Remember the songs Kryptonite, When I’m Gone, and Let Me Go? Well, not only were they huge hits for the Mississippi-based alternative rock band 3 Doors Down more than a decade ago, but they featured the awesome lead guitar riffs of original axeman Matt Roberts, who has just sadly passed away from a prescription drug overdose at just 38 years of age.
I will admit that when 3 Doors Down’s breakthrough hit, Kryptonite, was first released in 2000, I thought that they were ripping off One by Metallica because Roberts’ melodic guitar riff sounded almost similar hence the fact that both songs were recorded in the key of B minor. Luckily, Hetfield and company did not dub Roberts and the band, which also included tenor-voiced lead singer Brad Arnold, unforgiven with any sort of legal action, but 3DD continued to produce a steady stream of hit singles, which also included Be Like That, Here Without You, and Let Me Be Myself. Roberts’ guitar work and songwriting abilities on the band’s albums and singles until his departure from 3DD in 2012 are nothing short of remarkable and extraordinary, and his contributions to rock music are among those that will never be forgotten. Thank you, Matt, for helping bring some great music to the world.
As I am pretty sure you were, I was shocked to find out that #Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis-area studio when this news broke today. This may sound cliche, but this announcement is as sad as those of the deaths of Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson because like these other artists, Prince was a music icon who was in a class by himself.
As someone who grew up during the 80s and early 90s, I vividly remember hearing Prince’s records like Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, and Diamonds And Pearls on the radio. These are more than just records; they are masterpieces because of the way that his compositions were arranged and his instrumentations were augmented by his phenomenal baritone-to-countertenor vocal range. As for his work as an actor, Purple Rain is among his best work not just as a motion picture but his best work collectively because his work ethic reflected in everything he did.
Prince Rogers Nelson, aka The Artist Formerly Known As The Unpronounceable Love Symbol, may have been as maniacal about his privacy as the late Michael Jackson and veteran music producer Mutt Lange have been about theirs, but through his work, I feel that the world knew as much about him as he would let us know. He will be truly missed, and as his recordings continue to play on the radio, his spirit still lingers among us. May you rest in peace, Prince.
This video contains reflections about Prince and his musical legacy. Check it out.
Sir George Martin, the legendary producer who was at the helm of most of the Beatles’ biggest hits, has passed away at age 90. Aside from the Fab Four, “the fifth Beatle,” as he was known, also produced recordings for such artists as America, Celine Dion, Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney (and Wings), and Michael Jackson. Martin’s contribution to the music industry as not only a producer but also as a composer, arranger, and music executive is remarkable and will never be forgotten.
May you rest in peace, George.
Just this morning, I learned that entertainer George Gaynes has just passed away at age 98. He was know for his roles in Tootsie and the Police Academy movies, but I also remember him as photography/building manager/foster parent Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster. George was also a singer with a very powerful baritone voice, and one of my favourite vocal performances of his was featured in an episode of Punky (in which the late Andy Gibb guess starred as a piano teacher) where he sang the following lyric:
Don’t say salami
Don’t say bananas
Don’t say minestrone
Say cheese, baby, say cheese!
Rest in peace, George, and keep having them saying cheese in the afterlife!
Maurice White, the leader of legendary R&B group, Earth, Wind, and Fire, has passed away today. He was 74. Since the 70s, his band has scored hits with such songs as September, Shining Star, After The Love Is Gone, and Let’s Grove. Rest in peace, Maurice.
I have just heard on the news this evening that Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey has passed away today at age 67 after a period of declining health. Glenn played guitar and piano for the Eagles’ and sang lead on some of the band’s hits, including Take It Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, and Heartache Tonight. As a solo artist, he produced successful singles like The Heat Is On, True Love, and Sexy Girl.
Rest in peace, Glenn, and keep rocking in heaven!
Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole, the daughter of late legendary crooner Nat “King” Cole, has passed away yesterday at the age of 65 after battling health issues in recent years. Since 1975, she produced hit singles like This Will Be An Everlasting Love, Dangerous, and her cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s classic, Pink Cadillac. Natalie’s biggest hit came in 1991 when her mezzo-soprano voice was technologically paired with her father’s baritone on their duet, Unforgettable.
Having listened to Natalie’s music since my childhood in the 80s, I can honestly say her voice was (and still is) one of a kind like her father’s was. Even after she overcame her drug addiction in the early 80s, she proved that she could return to the charts as not only a stronger vocalist but also as a stronger woman.
Natalie, may you rest in peace, and may you keep singing in sweet in heaven.
Scott Weiland, who was best known as the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, was found dead yesterday on his tour bus at age 48. His baritone voice was heard as he sang on STP’s biggest hits such as Creep, Interstate Love Song, and Sour Girl as well as VR’s singles including Fall To Pieces. Despite his issues with drugs over the years, Scott was still one of the finest performers in rock history since the Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison.
RIP, Scott Weiland. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/scott-weiland-dead-at-48-20151204