Although sometimes seen as a divisive figure among music fans and the industry in general, former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland had an undeniable impact with a steady string of alternative-rock hits in the 1990s and early ’00s. His death on Thursday offers a chance to reflect on those contributions.
It’s a cliché that a genius’ work is often only recognized after death, but this will surely be the case when history renders its final assessment of maverick jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman. His life’s work was anything but a worn-out cliché.
Hailed in his lifetime as “the king of the blues,” B.B. King had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, this was one blues legend who truly lived up to the billing. He died on Thursday at the age of 89 years old.
Like so many of the old-school R&B, blues and soul legends that the classic-rock generation idolized, Joe Cocker was a singer, first and foremost.
While journalists and fans alike have long appropriated the description of “journeyman” as a nickname for Eric Clapton — chiefly because it was the title for Slowhand’s tacky 1989 album — the descriptor is really a better fit for Clapton’s erstwhile and largely forgotten Cream bandmate, bassist Jack Bruce.
While any music fan would likely be hard-pressed to recognize the name of Thomas Erdelyi, his contributions to the Ramones, the birth of punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll as a whole long ago earned him a critically important place in the American musical pantheon.
Pete Seeger never looked like a revolutionary. Sporting squinty eyes, usually dressed in bland, workman-like clothes and with a banjo on his knee, Seeger had none of the flash and theatrics of others who brazenly go against society’s currents.
As rock gods go, Lou Reed remained an odd fit in rock music’s pantheon. In a popular art form that so persistently champions the thoughts and feelings of rebellious outsiders, Reed always stood far out from the pack.
With his passing, it’s important to remember the former Beatle George Harrison and shedding light on the self-proclaimed “dark horse.”
Thirty years after he was part of turning rock music on its head, Rick Danko, bassist and vocalist for the Band, died on Dec. 10. Though Danko’s and the Band’s fame have been mostly forgotten in recent years, their legacy and vital importance in rock music can’t be understated.