Celebrity Deaths

Gil Scott-Heron, Dead at 62

In MemoriumGil Scott-Heron was 62. He was the poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. He was the man behind such seminal pieces of music as “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.

I'm late with this one... Gil Scott-Heron passed on Friday. I received the following note late last night via the contact form.

Hey Mike

No RIP for Gil Scott-Heron? He didn't really skip your generation did he?

I'm in my mid-thirties. I've been listening to music from various genres for as long as I can remember. Gil Scott-Heron's contribution to music has been seriously under reported.

In fact, I only know of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" because one of my favourite albums of all time, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, by one of my favourite bands of all time, Public Enemy, opens with this:

Peace. Armageddon has been in effect, go get a late pass... step. This time around the revolution will not be televised…step. London, England... consider yourselves... warned!

I'm getting a late pass myself. I have some catching up to do.


Jeff Conaway, Dead at 60

In MemoriumJeff Conaway was 60. He made his name playing bad boy Kenickie in the movie Grease and as struggling actor Bobby Wheeler in the sitcom Taxi.


Pete Griffin From Pete and Geets, Dead at 81

In MemoriumPete Griffin was 81. He and David Haydu formed the comedy duo Pete & Geets, hosting a morning-drive radio show on CHUM-FM in the early 1970s that was later revived between 1982-1987 on CFNY.

Here's some great audio of Pete and Geets, originally shared here.

I once interviewed my buddy Freddie P about the Pete and Geets show, and asked him what it was like to be a part of it all. Here's what he told me:

Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.

Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.

I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.

And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.

The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.

It sounds like I missed something special. Glove tap to @mondoville for letting me know about this loss and helping me verify his age.


"Macho Man" Randy Savage, Dead at 58

In Memorium"Macho Man" Randy Savage was 58. He was one of the most famous WWF superstars of all-time.

I always loved Macho Man. In fact, less than a month ago, I wrote about his epic rap career. I highly recommend you visit Macho Man's Rap Career Was Epic for more memories of the Macho Man, including a few cuts from Be A Man, an album I'll bet you don't own.

Rip Macho Man. Ooh yeah!

Update

I'm watching old footage of Macho Man, from the glory days of WWF wrestling. Here's Macho Man and Mean Gene Okerlund.

And here's Macho Man and the lovely Elizabeth at home, being interviewed by Mean Gene.

Sadly, Macho Man now joins Elizabeth on the lengthy list of Wrestlemania III stars who have passed away.


Harmon Killebrew, Dead at 74

In MemoriumHarmon Killebrew was 74. He was the affable, big-swinging Hall of Famer whose tape-measure home runs made him the cornerstone of the Minnesota Twins.

harmonkillebrew


Derek Boogaard, Dead at 28

In MemoriumDerek Boogaard was 28. He played 277 regular-season games with the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers over six seasons, accumulating three goals and 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.



Mel Queen, Dead at 69

In MemoriumMel Queen was 69. He had a brief stint as the Toronto's interim manager in 1997 and served the Blue Jays in numerous roles, including director of player development and pitching coach.


Seve Ballesteros, Dead at 54

In MemoriumSeve Ballesteros was 54. He was a five-time major golf champion whose passion and gift for imaginative shot-making invigorated European golf and the Ryder Cup.


Osama bin Laden, Dead at 54

In MemoriumOsama bin Laden was 54. He was the founder of the jihadist organization al-Qaeda, most widely recognized for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets.

I've been documenting the deaths of the famous and infamous here for over 10 years, but I've almost never been pleased to publish such an entry. That's not the case tonight.

On September 11, 2001, 2,749 people were killed in Manhattan, 184 people died in Washington and 40 died in Pennsylvania as a result of the worst act of terrorism ever to take place on North American soil. I shared my memories of 9/11 here. Osama bin Laden was responsible, but remained elusive for almost a decade. Osama bin Laden is now dead, words many have wanted to read since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

nyt

How do you feel hearing Osama bin Laden has finally been killed?


Ken Kostick, Dead at 57

In MemoriumKen Kostick was 57. He hosted the TV cooking show What's for Dinner with Mary Jo Eustace. He was also part of the first morning show in the history of 103.9 Proud FM.




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