Tuesday, April 23, 2013

RIP Allan Arbus, Richie Havens, Chrissy Amphlett

Allan Arbus died, at age 95, the other day, though his passing was not much remarked upon at the time (for whatever reason, it didn't appear to be posted on the Wikipedia "Recent Deaths" page until a couple of days after the fact, so I, for one, missed it). You may have seen him in Cisco Pike, Coffy, in Damien: The Omen II, or in various TV appearances, including M*A*S*H*; or like me, you may remember him best for his delightful work with filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. - he appeared in Putney Swope, but starred in Greaser's Palace (pictured), a film of which I am fond. If you feel, you're healed. 

Richie Havens, who performed this momentous song at Woodstock, also died. I never listened to his albums, to be honest, but I thought his passion at Woodstock made him one of the standout performances. Surprised that he was only 72.

Apologies to Divinyls' singer Chrissy Amphlett for my not having leapt to note her untimely passing the other day, but again, my purposes on this blog when I write obits are personal, to note the deaths of people who loomed large on my radar, not to note celebrity deaths in general. I did briefly own a Divinyls album in my youth, but I bought it because I thought it would be punkish and transgressive, given the cover art and the way the band presented themselves; I was disappointed at how poppy and mainstream it was, whereupon I sold it and never went back. All the same, songs about masturbation sung by women are reasonably rare; I can only think of the Divinyls "I Touch Myself" and Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop." So she deserves a bit of credit, eh?

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