By Joseph Suto
It has been a rough week for the world of rock ‘n’ roll and that is putting it mildly. Not only have we lost some extremely well-known, well respected and well decorated musicians, we lost some of our heroes.
The recent deaths of David Bowie and Glenn Frey have many shaking their heads and wondering who’s next?
The string of deaths actually began on December 28 when the leader of Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister 70, passed away to close out 2015. Although Motörhead is a known band their popularity never reached the heights one would have thought. Among his peers Lemmy was very respected and very well liked. So many musicians have shared stories and posted pictures of themselves taken with Lemmy. His memorial service was broadcasted on the Internet for those who were unable to attend.
The shocking news of David Bowie’s passing on January 10, revealed he had been fighting liver cancer for eighteen months. He died two days after turning 69. Strangely enough that was also the same day he released his latest album Blackstar. The timing of his death helped to propel the album to number one on the Billboard album charts, thus making it his first chart topper in the United States.
Bowie had not toured since 2004s A Reality Tour. That tour turned out to be his last as well as his longest tour ever clocking in at over 110 shows. The Buffalo, NY show which took place at Shea’s Performing Art Center was the smallest venue he played on the tour. The intimate setting was made more memorable when Bowie played two rare cuts “Queen Bitch” and The Bewley Brothers” for the first time all tour. The standing ovation he received at show’s end was a sight to behold.
January 16 we lost Gary Loizzo who was 70, from pancreatic cancer. You may say who? Well let me tell you who Gary was. He first made waves in the music industry as the lead singer of The American Breed. Based out of Chicago the band had a top 5 hit with the smash “Bend Me, Shape Me”. After leaving the band Loizzo went on to open his own recording studio called Pumpkin Studios in Oak Lawn, IL. It was there he engineered and produced many Styx albums. He also was the front of house mixer for over 1,500 Styx concerts, a job he did until early summer of 2015.
He was honored on September 5 when Styx came home to play at Tinley Park. The band brought him out to sing his big hit “Bend Me, Shape Me” to an arousing performance. See the performance here. It was a fine send off for a man who was very well respected. Styx drummer Todd Sucherman had this to say “He was a magical person and I know everyone in our organization feels they are a better human being having had the privilege to work along his side.”
The sad news of Glenn Frey’s passing on January 18 arrived during the late afternoon. Frey passed away in a New York hospital due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. The Eagles were to have been honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in December but had postponed it to a later date when it was learned Frey would be having upcoming surgery and could not attend.
Frey had a hand in many million selling singles and albums. He also had a lucrative solo career during the 1980s. “The Heat Is On” is the highest charting single featuring any Eagles members. He also did some acting guesting on Miami Vice, Wiseguy and Nash Bridges. He was also featured in the Tom Cruise hit movie Jerry Maguire.
Frey leaves behind a legacy that will be tough to match. Frey had just finished touring with the Eagles on their History of the Eagles tour on July 29. The show did make its way to Buffalo’s First Niagara Center on July 18. Click here for a review of that show.
As time goes on many more of our heroes will sadly be leaving us. While some may seem immortal, the fact remains that no one can live forever. When one of these artists passes we can take some solace by playing their music and remembering all the good that came from it. Remembering their music and the legacy the music created will go a long way to helping keep the artist’s memory alive, well after they are gone.
- Rebel Rebel
- Ziggy Stardust
- Life On Mars?
- Suffragette City
- Modern Love
- Space Oddity
- Young Americans
- The Man Who Sold The World
- New Kid In Town
- You Belong To The City
- Lyin’ Eyes
- Already Gone
- Heartache Tonight
- Tequila Sunrise
- Take It Easy
- The Heat Is On
- Peaceful Easy Feeling
- Smuggler’s Blues