Tough Times For Musicians

On May 25, 2010, in Favorite Music, by admin

Seems that music is having a real tough go of it lately. Starting with the multiple illnesses of Poison frontman and 40 year type 1 diabetic, Brett Michaels to the deaths of Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath fame, and Paul Gray of the ever dark band Slipknot.

Brett Michaels

Michaels is a story all to himself. No one has done a better branding job than Michaels which has left him solidly in the spotlight for years after his initial popularity with ‘hair band’ Poison in the 80’s.  Of course a constant schedule of touring with Poison and his individual act has help keep him in front of the image curve.  But nothing has done more than to continue the image trend of the 80’s into this era…that of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, 2010 style.  In reality, I believe most of this  is just image.  Michaels is resilient, and my hats are off to him.  Even with his latest ‘hole in the heart’ medical issue discovered when entering the hospital for a mini stroke (now doesn’t that make a great title of a song he should write about), despite this was the final (hopefully) in the trifecta of medical issues for Michaels, he plows on with an attitude that just does not stall for any reason.  Again, I respect this one, it is his attitude, I am convinced, that completely transcends him beyond the many issues he has faced recently as well as being a diabetic for 40 years. I look forward to seeing him once again when Poison tours this summer.

Ronnie James Dio

Good god, the elf has left the house! Known primarily for his time in Black Sabbath following the departure way back when of Ozzy, I knew him more as a solo artist with some great material.  I have seen him in concert 7 times, enjoying each.  This guy stood about 5’1”, about 110 lbs, wiry hair that made him look like a mini-troll under the bridge.  But when he opened his mouth to sing, the pipes on this guy were amazing.  Truly one of the top 10 voices in music, ever, period. His passing from Stomach cancer set off a round of well wishers to the family that impressed. All stated that he was truly a kind and caring person, void of all that rock music bullshit that so many performers think they must be or deserve, somehow. Every concert I witnessed of him, he seemed truly appreciative of the fans.  Of course, not knowing personally, you never, know, and people tend to say the nice things when you croak…but on this one, I believe every kind thing that was said of him.  I will miss him and his performances; and that soaring voice that came from the little elf looking guy with a heart as big as his body

Paul Gray

Fresh on the death list, the cause of his death is still under investigation.  Gray was founding member of dark metal band Slipknot. Known for wearing hockey masks on stage and carrying simulated pig heads on stage, these guys try to portray the evil image.  Their true fans refer to themselves as “maggots” .  It will be interesting to see what took this one from this world. The band started in Iowa, and this is where he passed, as well. I have seen slipknot 4 times.  I must say, not a big fan  of the masks and think their image thing is a bunch of bullshit.  What I can say, is over the last several years, their music has gotten more mainstream, and in my opinion, quite likeable. Their last song “snuff”, I absolutely think is great stuff, although, one could argue that this songs format and type merely follow the successful songs from Corey Taylor (lead singer of Slipknot) with his side project that is now two CDs old, Stone Sour. I must say, I like them even more that Slipknot, and have seen them  3 times. Whatever the cause of death of Gray, yet another band must look for replacements.  Lets hope we see slipknot back out on tour again soon…


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