Which dead Rock Star is the biggest loss?

I have often pondered this. Some many bright young rockers died tragically young with short careers. What could they have achieved if they had lived longer?

 

I drew up a short-list of the ones that came to mind (and added in a couple whose careers were ruptured by mental illness). I focussed on ones I particularly liked so discarded those who had had a long career first or I didn’t much like. This is what I came up with:

 

Jimi Hendrix

Jim Morrison

Janis Joplin

Buddy Holly

Eddie Cochran

John Lennon

Jim Morrison

Syd Barrett

Nick Drake

Mick Green

Kurt Cobain

Phil Ochs

Keith Moon

Elvis Presley

Brian Jones

Brian Wilson

 

I then discarded Elvis because he was little more than a bloated cabaret artist at the time and his best years were long behind him. I discounted Brian Wilson because I find the Beach Boys a bit irritating and lightweight. I discarded Nick Drake, Phil Ochs and Jackson C Frank because, although I love them dearly, they weren’t major stars.

 

Brian Jones was the best musician in the Stones and was the leader of the band – ousted by Jagger and Richards – he was getting into World Music at the time of his death ahead of his time. Might have been interesting?

 

Janis Joplin was probably past her best.

 

Syd Barrett was a great loss. He was the genius behind psychedelia and Pink Floyd. His two solo albums (three if you count the outtakes) were brilliant. He was too messed up on acid and couldn’t hack performances. What might he have done?

 

Nirvana were tremendous and Kurt was Nirvana for me. His death was tragic. I would have loved to have heard more. But would it have been different?

 

John Lennon was a bit of a spent force. His first solo albums were superb. After that they were pretty mediocre. His comeback albums were not brilliant. But would he have done some more significant stuff. It was certainly on the cards. The biggest loss was that the Beatles died with him. There was no hope of a reunion.

 

Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran were both brilliant. They had such short careers and produced a great body of innovative work. I would love to have seen what the Beatles and the Sixties did for them. We’ll never know.

 

The Doors were brilliant and Jim was a great singer. Was he a burn-out force? Would the Doors have reformed and done more great albums? It was possible.

 

Keith Moon always stole the show. He was not only a superb drummer but also an amazing personality. What a loss.

 

Mick Green’s Fleetwood Mac were superb. If he hadn’t taken that acid would he have kicked on further?

 

Jimi Hendrix – there’s been nothing like him. He was a phenomenon is all senses and he was right at the peak of his performances, lapping up new directions, styles and skills. I’m positive he would have kicked on into new, amazing directions and not subsided into cabaret like Clapton.

 

So who would you rate as the biggest loss?

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69 thoughts on “Which dead Rock Star is the biggest loss?

  1. Mick Green’s Fleetwood Mac? Maybe not….
    Saw Clapton do cabaret once, for one hour for MTV and that was it, never again since. What a misinformed statement to make.
    Saw Kobain do cabaret once, for one hour for MTV and that was it, never again since. Never rated them as a live act much as from what I saw they could barely play anything without it sounding the same. They copped everything from Jesus & Mary Chain.

      • You didn’t know anything about Joy Division until after Curtis died, please don’t pretend you did. I certainly never saw any old 30 something hippies at any of their gigs in the north of England 1979-80. They were told to f.off at the door. Rob Gretton hated them.

  2. Very unfair to discard Elvis, he was much more than an old Cabaret singer – he was the King some come some go but one thing is sure Elvis will always reign. As for discarding The Beach Boys, very wrong these were at the top of their game the California sound was The Beach Boys, “Pet Sounds” a masterpiece, so glad I kept my LP of The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”.

    • I didn’t exactly discard him Anna. But his best years were long gone by the time he died.
      I just never liked the Beach Boys. Not my kind of thing.

      • I know at the end Elvis kind of fell apart but you can’t take from him what he was. Beach Boys, fair enough not your type of music, just as Hard Rock and Heavy Metal and this and that was not my type. We are all different and just as well otherwise how boring it would all be and just imagine Opher what would we do if we could not argue.

      • I agree – Elvis was a game changer. What a voice.
        It does take all sorts. We can argue but we can still get along OK.

  3. Personally, I favor Elvis, Buddy Holly, and the Beach Boys. As a singer, Elvis was more versatile than most – he could scream and sing sweet gospel lullabies. Buddy Holly was an innovator who helped put Rock on the music map. The Beach Boys – I loved everything they did. For my money, I don’t think any of the Beatles did as well solo as they did together.

    • Elvis certainly had the voice but for me it was the Sun recordings. The first of the RCA ones were good but after the army and the films it was all downhill.
      Buddy was brilliant. A great songwriter, singer and guitarist. He had it all. I would have loved to see how he developed.
      The first two Lennon albums were brilliant but I would agree that there was a magic between the four of them.
      I never did like the Beach Boys much.

    • Yes, finally someone stands up for the Beach Boys, I never liked the Beatles even though I am English I still did not like them. Love all what the Beach Boys did, best sounds. Elvis will always be popular.

  4. I’d go with Jimi followed by Jim, John and Janis not too far behind. Others were Otis Redding and Bob Marley. And what about Amy Winehouse? But they were all of them missed …

  5. I must admit I looked at the list and only recognised five names I must have had my head buried in work. I remember well the jukebox , lots of pubs had those glittering monsters , the way the arm came up and placed the disc always fascinated me. It was curious how groups and individual drinkers used to battle for supremacy in what was played a sort of democracy in action. As the subtle alchemist of alcohol transformed my senses the music seemed to change and penetrate deeper into my adolescent soul. At that time I was told that pot smokers were the ones who really saw reality for what it was and that all alcohol did was settle you down into a stupified acceptance.

    • Kertsen – that is interesting. The effects of drugs and alcohol on our appreciation of music. Much music was created by people on specific drugs for people using the same drugs. LSD had a huge impact on the music produced in the sixties – psychedelia and Acid Rock. I think some of that music is almost unlistenable without being on the drug. Amphetamines and dope have had a similar impact. Interesting to reflect.
      As you say – the more you drank the more the music affected you. Intoxication changes the brain.

    • Yes you could argue that a clear mind is the only real mind capable of any appreciation of reality if such a thing does exist. Music is a curious sound form because it crosses the language barrier , but when does music become just sound or noise.

  6. Peter Green of the original Fleetwood Mac. Although his career was interrupted by drugs he did make a comeback. I saw him live in York Opera House about 17 years ago. He was playing the same kind of blues he did originally in small pub gigs. I have an album of that later period. What about the Buckleys – Tim & Jeff?

  7. Brian Jones’ main weakness, apart from over-consumption of drugs, was that he couldn’t write songs so I doubt he would have produced anything of merit in a later career. He did record some musicians in Morocco before he died and the recording was released in an album “The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka”. I have a copy but I am certain it will never be a big seller except maybe in parts of Morocco.

    • Yes I think you are right. That is how they squeezed him out. He was a brilliant musician though and a mainstay of the early band.
      He was ahead of the game with his third world interests. I have never heard that Morrocan album.

      • Brian Jones, whilst being the most competent musician in the band and also the main person responsible for forming it and naming it, was immature and used to sulk if the other band members didn’t follow his ideas. He was essentially a blues man and didn’t like the rock route that Jagger/Richards began to follow. He became alienated from the rest of the band which exacerbated his paranoia. He did learn to play the sitar before George Harrison took it up and was interested in world music. The Moroccan album was recorded in a small mountain village. Jones’ then girlfriend had to cut her hair short and wear a man’s clothes because no women were allowed at the recital. The music is similar to that played at my wedding in Tunisia. I doubt you would find it inspiring. Also the recording facility employed was very basic. Probably you can find a copy on Ebay but the original vinyl format is rare because it never sold and therefore likely to be in the region of £50/60. |You can buy it on cd.

      • He also did the flute quite well on Ruby Tuesday. I think he was chidish and the whole stardom thing went to his head. He got very OTT. You summed him up well. I would have been interested to see how it would have gone if he hadn’t fallen apart. Ironically Mick Taylor brought a harder bluesier feel and heralded their best period in my opinion.

      • Shot by the owner of a motel where he was staying. She was never convicted of murder. It was the 60s, he was black and she was white. He died young, Would have composed many more hit records if he had lived longer.

      • Yeah – but her story of attempted rape didn’t add up and neither did the horrendous injuries he had match with the story. But, because he was black, nothing happened. Scandalous. It looked very much as if he was severely beaten up, tortured and murdered. Somebody should have paid. Horrendous.

  8. Wait a minute you’ve both got the story wrong here. There was no rape story.
    At this motel Cooke went to take a shower. Apparently his girlfriend stole his money and clothes.
    Cooke believed the motel manager, Bertha Franklin to be in on it so kicked in her office door.
    Franklin had a handgun and waived it at Cooke telling him to back off and when Cooke lunged for it, Franklin fired it at him 30 times at close range. Franklin was an older black lady.
    Being hit at close range by a multitude of bullets is going to mess you up a lot.
    Franklin testified and when questioned was asked if she knew she had shot him, she answered “yes, because he said, lady you shot me”.
    She’s on film telling it on the documentary titled “Legend”.

    • Some of Cooke’s family and supporters, however, have rejected Boyer’s version of events, as well as those given by Franklin and Carr. They believe that there was a conspiracy to murder Cooke and that the murder took place in some manner entirely different from the three official accounts.[48][49][50][51][52][53][54] Singer Etta James viewed Cooke’s body before his funeral and questioned the accuracy of the official version of events. She wrote that the injuries she observed were well beyond the official account of Cooke having fought Franklin alone. James wrote that Cooke was so badly beaten that his head was nearly separated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and crushed, and his nose mangled.[55] Some people speculated that Cooke’s manager, Allen Klein, might have had a role in his death. Klein owned Tracey, Ltd., which ultimately owned all rights to Cooke’s recordings.[56]
      It doesn’t take much to find differing accounts to your version Andrew. Your sewer of a mouth shoots off again. When it comes to a choice between Etta James, who was there, and you, who wasn’t, I go for Etta every day.
      I was only discussing this at length with a friend of mine who happened to be the roadie for Free and Koss’s minder. He had his finger on what really happened.
      The trouble with you is that you always assume that you know when you don’t. You are wrong so many times yet you shoot your mouth of with your foul language. There’s no discussing with you because your pedantic arrogance and foul temper just create a deluge of expletives – the sign of a poorly educated person. Perhaps you should have done a bit more schooling. You have a chip on your shoulder the size of Everest.
      As I said – Cooke was most likely murdered. Wrong again dumbo.

      • Not so fast with the stupid “dumbo”. FFS, what age are you?

        It’s not my version Opher. It’s the version within a best selling book and a subsequent completely unrelated best selling DVD.
        I still don’t think you realise that Klein owned Abkco.
        This is the Allen Klein who managed the Rolling Stones and bailed out the Beatles. Yes, publishing was his fixture. His entire empire was built on it.

        However, James was not anywhere near the scene of the crime. She witnessed a body after the event at a different location, not the shooting or whatever.
        James was also a heavy duty opiate user. You still wanna trust her?
        There was no fight between Cooke and Franklyn. She simply fired 30 bullets at him at close range. He would have been a mess. His head could very well have nearly been taken off were his neck hit a few times. The exit wound trauma of just a couple of bullets would be major.
        You’d need an autopsy report, not the memory of a major stoner which is pure hearsay.
        I wasn’t there! Really! You have choices? You have no choices, idiot. You have nothing but fresh air and an inability to think logically.

        What’s your mate from Free, (who didn’t even start till late 68) got to do with some black guy in southern US? What would he know that isn’t at least 3rd hand?
        All these people that mingle with smack heads talk the most utter shite.
        Koss’s minder you say. Well you can tell him from me that he did a terrible job there. And he’s got the front to walk about telling people he was that? Lucky for him he never met John Martyn. He’d have banged your mate into next year.

        These conspiracy theories are 10 cents a pop in US. There was the same garbage flying around regards Jeffries having arranged Hendrix’s murder. Something similar when Cobain topped himself.
        There’s always an evil manager lurking in the shadows. It’s fucking laughable.

        Now your theory. If the management company already owned the rights to all recordings, why therefore, kill their no.1 assett? Why not have him writing more and more? What reason if any was there to kill Cooke when ownership of recordings was already secured?
        That doesn’t was at all. That is completely illogical.

        Plus, have you considered Cooke’s lasting friendship with Cassius Clay?
        Do you think Cooke’s manager would risk the wrath of Clay and all his people, just for a few dollars more on some bloody pop songs? Don’t be so cheap.

        Opher, you only got into university via a pity vote. You left school stupid. I left with qualifications to enable me to join the countries #1 hotel company as a company representative management trainee. Out of thousands and thousands of applications received each year, just 32 were employed. A Scottish guy selected over thousands of your kind. Says it all, really. There again, they did not hire London area oiks for management. That would be inconceivable.
        You couldn’t have licked my arse.
        You were a nonentity compared to me. I had everything a 19 year old boy needed. Free room and board in central London, free rail travel and the respect of every single person working in that hotel. Young people my age looked up to me because I represented to them the idea that they too could make it. I could roll in at 2am and just walk into the kitchen and order up food. I lived like a king.
        Then they sent me for one years training to the most fabulous hotel in West Berlin. It was unbelievable. I made more money each night in tips than I made per week’s wages. And my wages were not that shabby and I qualified for Berlin Zulag, a 20% incentive bonus that all Berliners received, that other German’s all over Germany did not. As I said, you couldn’t have licked my arse.

      • What happened to your claim that the motel manager was white, Opher?
        Or do you just was to conveniently drop that one, of course, after having called me “dumbo”.
        Can you smell bullshit?

  9. Why must people always play the damn race card. There are as many injustices for whites as there are blacks, and I am so thoroughly fed up to the back teeth of people playing the race card all the time.

      • Not the story I’ve read Andrew. But there you go. You are always right. Superior information from people at the scene?

      • But racism had nothing to do with Sam Cooke’s demise. Everybody involved was black. Cooke, the girlfriend, Bertha Franklin. There’s no racist story with this one.

  10. Opher, FFS read my post. I even named the fucking documentary, didn’t I? I have the fucker on a DVD! I bought the fucking thing out a shop.
    I’ll make it real easy for you –
    the fucking Barcode is 602498077559
    Label: Abkco
    Serial No: 0602498077559
    Now if that doesn’t suffice and back up my factual story, nothing will.

    You shove your sarcastic stupidity right back up your fucking arse.

    Yes, I am ALWAYS right. And you are often wrong and this is another of these occasions.

      • Are you totally incapable of keeping a civil tongue? Your rudeness is exceptional. Inexcusable and reflective of your whole mental state. You are appear to have big problems.

      • One documentary made and produced by Abkco. That might give you a clue that it’s not some 10 a penny backstreet production. Probably not if one’s record collection comprises mostly freebie downloads with zero publishing details.

  11. Opher, when the day arrives that you know anywhere near what I know about record, CD and DVD releases, I’ll let you know. I used to trade thousands of them in my time off. I own thousands in hard copy. This is where you crumble. This is why people keep lists, so they know what they’ve got. It’s their map. You have no map, therefore, no clue what you got, like your insane claim of having 300 and something Dylan “CDs” albeit on shite mp3 file that just don’t exist.
    You have no idea how to manage a collection. Your method is a chimpanzee’s tea party.
    How come not so long ago I told you exactly how many Zappa albums were released in 2015/16?
    Did you think that was just happy coincidence?

    You mock my complete organisational skills yet you behave like a chimpanzee? What’s wrong with that picture?

      • No, Idiot, it is industry standard. Just like how HMV operate or any such vendor.
        Information retrieval has nothing whatsoever to do with autism, you fool.
        There are times when your mental aptitude has all the grasp of a monkey’s arse.

    • And your mouth is a sewer. You just can’t accept anything but your own mantra. What do you want me to do – mail you the 300 CDs? You are one sad case.

      • You don’t have 300 CD’s – which is what I kept telling you all those weeks ago.
        You couldn’t have more than 80 if you had everything – but you can’t have everything as everything isn’t available for free to beggars like you.
        What part of there isn’t 300+ to have don’t you understand?
        A sad case would persist in the belief that a free shitty mp3 site is the mantra for Dylan information. It could not be further from the truth.

      • As I said to you before – I am sure that a lot of my stuff in my 300 odd files is reassortments presented in different combinations/editions. But I have over 300 CDs worth. And you call me a liar – sad cretin. How on earth can you judge? You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve done, what I do, or what I’ve got – only from what I write.
        All you do is spend your life going through my stuff to pick fault or tell lies. Pathetic. As I keep saying – grow up and get a life. The chip on your shoulder must stop you seeing the whole of one side.
        Its sad that you were too young to have done it all back in the day and missed out. Not my problem. I was in the midst of it and did it all. I had a great life. You? Brown nosing your way up?

  12. Roll back your tape, Opher.
    Claims are made, I read them, comment with alternate info, not just glib stuff like yours, but names of people and titles of products – better, quality information than yours.
    You scoff – indicating nobody could know anything about this because you believe your story to be true – your story which includes a white woman as the motel manager?
    You can find contemporary news reports in a flash that would clear that story up for you immediately.
    Plus, were you to take one seconds glance at Bertha Franklin, the concept of Cooke wanting to rape her (complete nonsense of a non-story) I think would cause you severe problems.
    Franklin, basically would be classed as un-fuckable.
    I include complete catalogue information on the DVD documentary production
    1) that you have never heard of
    2) never seen
    3) completely unaware as to its contents
    4) completely unaware as to who Abkco are and what sort of quality production one can expect from them
    5) completely unaware that the production was written by the award winning author Peter Guralnick, following his very successful book “Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke”.
    Guralnick is a real writer/author, who knows of what he writes.

    You are not.
    You continue to scoff and howl derision.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • who gives a fuck Andrew? I told you the story. He was probably beaten up and murdered. Shot holes through you version. His fingers smashed and head nearly ripped off. I saw the documentary about it a while ago. Etta James saw the body and was shocked.
      Now I don’t know what happened and neither do you. But I reckon Etta James was right. Alan Klein’s name was mentioned. Who knows.
      For you to wade in with your arrogant shit is bullshit. You know nothing more than anyone else but pretend, with your foul mouth, to be an authority. As always, bragging and lording it with little to back up your mouth.
      If you want to discuss – fair enough – there are many versions and theories. If you just want to have a go and be a pedantic prick you can fuck off. I don’t need put-downs from a nerd like you who was in nappies when I was getting into music.
      You were just a little punk when I was in the heat of the London Underground doing it. When I was doing the gigs and hanging out with them all in the studio you were a little squirt. And now you dare to keep dissing me? You are so much up your own arse you need a torch.
      With all your autistic labelling and details. who gives a shit? You’re a glorified trainspotter pretending to be cool. Who cares what hotels you ran. Who wants to do a shit job like that? Jesus. I’d top myself rather than brown-nose my way into a shitty organisation like that, standing around serving gangsters and creeps, yes sir, no sir.
      I was out having a ball while you were doing your creeping. You have a right nerve dissing me. You can’t hold a candle to what I’ve done – all business shit and second hand experience. I even took you backstage at the Harper gig to give you a glimpse. Or are you going to tell me that you were doing the underground scene as a little kid?
      Your rude mouth needs putting in place. I’ve met loads of jumped up punks pretending they were cool and into the scene. Instead of living it you vicariously study it. What sort of thing is that? It’s nowhere.
      You’re the nowhere man with the big mouth and I’m pretty sick of your stupidity. You think you can troll my blog and diss me and my guests? What a nerve. You’re a jumped up nobody – no job – no status and a crap career in hotels. Wow!! A bread head all the way.
      As far as I can see you’ve not done one creative or worthwhile thing in your whole life. I never wanted a career but I ended up with one and thousands of kids have had their lives positively affected by me. You? Thousands of obnoxious creeps were put up for the night and attended crap events. I know which has the greatest merit.
      Who the hell do you think you are? Why don’t you go off and be a troll elsewhere? There’s not been a worthwhile contribution you’ve made anywhere with your rancid views, arrogant shit and pedantic stupidity. You’re like a little sad brat hanging round the big boys. Go away!!

      • You seem to give a huge fuck.
        I read your white manager and rape stuff and thought, wait a minute?
        But seems you’ve dropped all that and moved on to other directions.
        If you saw the documentary, how come you believed the motel manager to be white?
        How is that possible?
        Now you’re bullshitting because I immediately named the documentary title where I got my info from and on the next post gave you the barcode, label and serial number of my own personal copy.
        You had nothing. No book title, No documentary title, nothing just beliefs!
        What do you need? Cooke’s cut out tongue?
        I actually could not care less. I never bought a Sam Cooke record. Knowing that cheeky bastard fake Jock, the London barrow boy Oik, Rod Stewart was a fan of his was enough to put me off. Besides, I much preferred Otis Redding, who was so much better than Cooke, by a long way and he really had money, so much more so than Cooke. I do have all his albums.

        Oh ffs Opher, I’ve been to more Rock backstage events than you could ever believe. I knew so many music promoters and managers in the 80’s. I knew all the Factory people and still have their records all signed in mint condition.
        I have 3 Clash albums all signed. I have Who albums signed to me by Townshend, who I’ve met at least 10 times and he remembers me from the first in St Ives, Cornwall at Tregenna Castle, summer `79, where all Branson’s bands used to get sent for a rest. I was leaving by the back door as he was coming in it, with his dog.
        Townshend taking dog for walk. I looked at the dog, looked at him and said Hi, I heard you were here. And he laughed, I laughed and we got chatting. We took a seat at a nearby bench and smoked my fags for about 30 mins. He told me all about making his new album “Empty Glass”. He knew I was a major fan and I think he appreciated my good questions. I also gave him my critique of the Who’s recent Wembley Stadium show a few weeks earlier in June. He really appreciated that. I wasn’t some brainless oik kid. I asked him if he would sign just one album (I had them all with me) for me before he left (he was with wife Karen and children and not getting on too well with the wife.) so my Live At Leeds is signed to me by PT.
        Ian Anderson of Tull knows I’m a Tully, I’ve seen Tull’s old keyboard player John Evan around often, he had a building development company based in the midlands after Tull. I knew him from Stratford-upon-Avon. I even met his wife on a train to Devon in late `94, me on holiday from Indonesia going to my girlfriend’s mothers house. Sent me his regards by text. I’ve met Ringo in Los Angeles in `97, him and friend and me, just the 3 of us on the 5th floor of LAX for an hour waiting for our planes and talking about mainly Macca’s new album, and best for years, Flaming Pie. I had just bought it and it was just out and had it in my bag, so Ringo wanted to read the sleeve stuff. So he talked loads about the tracks he played on.
        Gil Scott-Heron, signed albums, guest list, Thin Lizzy, same, John Lydon & Pill, several times, 1st in 83 in Newcastle, John Martyn, lost count of how many gigs I got in for free, Peter Gabriel, “an exchange of ideas” as he so politely called it, via a mutual friend who I was working with on design of an hotel and we’d swap ideas.
        I’d try and describe how I wanted his next album to sound, and he’d reply with Enoesque Oblique Strategy type replies. Very funny.
        Drinking cocktails before lunch with Jimmy Page and not being asked like what he did to you with “why are you here?” on the beach at Ans Chastonnet on St. Lucia.
        Or having a wonderful meal with some Indian friends in Nairobi, with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as a guest of one of my friends.
        Or drinking myself to near death with John Martyn and keys player on at least occasions. Ex SAHB drummer, Ted McKenna, who can drink for Europe.
        John Cooper Clarke at Manchester Midland in `86. Sneaking out the back alley with my dope.
        Or similar with Rat Scabies of the Damned in Dundee in 1985. Or Freddie White in `85. Or Status Quo in Glasgow in 1980. Or Robert Plant in Newcastle in `83 just after he pulled the plug on The Tube TV show and paid them 7 grand not to broadcast. Or Simon Kirke and his band in the same Newcastle bar. also `83.
        I’m getting bored remembering. There’s too many. I’ll remember another 150 in an hour or so.
        Yes, you did get me backstage at that Harper gig. But as for a glimpse? Glimpse of what Opher. I’ve been backstage at loads of gigs. That Harper thing was almost funereal in setup and nature. Nobody handed me any coke tray. It must have been half-day closing in Harperdom. Not I’d be expecting anything as he’s too old. He ain’t no Mick Jagger or Pete Townshend.
        And I haven’t mentioned any people from film, television and radio. Or Captains of Industry. Or any Hollywood people. But I’ll mention one, Dennis Hopper. An incredible guy. When I was in West Berlin, as I spoke English, and being the only one who did naturally, I was his go-to guy when he came everyday for 42 days for lunch. Dennis’s lunch was 5 Martini’s and 20 Marlboro Red and he liked to sit in the closed off section at lunchtime in a secluded spot with his drug addicted Italian PA, a scrawny looking women similar to, but actually much, much better looking to Patti Smith. After about 2 weeks, Dennis was so drunk one night he broke or fractured his arm. He arrives with it in plaster. We made our usual pleasantries and he asks where’s the best places for action in town. I described a few places I went to that he might like. A free all-night discoteque called Superfly, where even the dogs are taken there by their owners and given Acid, too. He loved the idea of that. In fact we met Jayne Country (she of the Electric Chairs) there and now domicile in tow with large Mama African woman who wore an open fur coat with no bra and a transsexual Frenchman, who’s beard got thicker as the night wore on. The clubs toilets were unisex and the sinks covered in blood and used needles. There must have been 12 sinks.
        Or TurnTower overlooking the DDR guards and the closest building to the Wall in the west, accessible by glass lift running on the outside front of the building to the club on the 25th. Or an all-nighter Lebanese bar/coffee shop, just off the Ku-damm, where Coke and Spliffs were mandatory. The visiting nightlife was something else. I can’t remember the others now.
        Anyway we go out one night and I got home 2 days later. I paid for nothing, but I do know I did an awful lot of bad drugs. I made my work shift with minutes to spare, a shift that stated at 5.30pm. Come his return back for lunch the following day, we were back to the usual pleasantries like it never happened. The most insane and intense guy I ever met in my life. He was Dangerous with a Capital D. If there was ever a human form of the Devil, it would be Dennis Hopper.
        He never finished that movie and went even further into drugs and drink.
        The next time I saw him was at the Hilton in Park Lane just after he’d made Blue Velvet. I don’t think he’d have to work on the character. He was that character.

        As for the rest of your shit? Whilst you were chuffing yourself off as head teacher (whatever happened to Rector? as head teacher sounds like it was a primary school. We had a head teacher at primary and a Rector at secondary. A formidably brainy guy was our rector, a doctorate in both Maths & Physics. A formidable physique too, coming from the north of Scotland.) I was working all around the world in brilliant locations.
        What’s to compare? You provide a legal entity, a school for children.
        And you’re telling me you’re the big boys? In school?
        Where if you come round mine, I’ll get you a room, a meal, a drink, laid and stoned.
        What was that about big boys?
        You need a psychiatrist if you think the big boys would prefer a classroom.
        Don’t make me laugh any more, you deluded mad old wee goblin.

      • Good for you Andrew. I don’t even bother reading your bullshit. You’re like those little snotty punks. Just bear in mind, before you do all your sneering, that I have had twice the life you’ve had.
        I was into music before you were out of nappies.
        I was buying all the singles and LPs by the Beatles, Stones, Who as they came out. The time when it mattered.
        I was getting into girls when you were still wondering how to pee straight.
        I was hitchhiking round France in 64 while you were still playing on your trike.
        I was reading Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs while you were reading Noddy.
        I was going to Middle Earth to see Pink Floyd, Eel-Pie Island and doing the all-nighters and festivals while you were in short pants.
        I was living in London and travelling out to the States to hitch around while you were still a little snotty kid.
        I was in the studio with Moon, Page, Gilmour, Barrett, the Nice, Bonso, Laine while you were still in school.
        I lived in the parts of London and Hull with the hookers, pimps and drug-dealers.
        I was grooving around doing stuff long before you even got going.
        I didn’t waste the best years of my life boring my arse off in a shit hotel industry. I was living life to the full not saying yes sir, no sir.
        Who gives a fuck what you did later? It was dead by then. You just got the dregs.
        Who gives a fuck if you boringly annotate every last bit? What a farce. Just autistic trainspotting. I was there when it was going on with the real thing – seeing Son House, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Bukka White, Skip James, Hendrix, Doors, Beefheart, Cream and the rest. I saw Clapton and Green with Mayall, Zeppelin and Free, Tull and Mac in small clubs. I didn’t buy my way in as a rich weekend hippy.
        I wasn’t a little pimply kid – I was living it. I don’t need to be anal about every bloody detail. Who cares? I was there. It was brilliant! I was watching Harper three times a week when he was on fire. I was hitching around and living life. I was on fire.
        I didn’t leave school to go and be a bread-head. I did my writing, my art, travelled and grooved. I lived. I wasn’t up people’s arses earning money and selling my soul.
        I found the best woman in the world and I’m still with her fifty years later. I was having four beautiful kids. I didn’t fuck-up like you.
        I have ten thousand CDs, five thousand vinyl and two massive hard-drives full of MP3s. I don’t need any pseudo crap from you about music. I lived it and have given away more bloody albums than you’ve seen.
        I’ve got a wealth of friends all round the world. Why should I be bothered with arrogant twats like you?
        Don’t go giving me all this shit about details here or there. I don’t give a shit about that stuff. Only nerds and geeks do that. I say it how I saw it. I was there and that’s more than all your silly super-organised notations. What are you after being? A fucking librarian? I used to employ geeks like that on a third my pay.
        I don’t really care what you did with your boring life – all the people you know and all the promoters you moved with. I wouldn’t swap all that for one of my three Hendrix gigs.
        If I had wanted to be a breadhead and buy my way into that shit I would have done. My last measured IQ was 154. Blows yours out of the water.
        I had to work to keep my kids. I went into teaching as a career that was useful and great fun. It gave me the time to do my thing. My students were brilliant and I played a big part in making them think, question and grow. It was a caring role – not a waste of bloody time like fucking hotels. I wasn’t interested in money or promotion. I like my writing, my reading, my painting, my travelling, my family and my music. Quite enough for me. I didn’t need your crap lifestyle. But I was brilliant at my job and responsible for changing my school right from day one. I could have been a Head at any time if I was at all bothered. I wasn’t. I had my life sorted. In the end it happened and I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I left early to do what I wanted – what I am doing.
        You don’t know a fucking thing about me yet you think you can make snide comments. I’ve got more morality in my big-toe than you possess. Some of the nasty shit you come out with. You should be ashamed.
        So now I write, I read, I travel, I look after my kids and grandkids, meet up with my mates and I play my music. I also have fun writing stuff on my blog.
        I enjoy writing on my blog. What I don’t enjoy is some disrespectful, snotty turd jumping all over it trying his hardest to rudely put off my guests and troll me.
        I’ve put up with you too long. You are a vexatious, abusive, ill-mannered lout who is pedantic, disrespectful and arrogant and has a temper that is obviously fuelled by alcohol abuse. I used to have some respect for your talents but I lost that. The nasty side far outweighs any other attributes. You have the nerve to go dissing me? What a fucking cheek!! You’ve done fuck all. You are a nobody.
        Now I suggest that you and your comments, your diatribes and venom, are not welcome on my blog. You are a pest. Go and annoy someone else. I’ve got too much to do to be bothered with the likes of you and your pathetic life. Take your expletives and stick them up your arse.

  13. Opher said:
    As I said to you before – I am sure that a lot of my stuff in my 300 odd files is reassortments presented in different combinations/editions. But I have over 300 CDs worth. And you call me a liar – sad cretin. How on earth can you judge? You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve done, what I do, or what I’ve got – only from what I write.
    All you do is spend your life going through my stuff to pick fault or tell lies. Pathetic. As I keep saying – grow up and get a life. The chip on your shoulder must stop you seeing the whole of one side.
    Its sad that you were too young to have done it all back in the day and missed out. Not my problem. I was in the midst of it and did it all. I had a great life. You? Brown nosing your way up?

    I know for a fact you’ve got all that early 60’s Dylan stuff copied over 5 or 6 times because I know how much disc time it needs to put all circulating recordings onto disc. How many times do I have to repeat myself here? I know already!
    I’m not calling you a liar, I’m calling you a fool if you think anybody needs 300+ CDs to obtain the early works of Dylan.
    I do know that you don’t know how to collect mp3 data. That’s patently obvious.
    I do know that your music tastes are deeply old fashioned, pretty much standard fair, and failed to continue to evolve at around the advent of the punk movement. That was it as there’s hardly been mention of anybody since except a James Varda, who supported Roy Harper sometime in the 1980’s. I thought he was crap, as did many others obviously, otherwise he’d be talked about elsewhere.
    Too young for what?
    I saw everybody who any anybody who was alive. I saw hundreds of bands at the Glasgow Apollo from 1972 – to its closure sometime around 85. I went to loads of festivals in the UK in 70’s and 80s. I missed out on nothing. By the 70s, and you moving to Rock ‘n’ Roll Nirvana, Hull, the availability and quality of drugs was really taking off. No Opher, I missed nothing, simple reason being that my generation were nothing like as naive as yours had been. You lot had to go to special gathering to learn how to roll a dove-tail joint. When you come from Glasgow and the magic mushrooms are growing 50 feet away from you bedroom window, what’s there not to know?
    Think again you old hippy. My generation had it completely sussed. Look at the albums that came out all through the 70’s. Where most of your lot had long expired to domestic bliss and no money and a mortgage, mine were doing all the partying. You do talk the most utter shite.
    And we, my generation again, also had the Punk scene. That was specifically ours, and absolutely sweet fuck all to do with hairy old goblin hippies like you. You’d have got smashed just for looking in my direction. Or at least a decent haircut.
    My friend’s older brother and his friend used to run around looking for hippies. And when they found one, they run up to him, one would grab his arms and the other would cut his hair at the front. In 3 seconds flat that hippie was looking like Dave Hill from Slade. It was hilarious as sometimes we’d see a guy in the town that’d been sheared. Oh man, we’d be in pain laughing at him.

    No Opher, no brown nosing required. See, I’d already been selected, don’t you understand?
    All I had to do now was turn up on time and pay attention. The rest was laid on for me. All I had to do was learn how to use the tools (slang for the inter-departmental operations) that is a pre-requisite of management. That included cooking breakfast for 650 every morning for 3 months at the Grosvenor Victoria. I could do it stoned out my gourd. I was stoned out my gourd. You just don’t tell them that, right?
    Simples.
    You don’t half over egg the pudding, don’t you?

  14. I stirred a hornets’ nest here by describing Bertha Franklin as white. I have Peter Guralnick’s book. He describes Bertha, the manageress of the motel who shot Sam, as a “dark-skinned woman with a glowering, impassive look”. The other woman who took Sam’s clothes when he was in the bathroom is described as a “Eurasian-looking girl with a plump, pretty face”. She alleged that Sam tore off her clothes and that was her explanation for taking his clothes when he went to the bathroom. I don’t think it was a racial incident although the investigation by the police may have been tainted by prejudice. Sam’s counsel was prevented from asking questions of the two women at the inquest by the Coroner for example.Sam was clearly angry when his clothes were taken and he shouldered Bertha’s apartment door open trying to find the girl then wrestled with Bertha. Clearly Bertha would have been frightened although apparently she was heavier then Sam.

    • No you didn’t really stir up a hornets nest. Andrew has been trolling my site and trying to upset my guests and me. Anyone who calls me a liar and a cunt deserves a good kick in the teeth. I’m sick of the guys rudeness and abuse. He’s an arrogant, pedantic git of no consequence. I don’t need shits like him telling me I’m lying about my CDs, LPs and writing my own reviews. He hasn’t a clue who I am or what I’m about.

  15. Elisa Boyer,the Eurasian-looking woman who alleged attempted rape was not his girlfriend. He had picked her up from a club that same night. She alleged that he dragged her into the motel room and ripped off her clothes so she escaped the room with his clothes when he went into the bathroom. The manageress however said that the pair seemed ok together when they arrived.

    • The story put out here is a possible fabrication. According to Etta James he had been badly beaten with crushed fingers and his head nearly ripped off. Allan Klein was mentioned. I reckon he was murdered. In any case the police did not investigate properly probably out of racism.

      • According to Guralnick’s book Klein was in New York at the time and heard of his death on the news.

      • Nobody said he did it. The possibility was that he arranged it. The truth is that nobody will ever know what really happened. It sounded like a murder to me. I still maintain that because he was black it wasn’t properly investigated.

  16. Why would Klein want Sam dead? Sam Cooke was at his peak when he died. According to Guralnick’s book, Sam always carried a large wad of notes with him. That may explain why Eliza Boyer took his jacket. Maybe it was a set-up robbery using the girl. She was in the company of several other men when Sam picked her up from a club.

    • Who knows Bede. It is hard to tell what goes on in the murky world behind the scenes. It was a rumour – unproven. But what Etta James said seemed to indicate that there was a lot more to this than met the eye.

  17. Anyway his death was a tragic loss. He had been an outstanding gospel singer, had a perfect soul voice and wrote some great tracks.

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