This Day in Death

4.26.12: The Killers’ Saxophonist Tommy Marth – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:30 am April 27, 2012

Play “Blue Sky Mine”!

 

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for rock saxophonists. I mean, moreso than usual. First that guy from Men at Work was found dead in his Melbourne home, possibly murdered, probably by a wallaby. And now Tommy Marth, saxophone player for The Killers, has apparently taken his own life. I dunno, I was into saxophonist deaths before they got all watered down. All these guys are just trying to imitate Clarence Clemons’ death, God rest his skronkin’ soul.

For those of you who weren’t getting star tattoos on your wrists a decade ago, The Killers were among the nouniest of the post-2000 ‘The Nouns’ band jizzsplosion, a monstrous trend that fooled us all into thinking that what was essentially a manufactured boy band made up of the sons of rich white men was an authentic modern-day resurrection of rock music, a genre created by poor black men. After that black people stopped inventing cool things just so that we couldn’t take them anymore. Come on, guys! Just give us something new already. All we’ve come up with so far is the Keytar, and it’s really not as much fun as we’re pretending it is.

The band took to their Twitter account and maxed out the character limit to deliver an almost error-free condolence, because that’s apparently the new way for musicians to say they’re filled with sadness, but not quite a whole paragraph worth of it.

Last night we lost our friend Thomas Marth. Our prayers are with his family.There’s a light missing in Las Vegas tonight. Travel well, Tommy

Maybe I’m just a thousand years old (full disclosure: I am a thousand years old), but Twitter is such a shitty way to express any genuine emotion and it just comes off as insincere when people use it to announce something as supposedly important as the death of a friend and collaborator. And I’m not just saying so because I’m pissed that someone already stole my idea for a Twitter name. I really should’ve jumped on that *before* they brought Pac back, but really, who saw that coming?

 

Source: Pop Crush (looks pretty hardcore to me)

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2.4.13: Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:07 pm February 15, 2013

 DONALD_BYRD I enjoy this picture a lot more if I imagine that the harder he blows the more it makes his afro grow out. Look, I’m trying to learn to appreciate jazz here, but you’re really gonna have to meet me halfway.

 

Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd is dead, and my reporting on it really does a lot to class up a resume that’s mostly filled with Cheeto stains and borderline anti-Semitic remarks. Despite being considered an innovator of the “hard-pop” style, Byrd’s reputation has been hampered by being literally the only jazz musician to neither appear on The Cosby Show nor OD on heroin. They’re sorta the twin jewels of jazz credibility.

 In 1958, he signed an exclusive recording contract with the Blue Note label and formed a band with a fellow Detroit native, baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, making their label debut with the 1959 album “Off to the Races.” The band became one of the leading exponents of the hard-bop style, which evolved from bebop and blended in elements of R&B, soul and gospel music.

Pfft. You guys are a bunch of hypocrites. Oh, sure, everyone gets all weepy when some jazzy triangle player or whatever dies, but nobody even noticed when the entire genre of nu metal died in 2002. Don’t you remember the good times? Mudvayne, Puddle of Mudd? It was the golden age of mud-based band names, for Durst’s sake! Have you even considered what happened to the guy from Papa Roach? He has no other employable skills, nu metal was his last resort, assholes! Static-X!

 

Source: Yahoo! News

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10.21.12: George McGovern – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:30 pm October 23, 2012

Noble as his intentions were, McGovern’s “Come Home America” button initiative just couldn’t compete with Nixon’s “No Fat Chicks” t-shirt campaign. The 70s!


I had planned to tell you that yet another saxophonist is dead, thus cementing TDiD as the internet’s number 1 source for late-breaking saxman death news, but then liberal hippie-type George McGovern had to up and die as well, and people seem to really care about that, so I guess yet another of my dreams has been crushed. First I find out that Lucky Charms contain no actual magical properties, and now this. The late 20s are a real tough age for a young boy’s dreams.

Sen. John Kerry said Sunday that McGovern never let the political popularity of a subject determine whether he supported a cause.

“George McGovern was a voice of clarity and conviction at a time when America needed it most,” Kerry said. “He spoke to many of us who opposed the war but loved our country, because he was the genuine article, a soft-spoken, decent and gentle man who lived a remarkable life with humility.”

While some people admired McGovern for his liberal viewpoints and others for his tireless work to feed the hungry, my favorite thing about him is that he had the word “govern” right there in his name. It helps me remember who he was, and I appreciate that. I don’t have the time to remember the names and careers of every single politician I hear about or celebrity I see on television or sibling I grew up knowing or girl I’m currently on a date with, you gotta streamline stuff like that. How the hell does Lawrence Fishburne expect me to remember what he does? Is he a chef or something? It’s just nonsense, really.

 

Source: CNN

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4.19.12: Men at Work’s Greg Ham – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:15 am April 24, 2012

Well I’ll be damned. I’ll never question a stereotype’s accuracy again.



Greg Ham, saxophonist and flutist (tee hee!) for 80s pop act Men at Work, died on Thursday at his home in Melbourne. Thus concludes everything I know about Men at Work. I’ll be honest: I’ve had to check the headline of this very post three times to make sure I was supposed to be talking about Men at Work and not Men Without Hats. The 80s were stupid.

Friends discovered Ham’s body inside a front room of his house, where he lived alone, on Thursday, April 19. They let themselves in after he failed to answer the door, the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun reported, adding that he had not been in contact with them in a week.

Homicide squad Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O’Connell told the newspaper there were a series of “unexplained issues” surrounding the death and no suspect has been identified.

“Somebody may’ve murdered a 58-year-old saxophone player from a band that hasn’t had a hit in nearly 30 years? That seems unbelievably arbitrary,” said anyone who lives in a country that wasn’t founded as a penal colony.

Men At Work broke up in 1985, while Ham and lead singer Colin Hay reunited in the 1990s. Ham had worked as a music teacher in his final years.

“We played in a band and conquered the world together,” Hay told The Herald Sun.

Alright, let’s, uh… let’s not go nuts here. I’m not trying to be callous about this, lord knows that a good skronky sax solo has changed my life for the better on more than one occasion, but metaphorically “conquering the world” for a little while in the 1980s is kinda like beating the Washington Generals. Yeah, there’s some opposition but everyone knows nothing’s actually at stake. Moreover, I’ve never met anyone who would dispute that the second line of the chorus of “Down Under” is “duh duh duh, duh duh duh and PLUN-DERRR!!” Needs more skronk!

 

Source: On the Red Carpet (I don’t know what it is, either.)

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