with this being the final entry.


Source: Belle News

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3.21.12: Neglected Irish Loner – SECRETLY DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:23 am March 23, 2012

Ooh, I can already see this post isn’t gonna end well.


For those of you unfamiliar with the old limerick “Elderly Irish Loner,” it’s a classic poem that tells the story of a lonely immigrant named Alan Moore who died in his home, but wasn’t found until months later when someone noticed that he still hadn’t taken his Christmas lights down. For those of you that are familiar with it, I’d just like to take this opportunity to call you out as fucking liars because I just made that shit up. Well, partially. That limerick doesn’t exist. What does exist, however, is an identical horrible, horrible reality:

It wasn’t until Sunday that a passerby asked police to take a look. On Wednesday they formally identified the badly decomposed remains inside as that of Moore, a 62-year-old immigrant from England who had lived alone in the town for a decade.

That… is R. L. Stine-level goosebumpification. But, really, why would you expect people to go charging in to check out the situation? Whenever you see a house with Christmas lights on in March it’s safe to assume the place is a meth lab. Either that or poor people live there. In both cases the best approach is to avoid the situation entirely. You don’t need to be seen hanging around with any of “those types.” Christ, you might run for office some day!


Source: CBS News

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3.18.12: Gallagher – HANGING ON!

Filed under: Hanging On —James @ 3:47 am March 22, 2012

Prop comedy *and* a trash ‘stache? He must use that sledgehammer to beat back the constant waves of pussy.

American’s favorite dated, food-themed prop comic (step it up, Carrot Top!) Gallagher is recovering from a heart attack and medically induced coma. In solidarity, please fly your finest transparent plastic tarp at half-mast tomorrow.

Hey Block Quote! Why do you hot dogs come in packages of 8 while hot dog buns come in packages of 10? That’s just wacky!

The funnyman, 65, was taken out of a medically induced coma Sunday morning, and began moving and breathing on his own shortly afterward, according to E! News.

The comedian was put under after suffering a heart attack before taking the stage at a bar last Wednesday, marking his second heart attack in the span of a year.

According to early reports, the comedian complained of chest pains before his show at the Hat Tricks club in Leweisville, and was rushed to a nearby Texas hospital.

The medically induced coma was considered a precautionary step.

It’s hard to have a lot of sympathy for Gallagher’s career, what with the dated and arguably bigoted material, the insane boasts about creating the mosh pit and being a touring college lecturer, and the half-assed attempt to frame being stronger than fruit as social commentary. But Gallagher pulling through serves a very important purpose; Every redneck county fair that he plays draws a crowd away from Jeff Dunham and his cavalcade of racist puppet mouthpieces. A dead terrorist skeleton? Oh Dunham! Are there any toes you won’t step on?

Source: NY Daily News

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Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:39 am March 20, 2012

Hastily Photoshopped Wranglin’ Cowboy Monkey gets way too excited about this stuff.


Here at the old Tee DiD (oh yeah; the shorthand for this blog is now “The Tee DiD,” so get used to that) things occasionally sluice through the netting and end up falling between the cracks, like mixed metaphors being shoehorned into a poorly-constructed post written in the hoary afterglow of a three-day alcopop bender. The point is, I missed a few notables. The afterlife smells a lot more like ganj lately, and here’s why:


3.3.12: Ronnie Montrose – DEAD!

Ronnie Montrose, guitarist for, uh… Montrose… has died at the age of 64 from prostate cancer. Montrose, before forming Montrose, Montrosed all over albums by Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, The Edgar Winter Group, and Herbie Hancock. Upon going all hardcore eponymous, Montrose gave us the debut of a young firebrand named Sammy Hagar, who would go on to annoy everyone on the goddamn planet by having the kind of on-again/off-again relationship with Van Halen that was historically reserved for late-season episodes of 90210. Jesus Christ, will you guys just hump already?


3.7.12: James T. Ellis – DEAD!

Don’t feel alone; I’m also way too white to have to known who he was by the picture. Ellis was a member of 70s disco act The Trammps. More specifically, he was the “Burn, baby, burn!” guy in the song ‘Disco Inferno.’ Ellis died at the age of 74 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which isn’t a funny cause of death, and that makes my work here considerably more difficult. Sigh. Nobody ever dies from spontaneous bowel explosion anymore. It’s a very different world we’re living in nowadays.


3.12.12: Michael Hossack – DEAD!

Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack, 65, also died of cancer this month. The cautionary tale of the Doobie Brothers is that if you name your band after interests you developed in your youth that name is probably not going to age too well. It’s a lesson I and the rest of the My Little Pony Sunshine Symphony wish we had taken to heart years ago.


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3.13.12: Three Television Horses – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 3:49 am March 17, 2012

Nobody’s proud of this.


In the wake of a horse being injured on set, HBO has ended production of Luck, a show which must only be viewable to those who successfully solve a series of ancient television riddles because this is the first I’ve heard of it. The horse suffered a head injury and was subsequently euthanized.

The American Humane Association and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had called for an inquiry into “Luck” after a horse flipped and struck its head on Tuesday and was euthanized at the determination of an veterinarian.

So all PETA did was call for an inquiry? You mean to tell me their involvement didn’t necessitate dumping buckets of baby blood on exhumed corpses or mailing eyeballs to the president or some other pointless nonsense? You’ve changed, PETA. It used to be about the half-assed shock tactics.

Alright, back on track: I admit this is sad, but it was just one horse. Is that really enough to shut down an entire tv show? It’s like the old Chinese proverb: “Sometimes you murder a horse.” It becomes truer every year.


Two horses were also euthanized during the production of the first season of “Luck.”

Wait, so this was the third horse to die on set? Yeesh. Okay. Uh. Well, what do you expect from a long-running show like this? Hell, I bet The Simpsons has killed hundreds of horses, and that shit is animated.


The show survived it’s [sic, because I’m pedantic] season 1 run but was cancelled in the last two shows, cancelling season 2.

It didn’t even make it to two seasons without three dead horses?! Are you shitting me!? Has anybody ever even seen this show? Are we positive it even existed? I’m starting to think this whole production was just an elaborate scam to avoid paying taxes on running a glue factory. It happens all the time. You don’t wanna know why they really made Roots.


Sources: The New York Times and Z6Mag

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2.29.12: Comic Book Artist Sheldon Moldoff – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:51 am March 15, 2012

I can recite entire lines of dialogue from this story, yet have no idea who my congressman is. I’m gonna classify that as a wash.


Sheldon Moldoff died of kidney failure late last month but I didn’t hear about it until now because apparently 91-year-old comic book artists aren’t quite front page news right now. At least not ones who worked on Hawkman. Poor Hawkman.

Mr. Moldoff drew covers for the first appearances of the characters Flash and Green Lantern in 1940 and some of the earliest renderings of Hawkman. He also contributed to the first issue of Action Comics, in which Superman was introduced (though he did not draw the Man of Steel).

Moldoff is actually the last surviving artist who worked on said issue of Action Comics, which is pretty much considered the most important comic book ever printed and the origin of the superhero genre, establishing the template for 70-plus years of the medium and its influence on pop culture. So, if you were trying to discover the root of why I don’t have a girlfriend, that’s about as exact as you’re gonna get.


Source: The New York Times

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3.12.12: NBA Assistant Dick Harter – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:02 am March 14, 2012

Last time I visited a sports website my computer smelled like Axe Body Spray for a month, so you’re just gonna have to make due with this artist’s conception. I feel it hits all the key elements.


I don’t do a lot of sports posts here because that shit is boring and if I wanna watch muscular sweaty dudes giving each other smoldering looks I already know how to use RedTube. But NBA star Dick Harter died on Monday at the age of 81, and that’s notable because ‘Dick Harter’ is the name I used to prank call bars with back when I was a juvenile young kid. I miss those days, but I guess nobody gets to stay 26 forever.

I’m not even sure what team Harter played for, so let’s just say it was the Cleveland DuRags. Jeez, there really isn’t much journalistic content in this, is there? This is what I get for hanging an entire post on a 60-year-old penis joke. I mean the joke is that old. Not the penis. Ugh. Right about now I’m really wishing I hadn’t given up the backspace key for lent.

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