Dr. John, RIP

I wanted to clear out those last two videos to make room for Dr. John, who passed away on June 6th at age 77. From wiki:

As a young man Rebennack was interested in New Orleans voodoo, and in Los Angeles he developed the idea of the Dr. John persona for his old friend Ronnie Barron, based on the life of Dr. John, a Senegalese prince, a medicinal and spiritual healer who came to New Orleans from Haiti. This free man of color lived on Bayou Road and claimed to have 15 wives and over 50 children. He kept an assortment of snakes and lizards, along with embalmed scorpions and animal and human skulls, and sold gris-gris, voodoo amulets that protected the wearer from harm.

Rebennack decided to produce a record and a stage show based on this concept, with Dr. John serving as an emblem of New Orleans heritage. Although initially the plan was for Barron to front the act assuming the identity of “Dr. John”, while Rebbenack worked behind the scenes as Dr. John’s writer/musician/arranger/producer, this didn’t come to pass. Barron dropped out of the project, and Rebennack took over the role (and identity) of Dr. John. Gris-Gris became the name of Dr. John’s debut album, released in January 1968, representing his own form of “voodoo medicine”.

Johnny Marr

The legendary Johnny Marr is playing the House of Blues in San Diego on Monday, May 20th!

His solo career never matched the success he had with the Smiths, where they had four of their albums listed on Rolling Stone’s Greatest 500 Albums of All-Time.

Will the Smiths ever get back together?

In 2006, Morrissey declared, “I would rather eat my own testicles than reform the Smiths, and that’s saying something for a vegetarian.”

Ranking Roger RIP


Those of us who were a punk/new wave/ska fans in the early 1980s loved how the English Beat brought everyone together.

This is Sting’s statement:

The mid seventies was one of the most influential periods in the history of British pop music. The merging of Caribbean rhythms and the tropes of the immigrant West Indian experience alongside young white bands struggling to find an identity in Thatcher’s disunited kingdom produced what would become the second wave of British dominance in popular music across the world.

My friend Roger, as a founding member of the English Beat was at the centre of this febrile and explosive clash of cultures, uniquely placed to document the excitement of those times, the heady joy of success, the political turmoil, the inherent racism at all levels of our society as well as the brotherly bond of musicians struggling to make themselves heard within it. Thank you, Roger. You will be missed.

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