Showing posts with label Died. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Died. Show all posts

March 31, 2020

Alan Merrill "I Love Rock'N'Roll Dies of COVID-19

Alan MerrillImage copyright

Image captionThe singer had a long and varied career in music, with bands in Japan, the UK and the US(GETTY)

The co-writer and original singer of I Love Rock 'N' Roll, Alan Merrill, has died after contracting coronavirus.
His daughter Laura shared the news, saying the 69-year-old had been healthy enough to play shows a few weeks ago.
"He played down the 'cold' he thought he had," she wrote, before warning other families not to be complacent.
"You don't think It'll happen to you or your strong family. It has," she wrote. "Stay home if not for you, for others. For my dad. This thing is real."
I Love Rock 'N' Roll became a global hit for Joan Jett in 1982 and has been covered by artists ranging from Britney Spears to Weird Al Yankovic. 
A parody version, I Love Sausage Rolls, was last year's Christmas number one in the UK, with proceeds going to charity.

Musicians hit by coronavirus

Coronavirus also claimed the life of country singer Joe Diffie over the weekend, while the family of Nashville legend John Prine said he was critically ill on a ventilator and being treated for Covid-19 symptoms.
Prine, an influential singer-songwriter who is known for lyrical, melancholy folk songs like Hello In There and Angel From Montgomery, has previously survived cancer twice.
As news of his condition broke, musicians including Joan Baez, Bette Midler and Kacey Musgraves sent the Grammy Award winner their love and support.

Alan Merrill, who was born Allan Preston Sachs in New York, had a long and varied career as a musician. He signed his first record deal as lead singer of the band The Lead, who had a big hit in Japan with Aoi Bara (Blue Rose).
After releasing two successful solo albums and hosting TV shows and acting in soap operas, he left Japan for the UK in 1974 to form The Arrows, who put a glam rock sheen on classic pop melodies.
The group scored hits with A Touch Too Much and My Last Night With You, and I Love Rock 'N' Roll was written by Merrill and guitarist Jake Hooker as "a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" in 1975.
Originally issued on the B-side of The Arrows' single Broken Down Heart, it became a hit after DJs started playing the flip side instead.
Its success led to the band getting a weekly ITV series, with musical guests including Marc Bolan, Slade and The Bay City Rollers - and that was where US singer Joan Jett first heard, and fell in love with, I Love Rock 'N' Roll.

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In the mid-1970s, Jett tried to convince her band The Runaways to cover it but they refused. When the band broke up, Jett recorded it and spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.
After his death, she paid tribute to Merrill on Instagram, writing: "My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole. I can still remember watching The Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me.
"With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side."
Merrill later joined Meat Loaf's band for two albums and played with Rick Derringer.
Writing on Facebook, Meat Loaf said: "Let this be a lesson to all of us, try to stay in touch with the people you really love and care about. Life is very short. Alan I am sorry that I didn't reach out to you years ago. I love you very much." During his career, Merrill also had a recurring part in the HBO series Encyclopaedia Brown, was in the band Runner, and released several albums as a solo artist, with 2019's Radio Zero the most recent.
Merrill's daughter said it was unlikely her father would receive a proper funeral because of the restrictions in place over coronavirus.
"We probably won't be able to mourn him properly with a funeral," she wrote. "I just lost the greatest love of my life and won't be able to hug anyone because I've been exposed and need to self quarantine for two weeks... alone."

December 11, 2019

Pete Frates Boston College Star with ALS (Ice Bucket Challenge), Dead at 34


Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball star whose battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inspired the viral Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for ALS research, died Monday at age 34. 
"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," his family wrote in a statement, released by Boston College. 
"A natural-born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity. He was a noble fighter who inspired us all to use our talents and strengths in the service of others."
At Boston College, Frates set baseball team records, once hitting a grand slam, a three-run homer and a double in a single game. After college, he played professional baseball in Germany and coached young players before returning home to sell insurance.
Up to bat during a men's league baseball game in 2011, Frates was struck on his left wrist by a fastball. The injury led to a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease — a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. 
Frates did not invent the Ice Bucket Challenge, but he helped it gain national attention. The idea originated with another ALS patient, Patrick Quinn, whom Frates met online and later befriended. 
The typical Ice Bucket Challenge looked like this:
Often outfitted in bathing suits or wrapped in a towel, participants would get in front of a video camera and then dump a big bucket of ice water on their heads. The soaked participant would then nominate friends to take on the challenge and make a donation to ALS research.  

Frates spread the word on social media and got high-profile participants involved, like New England Patriots star Tom Brady and Red Sox owner John Henry. Before long, celebrities like George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg were making their own Ice Bucket Challenge videos throughout the summer of 2014. According to the Boston Globe, the challenge is estimated to have raised between $160 million and $220 million for ALS research. In 2016, a global gene-sequencing effort, funded by Ice Bucket Challenge donations to the ALS Association, led to the discovery of a new ALS gene.
"Our hearts go out to Frates family and Boston community," the ALS Association wrote on Twitter. "Pete Frates changed the trajectory of ALS forever and showed the world how to live with a fatal disease. His efforts to lead the Ice Bucket Challenge had a significant impact on the search for treatments and a cure for ALS."

Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn wrote in a statement that Frates embodied the university's values: courage, integrity, selflessness and a drive to help others.
"He accepted his illness and devoted the remaining years of his life to raising awareness of ALS and helping to raise money for a cure," Dunn wrote. "He is a role model for all BC students and a beloved figure on our campus."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who made his own Ice Bucket Challenge video back in 2015, weighed in on Twitter. 
"Pete, you changed our city & our country for the better and made a difference in the lives of countless people," he wrote. "You helped us remember that we're all one family & we have to look out for one another. There's no telling how much good you've set in motion."
A year after his diagnosis, Frates was interviewed by the Boston College student newspaper, The Heights. Back then, he said his newfound role as an advocate "gives me another reason to get out of bed every day. Being part of something bigger than yourself is one of the best things you can do."

August 18, 2019

Peter Fonda Dead at 79

             Image result for peter fonda

Peter Fonda, whose counterculture classic Easy Rider helped usher in the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s that paved the way for filmmakers from Martin Scorsese to Quentin Tarantino, has died after suffering respiratory failure due to lung cancer. Fonda, the son of screen legend Henry Fonda, younger brother of Jane Fonda and father of actress Bridget Fonda, was 79.
The family confirmed the news of his death Friday in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment.
“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” the family said, adding Fonda “passed away peacefully on Friday morning, Aug. 16 at 11:05am at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family. The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer.
“In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy.
“And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life,” the statement concluded. “In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”
According to Jane Fonda, her brother “went out laughing.”
“I am very sad,” she said in a statement. “He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”
Fonda was best known for his starring role 1969’s Easy Rider, which he co-wrote and produced, and which celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 14. The film, co-starring the late Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, earned Fonda his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. In 1997, he was nominated for Best Actor for starring in Ulee's Gold.
Born in New York City, Fonda began acting in the early '60s. He started to make a name for himself with 1966's The Wild Angels alongside Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern, but his big break came three years later with Easy Rider. He was inspired to write the film in 1967 in response to a speech by Jack Valenti, then the newly appointed head of the Motion Picture Association of America who was advocating for more family-friendly films.  

"And like a TV evangelist [Valenti] says, 'It's time we stopped making movies about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and more movies like Doctor Dolittle,' but he's looking right at me," said Fonda in a 2013 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment. Soon after the ever-rebellious Fonda began writing the story of two drug-fueled motorcyclists on an ultimately tragic cross-country odyssey.
Fonda shared the screen only once with his famous father, in the 1979 western Wanda Nevada, which he also directed.
"A fairy tale. A perfectly written fairy tale," he told Yahoo. "I was fortunate enough to cast my dad. And he came and played for one day with us. And it was really an amazing moment for me, to be able to work with my father, to direct him and act in a scene with him. Up until that moment, no matter the success of Easy Rider, and the tremendous success of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, these were not films that my father would understand."
"In 1978, I'm shooting in the Grand Canyon with my father, who's basically dying," Fonda continued. (Henry Fonda passed away in 1982 from heart disease at age 77.) "Any rate, it was fabulous. We had such a good time. He just did one day's work. And I was warning him he had to chew tobacco, so I had all this licorice ready for him to spit instead. I said 'I don't chew tobacco, and I don't want you chewing tobacco.' He said, 'Nope, I'm gonna do it!' You know, stubborn. And so he passed out at lunch!"
Fonda added, "I got a letter, the fifth one I ever got from him, this fabulous letter. Basically it said, 'In my 41 years of making motion pictures, I have never seen a crew so devoted to a director, and you're a very good director, Son. And I love you very much.' The first time it had been put in writing, and there it was. Signed, 'Love, your dad.' It was just amazing."

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