Tomorrow’s Friday Feature will pay tribute to some of the performers the world lost.
25. I counted at least 25 musicians that have played a role in the sound of 93XRT over the past 44 years that died in 2016. These are just a few that I will miss the most.
David Bowie-Suffragette City. The medical profession has the defibrillator. A D.J. has the perfect marriage of David Bowie with Mick Ronson.
Prince-Dirty Mind. I was working in a record store in 1980.The owner was experimenting with some video projection screen and had a video of an up and coming performer named Prince. Prince wasn’t wearing a lot of clothing and what he was wearing owed more to Victoria’s Secret than Carnaby Street. But it wasn’t the fashion that blew me away. It was the music. And the dirty.
Paul Kantner-Have You Seen the Stars Tonight. He founded the Jefferson Airplane. They were the pre-eminent psychedelic rock band on the planet in 1967. He was political. He was visionary. When Grace Slick and Paul paired off for a sci-fi musical excursion called Jefferson Starship, he wrote the first 8 minute punk rock song (Mau Mau) and the most beautiful ballad I’ve ever heard, “Have You Seen The Stars Tonight.”
Mose Allison-Ever Since the World Ended. A jazz pianist with wicked wit. The Who covered him on Live at Leeds. “Your Mind is on Vacation,” was part of XRT’s library when it came out in 1976. Of all the apocalyptic be-bop I’ve heard, this later recording is the best. “Ever since the world ended, people don’t keep in touch.”
After David Bowie died, I tried to rebound with a memorable concert. On January 19th, my brother David flew into Chicago to see Bruce Springsteen with me at the United Center. It was bitterly cold. We warmed up with some Big Star tacos inside the U.C. And then we faced The River Tour up close. It was one of those nights. So much fun that we forgot about how early the next day would be. He caught a pre-dawn flight back to North Carolina. I was already on the air. It was early that morning, the morning of January 20th that the news came that my mother had passed away. She took me to see Arlo Guthrie in 1967. She bought me The Who’s rock opera, Tommy, when it came out. A child of the depression, she knew how to rock.