September 20, 2023

2022 has been another rough year when it comes to losing our musical heroes. And it’s still only June.

[This was my weekly column for – AC]

It started with David Bowie on Jan. 10, 2016, and before the first quarter was over, we had lost Glen Frey (The Eagles), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane/Starship), Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), George Martin (The Beatles’ producer), and Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

It continued with Prince, Merle Haggard, Scotty Moore (of Elvis’ band), producer Sandy Pearlman, disgraced boy band Svengali Lou Pearlman, Greg Lake (ELP again), Gordie Tapp, and George Michael.

Count up all the notable musicians who died in 2016 and you end up with about a hundred names with the vast majority of them in their 60s and 70s. A slightly growing number left us in each of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, most of them from the issues of old age and decades of hard (or shall we say, hearty) living,

So far, 2022 shows signs of being just as rough — or worse. Canadian R. Dean Taylor was the first on Jan. 7.

Since then, we’ve lost Ronnie Spector (cancer), Meat Loaf (a heart issue that might have been exacerbated by COVID-19), Foreigner’s Ian McDonald (cancer), Dallas Good of The Sadies (heart condition), Gary Brooker of Procol Harum (cancer), Mark Lanegan (unknown, but he’d been sick for a while with many, many things), Taylor Hawkins (looks like a heart condition), Bobby Rydell (pneumonia), Naomi Judd (died by suicide), Vangelis (COVID-19), Alan White of Yes (unknown), Depeche Mode’s Andy Fletcher (unknown), Ronnie Hawkins (he was 87), and dozens more.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37077 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “2022 has been another rough year when it comes to losing our musical heroes. And it’s still only June.

  • Sadly, it’s going to continue. Think of all the musical icons that are getting up there in age. Even the 80s hair metal icons are starting to go. Alec John Such from Bon Jovi over the weekend.

    There’s going to be a lot of depressing news stories to come unfortunately.

  • I look at these “icons” and then look in the mirror. Enough said…..

  • I just saw The Who 2 weeks ago in Washington, DC. A terrific concert with a full orchestra backing them up for most of the evening. They opened with a selection of songs from Tommy, ran through many more hits with and without the orchestra. The orchestra returned and they finished with several songs from Quadrophenia and ended the show with Baba O’Reilly with a fantastic violin solo from their 1st violin player.


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