I mentioned Lemmy...a man nobody thought could die. A staple diet of Marlboro and Jack Daniels, everything louder than everything else...it stunned the rock and metal world, but it was just the beginning. Back in January, DAVID BOWIE, at the age of 69 passed away merely days after the release of what would be his final album; "Blackstar", after a secret battle with cancer. His sudden death was one thing, but the album itself took things to another level...it was a clue, a farewell, it really was his parting gift and he left us in a way only he could and it left a gaping hole in the music industry. He was unique, an artist that thrived on pushing both boundaries and senses and it was a harsh introduction to the year...however, we're just getting started. Over the next year, we lost the likes of PRINCE, whose death triggered a true purple rain of tears, few were as flamboyant as the symbol himself, and at the age of just 57, he left us back in April. We certainly weren't partying like it was 1999...fast forward to October and we suddenly lose PETE BURNS...as eccentric as they come, the DEAD OR ALIVE singer, again, aged just 57 suffered a fatal heart attack and we lost one of the most colourful characters in the world of pop music, but the record, it keeps on spinning.
If that wasn't enough, 2016 wasn't done, not at all...at the ripe old age of 82, the one and only LEONARD COHEN passed away after a period of illness, but again, just like Bowie, his last album which came out earlier this year, spoke of acceptance and preparation, as if he knew his time was drawing near...and the writer of "Hallelujah", one of the best songs ever written said goodbye. Not long before Christmas, the rock world was saddened yet again by the sudden death of STATUS QUO guitarist RICK PARFITT...he passed away in hospital in Spain much to the sorrow of so very many...with a career spanning decades and a style immitated yet never bettered, he will be greatly missed. Alas, if 2016 hadn't already been evil enough, on CHRISTMAS DAY...we lost GEORGE MICHAEL. The former WHAM! singer had a history of personal demons and was never too far from controversy, but he was also one of the most generous, kindest and caring human beings you could hope to encounter...a true pop icon, he will never be replaced.
As heartbreaking as all of the above is, we've merely scratched the surface....other names like ALAN RICKMAN....CARRIE FISHER...RONNIE CORBETT...MUHAMMAD ALI...GENE WILDER...heroes, icons, legends of their fields, words don't quite cut it sometimes and that's precicely how 2016 left us feeling; speechless. The cynical of us will not bat an eyelid and say that, they are only human and that, everyone dies in the end...but that's not the point. We know this, we understand this, but if anything, 2016 has hit that home harder than most years prior, or at least it had that feel to it. We have to come to terms with the fact that, now, our heroes of years gone by are leaving us, and that these special, gifted masters of their craft are a real dying breed, and that the memories we have of these people should be treasured. We will NEVER get another Bowie, another Lemmy, another Ali...and this is exactly why they are held so dearly within the hearts of millions. It's not going to get any easier guys and galls...far from it, this is something we sadly have to live with over the coming years, as many more of our beloved stars will pass, but we must be strong...so this new year, 2017...I just want everyone to laugh louder, love harder, live fuller and enjoy everything. If you have goals, shoot for them...let 2017 be yours for the taking and above all else; be happy. You deserve it. In a world of Brexit, President Trump (I can't belive I'm writing that)...war, terrorism, conflict, inequality and prejudice...2017 needs us more than ever, as a sensible, loving and compassionate species. Let's not fuck things up...