I See Dead People in 2016 | Jim Dunn

Bowie showed us the optimism of reinventing oneself, his obvious intent on perfection, and his kindness toward other performers.

By any standard, the list of people who have passed this year has been mind-bending. Sadly, the only way I can handle this is to put it into top 15 form.

1. David Bowie

The loss of David Bowie is one that hit many of us very hard. I’m in my early 50s and Bowie has been part of my soundtrack from my first moments of radio listening. The German trio of albums from the early ’70s (Low, Heroes, Lodger) was enough to cement anyone’s career, but with them he was merely hitting his stride. Over his long career, Bowie showed us the optimism of reinventing oneself, his obvious intent on perfection, and his kindness toward other performers.

2. Prince

The man could not stop making music, and much of it was brilliant.

3. Antonin Scalia

If it weren’t for adjectives, there would not be a word the man said that I agree with, but he shaped conservative thought (some would say warped) and left a mark on the Supreme Court. Bonus points for forcing the Republicans to flirt with being traitors by denying President Obama his Constitutional duty of replacing the late judge.

4. Garry Shandling

Offered us the opportunity to love and hate him at the same time. He updated George Burns’ show-within-a-show schtick with brilliant results.

5. George Martin

It takes brilliance to guide brilliance. What Martin did as the Beatles’ producer was nothing short of miraculous. He held them together and guided them to achieve one of the most amazing musical catalogs in history.

6. Morey Safer

I grew up watching 60 Minutes and Safer was an essential part of the crew. He was acerbic, probing, and able to inject humor into a subject. His reporting often changed the course of public opinion.

7. Muhammad Ali

As an athlete, he brought beauty to a brutal sport. For better or worse, he made us expect sports figures to be entertaining. Later in life, he was the brave face of Parkinson’s Disease.

8. Anton Yelchin

During his short career he played many indelible characters. His loss in a freak accident was tragic, and makes us wonder what his next 40 years would have brought us.

9. Bernie Worrell

Keyboards and an intense personality, Worrell helped make Parliament-Funkadelic groove. I will always remember him for his contributions to Talking Heads in the ’80s, especially his tour support for Stop Making Sense.

10. John McLaughlin

The original purveyor of roundtable journalism. The next time you listen to a group of pundits shouting over each other about a subject, thank McLaughlin.

11. Leonard Cohen

Poets are so fucking cool. Cohen did that.

12. Fidel Castro

Say what you will about him, but there is something fitting in the revolutionary dying of old age in his bed.

13. John Glenn

We’ll put you in a tin can strapped to highly flammable liquid and send you far into the atmosphere, OK? Glenn said yes and became immortal.

14. George Michael

By this point, I really think somebody up there really hates ’80s pop culture. What a voice.

15. Carrie Fisher

Never a big Star Wars fan, but love Dorothy Parker. Fisher was our Dorothy Parker, and a brilliant one at that. | Jim Dunn

About Jim Dunn 126 Articles
Jim Dunn grew up in NY in the 70s and 80s. Even though that time in music really shapes his appreciation it does not define it. Music, like his beloved history is a long intermingled path that grows, builds and steals from its past. He lives in Colorado with his lovely wife and a wild bunch of animals.

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