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2022: The Year In Celebrity Death Rated And Commisserated

As rocknyc primes itself ready for its fifteenth year we have continued to evolve and had good ideas, bad ideas, and some idea that caused us to lose friends. I had a dust up with writer Ken Shane because he thought our ongoing grading deaths posts was disrespectful. Ken and I stopped speaking to each other and I recently heard that he had passed on. So, out of respect for his wishes, I won’t include him in the grading system but I shall include him right here, a major loss of a true music scholar and musician.

In alphabetically order by first name… those we said goodbye to…

Aaron Carter – November – 34 years if age – the ravishes of hard drug addiction come to life – C-

André Leon Talley – January – 73 years of age – Anna Wintour’s right-hand at Vogue – B-

Andy Fletcher – May – 60 years of age – Depeche Mode keyboardist since the get go – C+

Angela Lansbury – 96 years of age – one of the great third acts in western entertainment, she went from a starlet in early English movies, to a star of Broadway, and finally the beloved Jessica Fletcher on “Murder, She Wrote” – A

Anton Fier – September – 66 years – the alternative drummer with perpetual nervousness – A-

Barbara Walters – December – 93 years of age – the glass ceiling destroying television journalist who was responsible for the Sadat-Begin meeting among many other scoops… oh and the, wow, thanks a ton, The View – A-

The Columbia Years 1968-1969 is a collection of little-heard, long sought-after recordings by funk artist Betty Davis.

Betty Davis – February – 77 years of age – Mrs. Miles Davis and a solo funk singer – C+

Bob Saget – January – 65 years of age – Full House, Fuller House, AFV… C+

Calvin Simon – January – 79 years of age – lead singer of Parliament-Funkadelia – A

Christine Perfect – November – 79 years of age – Christine went from Chicken Shack to Fleetwood Mac, Perfect spent her entire career from blues to folk to soft rock, at the top of the pop music firmament – A+

Coolio – September – 58 years of age – a one hit wonder but the rappers one hit couldn’t have been bigger – C

Don Wilson – January – 88 years of age – Rhythm guitarist with The Ventures – C+

Fred Parris – January – 95 years of age – doo wop great with the Five Satins – B

Georgia Jolt – 96 years of age – a starlet in her own right but you probably know her as Cher’s mom – C

Irene Cara – November – 73 years of age – yes, she will live forever – B

Kirstie Alley – December – 71 years of age – Given the unenviable role of replacing a beloved actress on a hugely popular comedy ensemble, we got “Cheers Act Two”, the Scientology stuff is a different subject – B-

James Caan – July – 82 years of age – Elf or Godfather or both – A

Loretta Lynn – October – 90 years of age – the coal miner’s daughter as Patsy Cline’s best friend as the voice of country and if you don’t like it take a one way trip to fist city – A+

Louie Anderson – January – 68 years of age – gave you permission to laugh at being overweight -to laugh at him if you will – B-

Marilyn Bergman – 96 years of age – January – wrote the lyrics to “The Windmills Of My Mind” and “The Way We Were” to name but two and that means she wrote “Memories light the corners of my mind, misty watercolor memories of the way we were” – B+

Meatloaf – January – 74 years of age – never better than when Frank N Furter killed him with a pickaxe – C

Michael Lang – 77 years of age – all he did was Woodstock and a coupla bad follow ups. But all he did was Woodstock… – B+

Naomi Judd – May – 76 years of age – the popular mother half of the country duet killed herself after years of mental illness – C-

Olivia Newton-John – August – 73 years of age – we shaped up and got physical because she needed a man – B+

PnB Rock – September – 30 years of age – the trap pop star was getting waffles with his girlfriend when he flashed too much jewelry and got murdered – D+

Peter Bogdanovich – January – 82 years of age – “The Last Picture Show” not only gave me a proper introduction to Hank Williams when I was thirteen and was a great movie (I might not be here today, it essentially changed my opinion of pop music) so was “Paper Moon” “What’s Up Doc” and “Mask” and… he was one of the great 70s American directors – A

Pope Benedict XVI – December – 95 years of age – retired after eight years… the first Pope to retire since 1415 – C

Pelé – December – 82 years of age – the greatest professional futbol player of all time – A+

Queen Elizabeth II – September – 94 years of age – the longest ruling British monarch – A+

Ronnie Spector – The greatest girl group singer ever – A+

Takeoff – November – 28 years of age – a third of rap capital Atlanta’s Migos, he was shot to death at a craps game in a bowling alley – C+

Vivienne Westwood – December – 81 years of age – the last musical movement as cultural rebellion was UK and designer Westwood told us how to dress for it – B

Yvette Mimieux – 80 years of age – my 70s crush “B” movie if not better – C+

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