It’s been a busy few weeks for Death.
Alongside the 151,600 unknowns who die on a daily basis, he’s been rounding up some major icons – Lemmy, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and his latest recruit, Glenn Frey.
Lemmy was 70. Bowie and Alan Rickman were both 69. Glenn was 67.
Death at this age doesn’t surprise me. Most developed countries accept the age of 65 to be elderly, though my mother would argue the toss on that one. She was NEVER an old aged pensioner!
To put things into perspective, Lemmy, David, Alan and Glenn were all OAP’s.
Most of my idols are a good twenty years older then me so that puts them in this age bracket which means that Mr D (Death) will have his eye socket on a few more before too long. It’s simply a matter of nature taking it’s course and a reminder that while fame can bring you fortune, it can’t bring you immortality in the physical sense.
There are exceptions to the rule though. Bruce Forsyth appears to be immortal. The Queen is 90 next birthday and certainly looks like she could carry on for another 90 (if only to piss Charles off) but your average rock star does well to make it to old age – such is the consequence of life in the fast lane.
Why The Grief?
Since Bowie and Alan Rickman died, the sincerity of grief shown by the public has been called into question by certain people like Camilla Long who writes for The Times..
“So many people “crying” or “in bits” over Bowie. F**K YOU. You are not ten – you are an adult. Man the F**K up and say something interesting.”
My favourite response came from Lucie Toblerone:
“Log off then, you dullard”
Camilla whinged that she’d been treated like Katie Hopkins on social media which doesn’t surprise me because it’s exactly the type of inflammatory crap that Hopkins comes out with and, like Hopkins, she deserves what she gets.
I would think there was something very wrong with humanity if Bowie had died and nobody expressed sadness or grief. I think at that point, annihilation would be in order, no?
Do we have to know a person in order to grieve?
I don’t think so.
It may not be the same grief that we’d feel for a loved one but it’s grief all the same and who are people to belittle it? What makes them think they can sit in judgement over others as if their world view is the one we should all live by?
Lemmy, Bowie, Alan and Glenn have gone but they will never be forgotten because they live on in their music and films.
Bowie was so much more than a musician. He shocked the world with his persona, Ziggy Stardust. Dad, along with his generation, didn’t know what to make of him. Bowie broke all the rules and we wont ever see the likes of him again because it’s all been done now.
Bowie gave people a reason to keep going – music is that powerful. He helped so many ‘weirdo’s find a place in the world and for that alone, he’s worthy of the title ‘icon’.
Lemmy was the epitome of rock and roll.
Listening to Motorhead (and heavy rock music in general) helped me get a grip on adolescence. Lemmy’s gritty voice and fast paced music filled me with a confidence I desperately needed – such was the effect his music had on me. We are from the same town in the Potteries. He was one of ours – a fellow Stokie. So, yes, I am sad he’s gone.
I’ve shouted “BASTARD!!!” at the TV screen during Love Actually and fallen in love with his serious Severus face in Harry Potter. I cried proper snot-faced tears when his love for Lilly Potter was revealed. I didn’t know Alan but his acting touched me truly, madly and deeply. I will remember him, always.
Today we lost another rock and roll great in Mr Glenn Frey who ‘checked out’ at the age of 67.
See what I did there?
Frey was a founding member of The Eagles and I have so many memories connected to their music. I must have listened to Hotel California a thousand times and never tire of hearing that amazing guitar solo – arguably one of the best there is.
Take it Easy, Already Gone and Lying Eyes evoke memories of hot summer days ( before air-con) winding my cassette tape back in with a pencil. Cassette players in cars, imagine that..
Music has a physical effect on me. My mood changes with the tempo and I can lose myself in the imagery that the music conjours up. It’s pure escapism to me and the day it stops affecting me is the day I no longer want to be here because I won’t be me anymore.
I am genuinely sad that these men are no longer here. I do feel that a part of me is grieving. Is that wrong? I don’t think so.
A lot of stars who started out in the 60’s abused drink and drugs – especially in their heydays – so longevity is a big ask. That said, I thought Lemmy did exceptionally well to make it to 70 considering his history which included downing a bottle of Jack Daniels every day from the age of 30.
Point is, we don’t need a crystal ball to know that we will be losing a few more icons in the not too distant future..
Having read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, I can’t help but think upon Death as having a personality. So I imagine him dancing in the streets with Bowie – headbanging with Lemmy – pretending to use the Avada Kedavra curse on Alan and tapping his phalanges along to Already Gone with Glenn before taking them to heaven.
Camilla Whatserface is wrong. You don’t have to know a person in order to grieve when they die.
In my darkest moments it was the voice of a stranger that got me through, not somebody I knew. Is that not deserving of emotion when that person dies?
It’s OK to grieve for someone you don’t know. It’s what makes us human.
Lemmy, David, Alan and Glen,
Thanks for the memories.
Rest in peace.
No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away. Terry Pratchett Reaper Man