Sunday, December 26, 2010

Captain Beefheart and Teena Marie die

It kind of felt like a late night one-two punch.
I was on the Net and suddenly, out of nowhere, read that Teena Marie died and I just wanted it to be one of those damn Internet rumors. But clearly it wasn’t. CNN was as legit a source as it gets. So stunned, I thought back to the many times I saw her live and even met her and it just saddened me. Deeply. “So young” I thought. 54. Today that really is young. And she’s still relevant, still selling records, and was still performing. And now we’d never see her live again.
I surfed the Net reading about her and reactions from her peers and just by sheer accident discovered that Captain Beefheart passed on 12/17. He was like Zappa, only lesser known. But brilliant. And back in my more musically adventurous days when I’d sit with lights out and listen ever so closely to Sun Ra, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Cecil Taylor, Don Pullen, Muhal Richard Abrams, Oliver Lake, Lester Bowie’s various groups, and Ze Records’ cast of eccentrics, Beefheart was right in that brilliant, wild mix of mine. Imagine making your OWN music- not for radio, not for mass consumption, not for teenagers, but YOUR music.
RIP Captain Beefheart and Lady T. Tonight I go to bed with a heavy, heavy heart.

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