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Death of the Superstars

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Death of the Superstars

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to some of the greatest music stars of our time? I’m talking about the stars that never made it to full prominence. The list of players is alarmingly high and sad. The potential of these performers never met. It would be something to see what the music of today would be like.

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I was reading a book awhile back. Don’t laugh, I read sometimes. It was a book from I’m sorry to say, Stephen King. All right I’m not sorry. I like him! Anyway, it was called something like, “They Have a Great Band There!” It was a story of two young adults driving along a country road, the young man driving was obviously lost but wouldn’t admit it. I’m told guys do that often. As the road continued to narrow and the brush continued to close in on them. They suddenly found a sign that had the name of a town that neither one of them heard of. They decided to go down and see if someone could give them directions. They soon were out of their car and looking for someone to help them. They both noticed at the same time that the man behind the counter of the local pub that they were in looked a lot like John Lennon. They also noted the young lady singing in the corner looked and sounded incredibly like Janice Joplin. The book or should I say short story continued on as only King could, people dying , strange conversations and just weirdness in general.

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Now, I told that little story because I wanted to give you a little background on why I chose this subject. What would have happened if Jimi Hendrix had lived? His music lives on even today. When he was alive he only release 3 studio albums and if you go into the stores you probably will find no less than 10 different albums from him. Today’s kids and people supposedly in the know, like to put music into different categories. Rap, Alternative, Rock, Jazz, Classical. Hendrix crossed all those. I not being black wouldn’t know for sure but, would his living have spawned more black rock musicians. Say that happened. Would it be possible that in today’s music. There might be more black people listening to rock music and less whites. I say this cause if he did live on and became a role model for young black musicians. There might be more interest in rock than there is currently. A little story about Jimi. A couple of the Beattles’ were going to a show where Hendrix was playing. As they made their way to the front door. Eric Clapton comes out. Paul McCartney says, “Is he that bad?”(It was Hendrix’s first show in those parts) Clapton says, “He’s that good!” And walked off. He was an innovator. Bought down by the vices of his time.

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On the other side of the scale. Elvis Presley, yes the King, is loved by millions of people around the world. Now I’m thirty years old and I personally was never a fan. I give my age because maybe it is a generation thing. Anyway. Elvis lead a life of excess and it finally caught up with him. But, let’s say he lived. Would he be as loved today as he is now? I say he loses a few million fans along his drug infested way. Sooner or later he would get caught doing or buying drugs and would lose respect of some of his most adoring fans. But, as it happened he supposedly died. Maybe King will write about that.

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Let’s look at another what if. James Dean although not a musician or singer but, an actor. Dies in a car crash at the start of his young career. I’ve seen Rebel without a Cause, although a decent movie it wasn’t that great. He made a lot of grimacing faces and the industry falls in love with him. Let him stay around and make a couple of flops. Let’s see him come back from a Bronco Billy movie or even a Jungle to Jungle movie. Most of his fans would yell, “Travis you’re a year too late!” Get it, Giant?

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Why is it that only the good guys and girls die young? Remember that song. Why couldn’t it have been some garage band that went down in flames instead of Lynard Skynard. Shoot for that matter now that we’re on the airplane kick. I’m sure the Big Bopper and Richie Valens and the guy with the big horned rimmed glasses wishes that it was someone else on that plane. Does someone up in heaven say wow he/they sound great get them up here. I can just see a Don King look alike up there promoting all new acts that will be performing soon.

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I’m sure one of my favorite musician of all time, Stevie Ray Vaughn, should have pulled a John Madden and traveled by bus that fateful night. Instead of part of some crash site from the gods. I wish he was still around. I’m sure he had a couple hundred more songs in him. There should be a law that says if you’re a great musician, you cannot fly.

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I’m sure that everyone has their own favorites that never made it. For all the Salsa fans out there. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. Why would a member of your fan club, shoot and kill you as did the woman that shot Selena. I don’t get it. She might have made a big difference in the life of some young, up and coming Latina. Then again maybe not. Besides I loved the outfits!

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Jim Morrison the now dead ex-lead singer of the Doors. Although I was never a fan of the Doors growing up. I used to say death before the Doors. But, that’s another story.He was also a pioneer in his music lyrics. I think his music made the movie Apocalypse Now incredibly good. His music really set the mood. I think he would be good in today’s music world. The Doors would be doing there 2nd reunion tour this year.

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I’m throwing out all these names to point out what a big loss society suffered with all these premature deaths. Today’s music would be incredibly different. How, I don’t know. Wouldn’t it be great if you could travel in time and go back and stop some of those deaths? Then go into the future and see the change. If there was one at all.

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So what have we learned from this blurb. We learned that in the course of our short little history. Music history I should say. We learned that there were a lot of very talented, gifted, stupid people. I say stupid because. Their constant drug use and mind expanding experiments cost us all. We never will see the all-time band. Sam Cooke on vocal, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye singing backup, Keith Moon on Drums, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn on guitar. You’ll have to put your favorite bass player in their cause I can’t think of one who died. Isn’t that funny. Why isn’t there any great dead bass players? You know what, that would make a great velvet painting! Sorta like the dogs playing poker!!

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