Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 11 March 2016

RIP, continued

Sir George Martin (1926-2016), aged 90. After Bowie, Rickman, Wogan, Tony Warren, another British titan has departed. London's "Evening Standard" put it perfectly: "The tributes to Sir George Martin, whose death was announced today, have been rich and manifold - and rightly so. One of London's musical greats, Sir George was the man who steered The Beatles to global stardom. To them, and to many others, he was mentor, producer, friend, arranger, writer and guide. It is no exaggeration to say that popular music as we know it today would be a different beast without Sir George's influence, which truly stretched 'Here, There and Everywhere'". 
Nice. Often refereed to  "The Fifth Beatle", legendary producer Martin' career spanned six decades of work in music, film, tv and live performance. He worked for EMI, Parlophone and Apple record labels and operated from the Abbey Road studios. He played piano on The Beatles' "In My Life", added the string quartet to "Yesterday", and the violins on "Eleanor Rigby" and produced and arranged over 700 records for artists as varied as Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black as well as the 1960s new groups. He also produced a lot of comedy records including Peter Sellers' single "A Hard Day's Night" (which he does in the style of Olivier's Richard III) and that 1960 album with Sellers and Sophia Loren (above). He also contributed to a wide range of charitable causes. The list of his credits is astonishing. 

Sir Ken Adam (1921-2016), aged 95. Production designer Ken Adam remains famous for his work on DR STRANGELOVE and seven James Bond films. His sets include  triangular Pentagon War Room in Dr Strangelove and the villain's headquarters in the 1962 James Bond film DR NO and the interior of Fort Knox in GOLDFINGER.. He also designed the car in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG,  He was born Klaus Adam in 1921 in Berlin. His Jewish family, who ran a sports store, fled Germany to England as he entered his teens. He began to study architecture, and later served in the RAF - one of the few members of the RAF with a German passport - before becoming a production designer in the film industry. He won two Oscars, one in 1976 for his work on Stanley Kubrick's BARRY LYNDON and one in 1995 for THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE.
Steven Spielberg told him his work for Stanley Kubrick's DR STRANGELOVE included the best movie-set ever built. 

Richard Davalos (1930-2016), aged 85. That interesting young actor who played the OTHER brother in EAST OF EDEN. Aron was a plum role in that Kazan film but James Dean was so magnetic and hypnotic that Davalos seemed bland by comparison and it really did nothing much for him. He and Dean roomed together during the shoot, and their screen tests are certainly interesting. He had small parts in other '50s movies like THE SEA CHASE, ALL THE YOUNG MEN, and COOL HAND LUKE in 1967. He also did lots of television, and was immortalised on the cover of The Smiths' recordings. At least he lived 60 years longer than Dean ...

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