Tag archive for "DPD"

National Obituary Review

DPD Emeritus – Gregg Allman

Comments Off on DPD Emeritus – Gregg Allman 29 May 2017


The love light is turned down way low tonight. We lost a good one. For yours truly Gregg Allman brought a lot of things in focus. At a weird point in my life, going to music festivals, I’d see the Allmans on the venue and find it reassuring. I couldn’t tell you why. I just did.

As I got older I’d read about them. Learn about the feuds. All the weird stories you’d hear about how they couldn’t stand each other and when they were out on the road they’d travel separately. They were a family that had some issues going on too.

Then there was the music. Sweet jesus. I always felt that because Gregg Allman was white it gave us hope that white people had rhythm too.

Not to mention it was a non-threatening concert my parents would let me go to with my friends without supervision. Steve Miller was in that bucket too…along with the Doobie Bros and a few others.

I learned and saw many things at Allmans’ shows. I saw Derek Trucks for the first time. How about that? I got a Case Logic CD book stolen. The big kind with 4 discs on each page. One time I slept through the entire show in the Lawn. Well worth it to take a snooze under the stars listen to that sound.

I’m not sure about the rest of you guys but there are very few bands that have been relevant to me from the time I was 13 to present day. The Beatles obviously. And maybe some Oldies you used to listen to driving around with your parents. But the Allmans always felt filthy. Classic and current at the time.

Gregg Allman’s musk will infuse the smell of American music for years to come. I think he can be heard from legacy acts such as the Black Crowes to contemporary stars like Chris Stapleton (the relations is particularly strong in this example).

Gregg Allman was rock, soul, R&B, Rhythm & Blues, Country & Western and a whole bunch of other stuff too.

We lost a good one today. If you’re so inclined we’ll be celebrating the Allmans at the HQ all weekend. We just refilled the cookie closet too (Thanks Earl!)




National Obituary Review

DPD – B.B. King

No Comments 15 May 2015


We lost a good one yesterday. I was up late stretching and listening to Charlie Mingus when the fax came through. As soon as I read the message my blood ran cold – “The King Is Dead”.

I was spooked. I didn’t know what to do so I reached for the Laphroaig (15 year), flipped the Mingus record and laid down on the floor.

I didn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t shake the feeling that things were slipping away. When Mingus had finished I tried to put on Singin’ the Blues but when the needle hit the sound was too jarring, the wound too raw. So I put on The Birth of Cool hoping Miles would numb the pain. Then it hit me.

Back in the 1950s the lifeblood of American culture pulsed through juke joints, country dance halls and back alley nightclubs. In such locales B.B. cut his teeth and made his contribution. King plugged into the current spawned from 1957’s release of The Birth of Cool. It was a different flavor but it all tasted similar. Coltrane was in that recipe. So was James Brown, Otis Redding, George Clinton and Michael Jackson (pre all that weird shit).

Hell, as a country we’ve been wading in this current for the past half century. Now the stream is dry and we’re out of ideas so Ryan Seacrest fills the void. Sure, we’ve had ebbs and flows since. Vogues in-and-out of style. But every so often you’d see B.B. (or Muddy Waters or Howlin’ Wolf) and it was like an omniscient face smack reminding you where it all came from.

By his own admission, King could not play chords well and always relied on improvisation. In a time where curriculums and career paths are over curated it makes you wonder if true creativity can still thrive.

The flag is flying at half mast today at The Shade HQ.

Not surprisingly those quacks over at the NYTs contributed a steaming poop for a memorial to The King. So do yourself a favor and read the Chicago Tribune’s.


National Obituary Review

DPD: January 3rd – Ivan Mackerle

No Comments 03 February 2015


The wait is over. You’ve flooded our inbox enough. We get it. You CAN’T live with out DPDs. So, we’re happy to reinstate. We thought it nice to get kicked off with a bang and focus on the world of Cryptozoology and Ivan Mackerle

Mackerle was an interesting bloke interested in:

  • Obscure military vehicles
  • Voltage
  • Wenceslas Square
  • Rare animals – most notably the Mongolian Death Worm

Upon graduation from university Mackerle had a brief stint hawking gyros in Prague while moonlighting as a foot sniffer for the Czech aristocracy to make extra money.

Once he had amassed a small fortune from his olfactory racket he hit the road in search of the Mongolian Death Worm. He made 2 trips in total. Other than contracting a bad case of athlete’s foot the first trip was fruitless. However his second trip in 1992 was a bit more interesting.

Upon arrival at a Buddhist Monastery he was warned that the Death Worm had ‘supernatural evil’ that not even Sly Stallone could tame (it was the early 90s, Sly was HUGE). Unaffected Mackerle pushed on.

After his first day of pursuit, Mackerle awoke convinced he was close. He recalled having a vivid dream about the worm, and states that he woke up with unexplained blood-filled boils on his back. Convinced it wasn’t his night terrors he carried on.

But I’ll stop there and let Crytozoology Digest take over with Ivan’s obit.

Come get your obits while their hot you animals!

Shades of Gray

Dead Person of the Day – February 28 – Jane Russell

No Comments 28 February 2013


Talk about a dame to get your knickers in a tizzy eh? Jane Russell – va va voom!

Before we get into the whole thing lets note a couple things:

Howard Hughes continuously proves he has an eye for talent
The catholic church being out of touch is nothing new.

Ms. Russell was a voluptuous actress at the center of one of the most highly publicized censorship episodes in movie history, the long-delayed release of the 1940s western The Outlaw.

Ms. Russell was 19 and working in a doctor’s office when Howard Hughes, returning to movie production after his aviation successes, see her one day while visiting his podiatrist. One look at her curves and he was treating her to a steak dinner. Rumor has it he even flew in an authentic boston cream pie from The Parker House. Needless to say he cast her as the tempestuous Rio McDonald, the object of a romantic rivalry between Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid, in “The Outlaw,” which he directed (and did a superb job).

But hey Norm…why was the movie so polarizing? Good question. A movie poster — which showed a sultry Ms. Russell in a cleavage-revealing blouse falling off one shoulder as she reclined in a haystack and held a gun — quickly became notorious and seemed to fuel movie censors’ determination to prevent the film’s release because of scenes that, by 1940s standards, revealed too much of the star’s supple breasts. The Roman Catholic Church was one of the movie’s vocal opponents. Ironically, in a stunning turn of a events that same Jane Russell became a staunch right wing, christian conservative later in life promoting pro life agendas, speaking in tongues and the right for the pope to wear his red slippers where ever he damn well pleased.

But back to the genius of Howard Hughes….

Although the film had its premiere and ran for nine weeks in San Francisco in 1943, it did not open in New York until 1947 and was not given a complete national release until 1950. Critics were generally unimpressed by its quality, but it made Ms. Russell a star. The specially engineered bra that Hughes was said to have designed for his 38D leading lady took its place in cinematic history. Brilliant!

It’s a sexy day here at The Shade. If you haven’t yet I highly recommend today’s edition of Sexy Memoirs. While I can’t stand most of the stiffs on their writing staff Rayburn shows some promise
Obits Thursday. Wahooo

Jane Russell, Sultry Star of 1940s and ’50s, Dies at 89


Published: February 28, 2011

Jane Russell, the voluptuous actress at the center of one of the most highly publicized censorship episodes in movie history, the long-delayed release of the 1940s western “The Outlaw,” died on Monday at her home in Santa Maria, Calif. She was 89. Continue

National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day March 13 – Owsley Stanley

No Comments 13 March 2012


Owsley Stanley, LSD creator and shaman died on this day last year…2011.

I know what you’re thinking…Robert Baker, creator of the chicken nugget and notable scientist, should have taken the honors for today’s DPD. But I’ll say this – for better or worse Owsley Stanley had a significant influence on the contemporary American Psyche during one of our most tumultuous and transformative times as a country.

Sure, some might say he was a looney b/c he emigrated to the tropical Australian state of Queensland in the early 1980s because he was fearful of a new ice age. Others would say he was ahead of his time. I know a guy that thinks ‘going amphibious’ will be en vogue within the next two eons, and he loves pleats. So, you tell me?

Personally I think there’s a visceral human desire for release. Some psychologists say this same desire is what compels kids to spin around until they’re dizzy as shit. Me, I think kids are just stupid but what do I know?

I know this – someone who gives a good outlet for expression should be acknowledged in a positive way.

Lets do it.

Psychedelic icon Owsley Stanley dies in Australia

The renegade grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, Stanley helped lay the foundation for the psychedelic era by producing more than a million doses of LSD at his labs in San Francisco’s Bay Area.

“He made acid so pure and wonderful that people like Jimi Hendrix wrote hit songs about it and others named their band in its honor,” former rock ‘n’ roll tour manager Sam Cutler wrote in his 2008 memoirs “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Continue

National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day October 28 – James (Baby Huey) Ramey

No Comments 28 October 2011

With a psychedelic brand of soul and a vocal style that drew comparisons to Otis Redding, the 400 pound Baby Huey was set to break nationally with his 1971 debut album. Unfortunately, on October 28th 1970 a fatal heart attack prevented him from seeing the release of the disc. Baby Huey’s lone album has become a sought-after collectible soul fanatics

Here is another classic from the Big Man.

Baby Huey & The Babysitters – Listen to Me

Features, National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day August 31 – Elsa Barker

No Comments 01 September 2011

Elsa Barker (died August 31, 1954)


Folks, I don’t know how you feel but to me Elsa was practically born to be a DPD. Obits for her were hard to come by, sadly. However, she still merits 2 minutes of your time to read about.This is courtesy of The Writers Almanac via The Poetry Foundation…….

Elsa Barker was born in 1869 in Leicester, Vermont, and died in 1954. She worked as a shorthand writer, wrote for newspapers, and produced novels and mysteries and a volume of stories from the New Testament for children, but it is for the trilogy Letters from a Living Dead Man, War Letters from the Living Dead Man, and Last Letters from the Living Dead Man that she is best known.

Elsa’s parents died when she was young, and all the mention that is made of them in her short biographies is that her father had an interest in the occult and shared this interest with his daughter. She would eventually join the Theosophical Society, a group that encouraged the comparative study of religion, philosophy, and science, and that sought to explain the mysteries and undiscovered laws of nature and the latent powers of man. Barker also joined the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega occult order, a group formerly known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Barker spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for the years between 1910 and 1914, which she spent first in Paris and then in London. One evening in Paris in 1912, Barker felt the sudden compulsion to write a message, although she had no idea what the message would be. As she explains in the introduction to Letters from a Living Dead Man, she took up a pencil and, “Yielding to the impulse, my hand was seized as if from the outside, and a remarkable message of a personal nature came, followed by the signature ‘X.'” She soon found out that X was the nickname for a man known to her friends, who was 6,000 miles from Paris and presumably still alive, though a telegraph a few days later informed them of the sad news that Mr. X had in fact died in the western United States a few days before Barker received her mystery message.

Perhaps it is inaccurate to say that Barker was the author of the Letters books given that all three were a dead man’s messages, which she produced spontaneously through automatic writing. Her initial attitude was blasé to being outright disinclined to continue the correspondence, and it was only through the persuasion of arguments made by her friends that Barker agreed to continue.

“‘X,'” Barker wrote, “was not an ordinary person. He was a well-known lawyer nearly seventy years of age, a profound student of philosophy, a writer of books, a man whose pure ideals and enthusiasms were an inspiration to everyone who knew him.” X soon wrote again to say, “I am here, make no mistake. It was I who spoke before, and now I speak again. I have had a wonderful experience … I found almost no darkness. The light here is wonderful …” and the messages kept coming and Barker kept writing them.

X implored Barker to take certain precautions to protect herself against those who pressed around him, telling her to lay a spell upon herself morning and night, so that her energy could not be sucked out by “these larvae of the astral world.” He would reproach her if he came to call and she would not let him in, and then follow the rebuke with assurances that he was not rebuking her. X informed Barker that there was a large organization of souls on the other side who called themselves a League, and whose mission was to help those adjusting to the new conditions, a group, X said, that “work on a little — I do not want to say higher plane than the Salvation Army, but rather a more intellectual plane.”

X found a great deal of unconventionality among the dead. No two dressed the same, in clothing from the most modern styles to the most ancient, though X explained that each wore what he or she liked, and even got to thinking that he might enjoy a Roman toga. There were charming children on the other side, elderly folk who slept a great deal, and sometimes frightful forms and decayed faces falling to pieces that the League workers referred to as hopeless cases.

One day, X’s Teacher showed him the archives where those who lived in that other place recorded whatever observations they may have had on their post-life experience, a vast library filled with millions of volumes. The teacher handed X a thick book printed in large black type — it was a book by Paracelsus, the Renaissance physician and alchemist who is sometimes called the Father of Toxicology, written “soon after he came out,” which is to say, soon after he died.

When the Letters from a Living Dead Man ends on Letter 54, X informers Barker that he is going to leave for a time, perhaps a very long time, “to soar out upon the wave of ether — far — far — and to forget, in the thrill of exploration, that I shall some day have to make my way painfully back to the world through the narrow straits of birth … In Jupiter, they say, there is a race of beings wonderful to behold. I shall see them … Let this be my final message to the world. Tell them to enjoy their struggles, to thrill at the endless possibilities of combination and creation, to live in the moment while preparing for long hence, and not to exaggerate the importance of momentary failures and disappointments.”

X would return for two more volumes.

Read War Letters of the Living Dead here

National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day: Charles Bronson

1 Comment 30 August 2011

Wow folks. We hear at the NOR are pretty excited today. We’re in the business of death so we’re normally upbeat people but today…..wow. It is with extreme pleasure we present today’s Dead Person of the Day coming straight from those stiffs at the AP. This obit is 10 out of 10 shovels and if the NOR had been around in 2003 (the year of publication) this would be a leading candidate for our Golden Gravestone Award. Not only does this exceed excellent marks in our three categories of Readability, Reliability and Legacy, but its just an anthology of a great American. Without further ado we give you today’s DPD:

Charles Bronson (November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Bronson, the Pennsylvania coal miner who drifted into films as a villain and became a hard-faced action star, notably in the popular Death Wish vengeance movies, has died. He was 81.

Bronson died Saturday of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife at his bedside, publicist Lori Jonas said. He had been in the hospital for weeks, Jonas said.

During the height of his career, Bronson was hugely popular in Europe; the French knew him as “le sacre monstre” (the sacred monster), the Italians as “Il Brutto” (the ugly man). In 1971, he was presented a Golden Globe as “the most popular actor in the world.”

Like Clint Eastwood, whose spaghetti westerns won him stardom, Bronson had to make European films to prove his worth as a star. He left a featured-role career in Hollywood to play leads in films made in France, Italy and Spain. His blunt manner, powerful build and air of danger made him the most popular actor in those countries.

At age 50, he returned to Hollywood a star.

In a 1971 interview, he theorized on why the journey had taken him so long:

“Maybe I’m too masculine. Casting directors cast in their own, or an idealized image. Maybe I don’t look like anybody’s ideal.”

His early life gave no indication of his later fame. He was born Charles Buchinsky on Nov. 3, 1921 — not 1922, as studio biographies claimed — in Ehrenfeld, Pa. He was the 11th of 15 children of a coal miner and his wife, both Lithuanian immigrants.

Young Charles learned the art of survival in the tough district of Scooptown, “where you had nothing to lose because you lost it already.” The Buchinskys lived crowded in a shack, the children wearing hand-me-downs from older siblings. At the age of 6, Charles was embarrassed to attend school in his sister’s dress.

Charles’ father died when he was 10, and at 16 Charles followed his brothers into the mines. He was paid $1 per ton of coal and volunteered for perilous jobs because the pay was better. Like other toughs in Scooptown, he raised some hell and landed in jail for assault and robbery.

He might have stayed in the mines for the rest of his life except for World War II.

Drafted in 1943, he served with the Air Force in the Pacific, reportedly as a tail gunner on a B29. Having seen the outside world, he vowed not to return to the squalor of Scooptown.

He was attracted to acting not, he claimed, because of any artistic urge; he was impressed by the money movie stars could earn. He joined the Philadelphia Play and Players Troupe, painting scenery and acting a few minor roles.

Click here to read the rest….and you REALLY want to

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