Billy Powell (William Norris Powell) 6/3/52 - 1/28/09. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas Billy was the long-time keyboard player for Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was hired as their roadie and upon hearing him play his own version of "Freebird" was asked to join the band. Billy died in his home of a heart attack. He was 56.

I wonder how if felt to be the roadie for this great band then be asked to join and be one of them! That must have been exciting for Billy, and they made a good call by recognizing his talents.

Michael Jackson (Michael Joseph Jackson) 8/29/58 - 6/25/09. Michael was born in Gary, Indiana and started his career at age 5. He was one of the most successful performers of all time known for his singing, dancing, songwriting and choreography. Michael suffered from drug addiction and died of an overdose (confirmation of this pending). He was 50.

Wow, how does one begin to write about thier lifetime memories of Michael Jackson. Michael was a year older than me, I grew up watching him from his earliest days on television. I never stopped watching, I loved his music, his style and mostly hid theatrical dancing and performing. Attending a Michael Jackson concert was like watching a master magician who could also dance and sing. It was one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever seen. There are lots of nasty things said about Michael and I don't know what he did or didn't do that was wrong, but I really believe that Michael himself was like a child in many ways. I think he was also messed up emotionally and spend his life trying to find "normal" or trying to find something that would allow him to cope. I truly do believe that his generous and humanitarian efforts have helped millions. He was known not just to send money - but to go himself, see the needs and ask for help for specific kids he heard about or met. As unpopular as it may be to like Michael Jackson, I would be lying if I said I didn't like him, care about him and feel sad for him. His life was far from easy or normal. Money doesn't buy peace, joy and contentment. I hope that it there was foul play in his death they get to the bottom of it but my guess is it was Micheal's choices that led to his death.

Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror

 Eric Norman Woolfson 3/18/45 - 12/2/09.  Eric was born in Glasgow, UK.  He was a founding member of the Alan Parsons Project, he wrote songs and played piano.  After leaving the band he continues his musical career in theater.  He was married to the same woman, Hazel, from 1969 to his death.  Eric died of cancer.  He was 64.

James Owen Sullivan ("The Rev") 2/10/81 - 12/28/09.  James was born in Huntington Beach, CA.  He was the drummer and back-up vocalist for Avenged Sevenfold.  James was a very talented musician who also played guitar, bass and piano and wrote songs.  He was found dead in his home, cause of death still pending.  James was 28.

A very sad death that hits close to home literally and because my son is a big fan of this band.  It would surprise me if there are not drugs involved, I hope not, but chances are....I hope this young man's life is a reminder to all his fans that "partying" can be deadly if it leads to abuse, addiction or over consumption.


Starrlight said...

Kidlet got a text from a friend while we were touring Pearl Harbor. I'm still in shock. The sad part is the Michael Jackson who lives on my iPod died a long time ago.

Perplexio said...

Sadly I learned today that Eric Woolfson died of cancer last week (on 12/2/09). He was 64 and is best known for being one of the singers for Alan Parsons Project in the late 70s and into the early 80s. Woolfson is best known for his vocals on the Alan Parsons Project hits Time and Eye In the Sky.

Perplexio said...

Some other 2009 deaths:

Taylor Mitchell (August 27, 1990-October 28, 2009) (attacked by Coyotes) - Canadian folk singer

Jeff Hanson (March 3, 1978-June 5, 2009) (drug toxicity) (singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist)

Jack Rose (February 16, 1971-December 5, 2009) (heart attack) (guitarist)

Check out Any Major Dude With Half a Heart as he lists many more (including some you've already posted entries for).

Perplexio said...

I just read about the first big musical passing of 2010... Teddy Pendergrass died of colon cancer yesterday. He was 59. He rose to fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before embarking on a successful solo career.

Perplexio said...

Regarding The Rev...

One of his main influences was Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. Portnoy offered to and ended up playing drums Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare album and touring with them this past summer. Portnoy left Dream Theater after 25 years just last week so there's no telling whether or not he will extend his involvement with Avenged Sevenfold into 2011 as his schedule is a bit more open now.