This was going to be the video for "Catholic Boy," but who can resist a Road House/Snoop Dogg mash up?
You might not have heard, but this has been a rough summer to be a celebrity--if Kanye's not getting drunk and interrupting your address to a joint session of Congress, chances are that you're gonna die. It's horrible, really. A world without Dom DeLuise is not a world I want to live in, but I must soldier on. The world of music has not escaped the bony touch of Death's stink-finger either--in fact, it's a sector of the celebrity-industrial complex that's been particularly hard hit. The guitar player from Sha Na Na bit the big one, the crazy dude from that movie Shine is tinkling the ivories for St. Peter these days and that dude who sang the song about the rat, and the spaceship and the lazers and the what not, died too. It's been a cruel summer, as Bananarama might say.
Poetically, these dog days of demise have been punctuated with a death that has been staved off longer than expected. Jim Carroll--addict, author and singer behind the classic punk track "People Who Died"--has passed from this mortal coil. I wasn't the hugest fan (I've never really been an adherent to the "itchy 'n' lethargic" aesthetic in art), but I was in high school when The Basketball Diaries came out. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices if you want to make it to second base, so I've seen it more times than I'm willing to admit. (Same goes for Titanic, if you're wondering.) I read the book once, too, and even owned a book of his poetry, because--as I'm sure many of our commenters can tell you--comic books won't get you laid. But "People Who Died" is fucking amazing, and for that Jim Carroll will always have a place in my heart.
Of course, Carroll's corpse was barely cold when news came over the wire that Patrick "She's Like the Wind" Swayze died. Go figure. You can't have a cool celebrity die without somebody my mom knows about ruining the news cycle with their poorly timed passing. Such are the ways of our modern world. After the jump, my top 10 videos involving people who died, who died. They're all my friends and THEY DIED!!!!111oneoneoneno!
(OK, that last part is a bit hyperbolic--I don't have any friends, just people who punch me in the face--but you get the drift. Click that shit for the "Other People Who Died" playlist.)
Other People Who Died
People You'd Think Were Other People but Aren't: According to Dead Rock Stars Club, Danny McBride and Kevin Smith died this summer. Luckily, it won't be interfering with the second season of Eastbound and Down ,or preventing anybody from making another porno that nobody wants to watch, cuz it was just the guitar player from Sha Na Na and some session dude who played with Black 47.
People Who Spend Money on Re-donk-ulous Films: Sure, I paid Regal-retarded prices to see The Final Destination 3D, but I didn't pay for anyone to make a movie like The Holy Mountain. Allen Klein did. That movie is fuuuuuuUUUUUCKED UP! He also used to manage some band named The Beatles (sp?), but I've never heard of 'em, so whatevs.
People Who Push Things with Extreme Difficulty : I had a crazy old hippie co-worker who was pregnant the summer that The Seeds' "Pushing Too Hard" was on the Top 40. When she found out I was a fan of the band, she proceeded to tell me all the gory details involved with pushing something the size of a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon during medieval times. Scarred. For. Life.
People Who Made Music You Reference, but Rarely Listen To: One of the four other things I learned in high school, besides the chastity-inducing effects of sequential art, was that people talk about John Coltrane if they want to sound smart. Just like they talk about Bob Marley if they want send the message that they know how to party. Rasheid Ali hit the skins during Coltrane's final days, in case you want to impress the kids at the coffee shop later.
People Somehow Involved in the Most Awful Music Ever Recorded : I had no idea that DJ AM was in Crazy Town--I thought he was one of those people who was just famous for being famous, like a Kardashian or something. I would have never read his obituary if I had--that band gargled goat jiz for subway tokens. Dear God, don't let them pull a Jermaine Jackson and reunite just to exploit his passing. I just couldn't handle all that warmed-over suck.
People In Some Way Involved With the Most Awesome Music Ever : Ellie Greenwich co-authored some of the greatest songs ever written--"Da Doo Ron Ron," "Chapel of Love" and the unstoppable "River Deep Mountain High," just to name a few. "Butterfly" it's not, but you won't hear me complaining. (Also, check out the Dobie Gray version of "River Deep." That shit is HOT!)
People Who Made Things Sound Awesome: If you haven't read Robert Gordon's badass book It Came from Memphis, do that right now. There are parts with Bluff City mainstay and indie-rock architect Jim Dickinson that just plain rule. I'm not sure how I feel about The Replacements being in a video game, though.
People Who Doodled Your Dang and/or Wang: Koko Taylor isn't the first name that jumps to your lips when you talk about blues singers, but I think this is the definitive version of "Wang Dang Doodle." Slinky, menacing and sexy, Koko kills it on this late period Chess classic.
People Who Were Looping Guitars Before Your Frat Brother Ever Bought a Pair of Tevas: You're not going to make me explain this, are you Nashville? We all know your roommate is probably rubbing one out on his reissue right now.
People Who Wrote About People Who Died: Obvs.