Category Archives: Celebrity/musician deaths

RIP: Max Von Sydow 1929 – 2020…

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2020 takes another good one… Max Von Sydow legendary actor has starred in so many films over the years but he’s mostly famous for roles in like “The Seventh Seal”, “The Exorcist”, “Flash Gordon”, Stephen King’s “Needful Things”, etc. The list keeps going on and on.

Max was an actor who loved what he did. He kept going at it until he couldn’t do it anymore. He kept acting until he died in reality ’cause it’s what he loved to do, it wasn’t about the money for him at all. Over the years, Max starred in films in just about every genre you could think of… he did it at all from drama, comedy, thrillers, science fiction and even horror films. He didn’t star in too many horror films but he was most famously in “The Exorcist” in which he played Father Merrin… the famous “The Power of Christ Compels You” scene and he was the leading villain in Stephen King’s “Needful Things”, the film in which he starred as the film’s leading villain, Leland Gaunt.

He also did a role in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” TV show and I remember seeing him in it. Max was a phenomenal actor and he could play everything that threw at him no matter the age. He really was a great talent. Probably the best out there. I also remembered him in “Rush Hour 3” and “Minority Report”. He’s been in so many good movies.

I thought his best role in his career was in “The Exorcist”, of course even though it was kind of a small role… he only appeared toward the end of it… the exorcism scene. Everybody wants to talk about “Flash Gordon” and I’m sure many will forget that he was in “The Exorcist” too.

RIP Max and thanks for the entertainment.

Kev

RIP: Kobe and Gianna Bryant…

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Like most I’m heartbroken and sad about this news myself. The tragedy of basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, getting killed in a helicopter crash along with several other passengers. I was never much of an NBA fan and don’t really care for basketball at all but this is very sad and tragic.

Kobe was an icon in the NBA and was one of the greats. Thoughts and prayers go out to Vanessa Bryant and the surviving daughters of the Bryant family. Kobe (41) and Gianna (13) were both too young. They both had a long life ahead of them. What’s most heartbreaking about this is that this family just had a newborn baby and she’s going to have to grow up without a father now.

Yeah, life is short but keep in mind that famous people & sports figures… they are real people like the rest of us. Plane crashes and helicopter crashes are both quite common. Plane and helicopter crashes have killed many famous people over the years. Being famous may sound fun but it can be very dangerous with all that travelling they do… being on the road all the time and travelling through the sky a lot. Plane and helicopter crashes can happen.

Like most, I was shocked and felt a little devastated even though I’m not much of an NBA fan. Losing Kobe is a sad loss in America. RIP Kobe and Gianna. This is gonna be a tough week.

Kev

RIP Neil Peart: 1952 – 2020

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Well, here is your first musical passing of 2020… very sad news that Rolling Stone exclusively revealed the news that the long time drummer and one of the founders of Rush, Neil Peart just died. It was just found out that Neil has been battling brain cancer for 3 or 4 years before his passing.

Neil was more than a drummer, though. He was also a book author and an avid biker (aka motorcyclist). Neil wrote a few books writing mostly about his motorcycling adventures and he was also the prime lyricist of Rush. He wrote the lyrics to pretty much all Rush songs as he was responsible to writing lyrics for Rush’s biggest hits especially songs like “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, “Subdivisions”, “Closer to the Heart”, “Fly By Night”, etc.

Now you  know why the band Rush has stopped playing music for the past couple of years. I remember a couple of years ago Geddy Lee says Rush had no plans of getting together to record a new album and go on tour but never said anything about Neil battling brain cancer. Probably out of respect for privacy? Well, Neil has always been a very private man and Geddy and Alex always respected his privacy.

The band did the smart thing stopping when they couldn’t do it anymore. When Neil was battling brain cancer before he died, he could no longer play the drums which forced the band to stop. Rush refused to continue on without Neil ’cause it’s not Rush without Neil. That Rush sound can’t be done without Neil ’cause Neil’s drumming style was what made Rush to begin with. Now that Neil Peart is gone then that probably means Rush is done for good. I think Geddy and Alex will soon put out a statement to announce an official breakup ’cause they can’t go on without him. Rush is probably done.

So that probably means “Clockwork Angels” will be the band’s final album? Probably… unless the band recorded new music before Neil got diagnosed with brain cancer but I doubt it, though. I’m sure the band will dig up some unreleased music from the vault someday as I’m sure they got plenty of unreleased music stored away. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m a huge Rush fan. Always has been so this one hurts. I had the opportunity to see Rush live in concert myself at SPAC and I remember Neil doing a long drum solo that night. It was insane, I’ll never forget it. Neil was a pretty unique drummer… he knew how to make his drums sound musical which other drummers never knew how to do.

This is probably gonna be the end of Rush for good and I want to thank them for the great music over the years. They were one-talented band. Loved them so much.

Kev

 

RIP: Ric Ocasek 1944 – 2019…

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The rock world lost another great one and this one kind of hurts ’cause I really love the Cars. I didn’t buy much of their records over the years but I’ve heard their first self-titled album many times, though. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard their second album “Candy-O” before too. Of course, it was MTV that got me interested in the Cars ’cause MTV used to play their videos constantly back when they did play “music videos” so I heard plenty of their hits before.

Ric Ocasek was definitely a very talented musician. He also had a great look and great stage presence too. He had one of the coolest singing voices in rock.

Any fan of rock n’ roll would know who the Cars are and familiar with their songs ’cause they’ve been a huge inspiration for all of us.

Now Ric is up there with his bandmate and songwriting partner Benjamin Orr who died in Oct. of 2000.

This makes me want to get the Cars first two albums from Itunes soon. I was meaning to start buying some Cars albums anyways ’cause I’ve always loved the band ever since I was young.

Kev

 

 

RIP Franco Columbu: 1941 – 2019

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Franco, You’ve heard me say that I don’t like when people call me a self-made man. You’ve even heard me say that you’re part of the reason I could never accept that label. But I wanted you to know why. From the minute we met in Munich, you were my partner in crime. We pushed each other, we competed with each other, and we laughed at every moment along the way. When I finally got to America, I was alone. I’d left my family, my country, my whole life behind. So when I asked Joe Weider to bring you to train with me, it was because I knew I wasn’t the same without my best friend. I could thrive without money, without my parents, but I couldn’t thrive without you. I am devastated today. But I am also so, so grateful for the 54 years of friendship and joy we shared. The pumps, the chess games, the construction work, the meals, the pranks, the life lessons – we did it all together. We grew and we learned and we loved. My life was more fun, more colorful, and more complete because of you. I will always miss you. But I’ll also know that a part of you lives on in me, in Debbie, in Maria, and in the millions of people you inspired every day you lived. And I will be there for Maria and Debbie, so you can rest now with no worries. I love you Franco. I will always remember the joy you brought to my life, the advices you gave me, and the twinkle in your eye that never disappeared. You were my best friend. Love always, Arnold

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Two time Mr. Olympia champ and movie actor, Franco Columbu just passed away yesterday. He suddenly passed while swimming in Italy and suddenly drowned after suffering a heart attack while swimming. Franco won Mr. Olympia in 1976 and again in 1981. He wasn’t just a bodybuilder and actor, he was also a licensed chiropractor in which he practiced in Los Angeles for many years.

Franco was lifelong best friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before Franco’s passing, he and Arnold continued to train at the gym together. Sly knew Franco for a little bit as Franco trained Sly during the Rambo years. Sly trained with both Franco and Arnold during the 80’s.

When it comes to bodybuilding, this is how I would want to look someday. You’ll never see me on a Mr. Olympia stage ever but I do want that look. That’s why I got into bodybuilding to begin with. I’m hoping to get that big and muscular look like the pro bodybuilders. I’ve been bodybuilding for 10 years or a little over and already people are saying to me that I’m already getting that look kinda. A lot of people give me good feedback on my physique saying that I’m getting bigger and bigger. Franco is an inspiration in the bodybuilding world and I hope to look like that one day.

Kev

RIP: Keith Flint 1969 – 2019…

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Some sad news in the music industry today. Keith Flint who is known as the vocalist for the eletronica/rock band named Prodigy, most famous for their hit songs “Breathe” and “Firestarter” just passed away today.

I wasn’t much of a fan but I used to listen to the album “The Fat of the Land” when I was younger. I remember first seeing the “Breathe” video on MTV and fell in love with it. Then I saw this freaky looking dude on the video with weird hair, eyeliner, pierces all over his face and tattoos all over him. That freaky looking dude was Keith Flint, the founding singer of Prodigy.

Well he just passed away suddenly due to suicide it looks like. Yep, we lost another rock star due to suicide. First Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington and now Keith Flint. If you think being a rock star is easy then think again. It’s not an easy lifestyle ’cause to me it looks like to be an overwhelming and stressful job. All the fame and money and all that could lead you to depression and all that. It’s sad but it is what it is. Rock stars aren’t cartoon characters. They are real people and real human beings like all of us so they are going to have all kinds of problems like all of us.

It’s sad we lost Keith Flint but like him or not, Prodigy was a successful band in the industry. Everyone knew who they were even though they had a few hits. Keith Flint was a recognizable figure for sure ’cause of his unique look. That’s what I liked about him. I wish I still have the “Fat of the Land” album but don’t have the CD anymore.  I can always get it back from Itunes. It’s a great album.

We lost another good one.

Kev

 

RIP: “Mean” Gene Okerlund… 1942 – 2019

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There have been many wrestler interviewers in the WWF/WWE over the years. At the top of my head, I can think of other wrestler interviewers such as Kevin Kelly, Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole, Jim Ross, Vince McMahon Jr. (Vinnie Mac started out as an interviewer/color commentator before becoming a full time performer) and many others but none of them could top what “Mean” Gene Okerlund did.

Mean Gene was the best backstage and in ring interviewer of all time. Without him then WWE/WWF and WCW wouldn’t have gotten so huge in the industry. He was the one who helped get people interested in professional wrestling. That’s what a backstage/in ring interviewer’s job is supposed to do, get people interested and draw in viewers. Gene was the best at that. I’ve always loved to hear his fast-talking voice and the way he spoke. He was enjoyable to listen to when he interviewed wrestlers.

In WWF/WWE, he interviewed everyone on TV from Hulk Hogan to Ultimate Warrior to Macho Man to Roddy Piper to Ric Flair to Bret the Hitman Hart and the list goes on. In WCW, Gene interviewed pretty much all the stars there on TV too: Sting, Lex Luger, DDP, Eric Bischoff and the list goes on.

Even if all wrestlers didn’t get to be interviewed by Gene on TV, they were inspired by him in some way. Mean Gene was an important figure in professional wrestling. All of us looked up to him like a father even the fans. We all watch wrestling and support wrestling ’cause of Mean Gene. “Wrestlemania” wouldn’t have continued on if it wasn’t for this guy.

Mean Gene was the voice of wrestling. Each time you heard him on TV, you can’t help but listen to him. He was that enjoyable. That man was such a professional interviewer. All he would do is just ask the wrestlers the questions and he would let them talk and just listen. Mean Gene was one of the few who helped popularized professional wrestling, there’s no denying that at all. There’s no other interviewer/announcer like him.

Mean Gene certainly loved the business and he loved his wrestlers, you can tell when he does his interviews over the years.

Kev