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.

Monday, 4 July 2016

RIP, continued ....

Caroline Aherne (1963-2016) aged 52. The first half of 2016 has certainly been tough: not only David Bowie gone but also Prince, not only Victoria Wood but now also that other gifted British comedy genius Caroline Aherne, who bestrode the comedy world like a colossus in the 1990s, with shows like THE FAST SHOW, THE MRS MERTON SHOW and THE ROYLE FAMILY. If you are not familiar with them try to rectify that - I have just ordered a compete run of THE FAST SHOW as I missed a lot of it at the time, for Caroline's very funny contributions: 
that over-chatty checkout girl,the weather girl and that bossy wife Renee and her her henpecked husband Roy. It will be bliss to see them again. It will be poignant though seeing THE ROYLE FAMILY now, where her bone-idle selfish Denise was just one very funny strand, and MRS MERTON was a must too with her barbed putdowns. Caroline though, as well-documented in the press, had problems coping with fame and eventually walked away from it as she coped with several cancers and a problematic private life. Her comedy genius shines on and she will be much missed. We simply loved her. Below: Caroline with ROYLE FAMILY co-stars Liz Smith and Sue Johnston in 2002. 
Scotty Moore (1931-2016), aged 84. Elvis's first guitarist whose early background was in jazz and country music. He was one of The Blue Moon Boys in 1954 the year they first worked with Presley on hits like "That All Right" which had the bluegrass "Blue Moon of Kentucky" on the B-side. The hits like "Jailhouse Rock", "Heartbreak Hotel, "Hound Dog" followed before the inevitable rift with Presley and his manager.

Chips Moman (1937-2016), aged 79. Anyone with any regard for soul music would know of Chips Moman, the legendary song-writer ("The Dark End Of The Street" which Aretha and others covered so  well and her "Do Right Woman Do Right Man") and guitarist (again, on Aretha's "I Never Loved A Man"), and record producer. He also revived Elvis's career in the late 60s by including songs like "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" in his new act. Other artists he worked with include Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tammy Wynette, and Dusty Springfield's "Dusty In Memphs" album recorded at Muscle Shoals.

John McMartin (1929-2016), aged 86. While the name might not ring a bell surely the face will. In his 60 year career he worked across all three actor's mediums regularly: stage, tv, and film, being Tony-nominated 5 times - he created the role of Oscar in SWEET CHARITY opposite Gwen Verdon and reprised it in Fosse' 1969 film with Shirley McLaine, and also went on to star in Sondheim's FOLLIES on stage. Films included ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, BRUBAKER, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, KINSEY and lots of television including THE GOLDEN GIRLS, PHYLLIS, LAW & ORDER, MURDER SHE WROTE, FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY.

Michael Cimino (1939-2016), aged 77. The last Hollywood maverick? We loved Cimino's THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT in 1974, a terrific caper movie and one of Eastwood's best; THE DEER HUNTER in 1978 is certainly a key film of the era, though I only ever needed to see it once, while I like so many others simply hated HEAVEN'S GATE.  The rest of his films just did not interest me at all.
As The Telegraph's obituary put it: he was the Oscar-winning American director whose rise and fall occurred at a speed unprecedented even in Hollywood.
Cimino enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success with only his second film, the Vietnam war epic The Deer Hunter (1978). But his third, the western Heaven’s Gate (1980), was delivered so far over budget that when it flopped it practically bankrupted the studio, destroyed Cimino’s career, shifted power back from the auteur-director to the executives and became a byword for directorial folie de grandeur.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Cimino had died. Must have happened when I was in Spain.