Best of, worst of, Deaths 2012

Pete Townshend's Guitar
Pete Townshend’s Guitar (Photo credit: soul_motor)

The end of the year means we will see  lists to make sense of it all. What was good or bad –who did we lose and why.

The good news for rock music – We have plenty of candidates for the good and bad lists. Whatever genre you like – we can make a list.

And on the other side- rock music has now been around long enough that some of the players are starting to expire from the same things as the general population.  Those terrible things that will happen to us all…the frailties of old age are taking them away. The days of  “he choked on his own vomit” are being replaced by “yeah, there were some health issues, but he was old ”

I knew these days would come…Pete Townshend  once said “Never trust anyone over 30” and he also said “Hope I die before I get old”…I don’t think he says that anymore.  The Who may be the poster boys for the Geriatric road warriors of rock music in this century…”Quick get a ticket while we are still breathing” tours are raking in the bucks.

I am just going to take three of the many we lost this year.

Jim Marshall 1923 – 2012

This is the end of a good long run for the inventor of the Marshall Amplifier. The electric guitar became the star of the show even if you were sitting outside the arena. Les Paul or Stratocaster  alike could be plugged into this bad boy to scream and cry for the masses.

Lee Dorman  1942-2012

“In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, baby”- Bassist Lee Dorman expired in his car at 70 years old, he was on the transplant list with some heart problems. Iron Butterfly did break-up and reform over the years-still burning the left over jet fuel from the smash hit record of 1968…it is amazing to think that one great hit can keep something viable for such a long period of time.

Ronnie Montrose 1947-2012

Great guitar player.  Battling cancer and self inflicted gunshot wound. This happens too often all around us…it does not make the news and only those with intimate knowledge of each situation know the real details. Cancer and death and devastation of lives and families are all intertwined in a complex web of difficult decisions.

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