Remembering Kurt Cobain: Nirvana's 1993 Miami Concert

Categories: RIP


It's April 8. It's been 20 years since Kurt Cobain shot himself. Unlike the O.J. Simpson chase or 9/11 or the Challenger explosion, I can't exactly remember where I was when I heard the news, though I do remember MTV solemnly covering it all that weekend. A friend pointed out that Cobain was, at the time, the biggest rock star in the world. I threw out names to prove my friend wrong. Eddie Vedder? Michael Stipe? The Crash Test Dummies guy?

Twenty years later, there's no contest. Vedder's output sounds dated. Trent Reznor is a mogul for music streaming services, the Red Hot Chili Peppers lip-sync at the Super Bowl, and Axl Rose is whatever Axl Rose has become. But Cobain is and always will be 27 and too pure for a world that mixed rock 'n' roll with commerce.

"I wish I was like you/easily amused" sounds so much more profound knowing his fate than it would if Kurt was still around to do guest vocals on a Foo Fighters album.

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GWAR Frontman Dave Brockie, the Great Oderus Urungus, Found Dead

Categories: Obituaries, RIP

Photo by Ian Witlen
We just read the very sad news today that the great Oderus Urungus has left this scummy planet for good. Dave Brockie was found dead in his Richmond, VA home, according to TMZ.

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Stooges' Scott Asheton, the Cornerstone of Punk Drumming, Dead at 64

Categories: RIP

As the internet buzzed out-of-control over the Wayne Knight hoax of 2014, rock 'n' roll quietly lost a true original and proper sonic dissident with the unexpected passing of Scott Asheton, a founding member and the percussive thunder of the Stooges.

Asheton's death is being attributed to an undisclosed illness. However, the 64-year-old drummer suffered a serious stroke in 2011 that removed him from the drum throne for quite a while.

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Harold Ramis RIP: Writer and Director of Caddyshack, South Florida's Funniest Film

Categories: Obituaries, RIP

Justin Hoch

In the '80s, kids' first Ghostbusters dress-up choice was to pretend to be Bill Murray's Peter Venkman, then Slimer, followed by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. But eventually, some kid would be saddled with the bespectacled Egon Spengler, such is life for the straight man. Harold Ramis, who played second fiddle to Bill Murray not only in the Ghostbusters movies, but also in Stripes, passed away today and though he will be best remembered as a sidekick, his resume is one that shows him a comedic mind second to none.

Not only did Ramis co-write the afore mentioned Stripes and Ghostbusters movies, he also contributed in one way or another to just about every 1980s comedy worth a damn. He was one of the writers of Animal House, Meatballs, and Back to School. He wrote and directed National Lampoon's Vacation and Groundhog Day, but if you had to pick one slapstick masterpiece that he was involved in that stood above the rest (which for a child of the '80s is like asking an art historian select a favorite portion of the Sistine Chapel) it would have to be his directorial debut, Caddyshack.

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Shirley Temple, RIP

Categories: RIP

To so many, Shirley Temple is merely the name of a sirupy cocktail chugged by children who want to feel like a drunk adult. But the real Shirley Temple was a woman who started out life as the most charming child star possibly of all time who later became a wannabe conservative political type.

As a kid, I adored Shirley Temple, and for a period, I obsessively rented her movies from Spec's and memorized each song, dreaming I would one day have those same ringlets. It was devastating to learn that this little darling had grown up to rub shoulders with undesirables like Richard Nixon, but one look at that funny little face and politics slid away. She was a true star of the screen. Sadly, the world lost a fine actress yesterday at 85. Click on for some of Temple's most memorable films.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman: Patron Saint of Music Writers

Categories: RIP

Photo by Murray Close - © 2013 - Lionsgate

One Tuesday night at the 101 Coffee Shop in Los Angeles, I was sitting at a booth and a friend pointed out a shaggy-haired stocky man who was standing by the front door being loud and obnoxious. "That's Philip Seymour Hoffman," he said. Sure enough, with the next word, Hoffman shouted in that unmistakable deep timbre.

It is to Hoffman's credit as an actor that not many of us knew about his personal life until he was found dead yesterday in his New York City apartment. If it had turned out he was happily married with three kids, I wouldn't have been surprised. Nor if he was gay. Nor a swinging bachelor. But judging by Facebook and Twitter feeds, a lot of people were not only obviously saddened but shocked by the news that he was found dead with a syringe in his arm and an envelope of heroin near his body this Sunday.

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Motley Crue Final Farewell Tour Hits Hollywood, FL

Categories: Heads Up, RIP

Press photo courtesy of the artist

Mötley Crüe is heading home sweet home. Well, home in the death sense. And yes, on this, their allegedly final tour, the "boys" are coming to South Florida, a place old folks have long used as their final abode.

As it turns out, one of the wildest bands of all time signed a "cessation of touring agreement" which is like the most Kevorkian way a group can disband and then never have to play "county fairs and clubs with one or two original band members," as Tommy Lee is quoted by CNN as saying.

See also: Review of Mötley Crüe and Poison at Hard Rock Live, July 5
Nikki Sixx: "Lady Gaga Is Like Madonna on Steroids and Elton John With Boobs and High Heels"

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Lou Reed: We Remember the Legend

Categories: Obituaries, RIP

Wikipedia Commons

Lou Reed was the ego to Iggy Pop's streetwalking cheetah id and Bowie's grandiose glam super ego. His stories were seedy, but he told them like Homer: epic, sentimental, otherworldly but, simultaneously, strangely familiar. To invoke a second Freudianism in only three sentences: Lou kept the uncanny weird enough to remain off-beat, but endowed the queers and proto-hipsters that lived in his lyrics with the humanistic relatability of Top 40 pop.

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RIP, Michael O'Brien, South Florida Punk Rock Legend

O'Brien and friend while working in Antarctica, early '90s.

It is not easy to write about a person who has passed away, especially when the one you're writing about is someone you respected and looked up to.

It was with a heavy heart that we reported on the Eat's drummer, Christopher Cottie's, passing back in 2004, and it is with a heavy heart and watery eyes that we report that on Thursday, July 25, Michael O'Brien, the younger of the brothers, has died at home after battling cancer.

It is well-known in South Florida's music circles how big a fan I have been of the Eat since I first heard the band on a mixtape and embarked on a long journey to seek out their recorded work. The Eat, and specifically the brothers O'Brien, basically invented South Florida's raucous punk rock scene -- equal parts roots rock and the underlying aggression that would eventually surface as "hardcore."

That these dichotomies existed succinctly within one band and never fully tilted one way or the other will always be the downright mathematical alignment of the brothers and their bandmates. They were guided by a twisted Irish-Catholic sense of humor that snarled acerbically at communism, the Mariel Boatlift, South Florida's sunny living, animal rights, and an encyclopedic love for sports.

See also:
- Eat Your Heart Out
- RIP, Johnny Salton, one of South Florida's greatest guitarists
- R.I.P. Lisa Hodapp, Wife, Mother, South Florida Punk Scene Legend

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RIP, Dennis Farina: A Man With a South Florida Touch

Categories: RIP

It's a cold day in Miami Beach when we first meet Ray Barboni. So cold, the radio says it might reach 34 degrees. Barboni walks over to Chili Palmer (played by John Travolta) and cracks himself up saying, "It's chilly outside and Chili inside." That opening scene of Get Shorty exemplified what was so great about the actor who played Barboni, Dennis Farina: A frightening combination of menace with a sense of humor that no one on screen appreciated as much as he did.

Farina died yesterday at age 69 from a blood clot in his lung. Chicago will always rightly claim Farina as its son. He was a Chicago policeman for many years before making it as an actor. He proudly spoke with that city's accent, notably in the most rewatchable movie of all time, Midnight Run, in which he plays the villainous Mob boss who called his henchmen to ask "Is this Moron Number One? Put Moron Number Two on the phone."

But South Florida can lay some claim to Farina as well. He portrayed three fantastic characters in Miami.

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