Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Death, Be Not Proud. PROLIFIC, Maybe, But Not Proud!

(Gotta post this quickly, before somebody else who's famous dies!)

In the past (on my David'Z RantZ blog), I've stated that "I've devoted a lot of space in these RantZ to celebrity obituaries. Well, not obituaries per se, but little tributes of my own, as it were. And not just any celebrities -- Lord knows, there are plenty of places on the internet which fulfill that particular function! -- but those celebrities for whom I held a particular respect, fondness, and/or admiration. And I've tried to say something with my own personal slant each time."

Today's post will be slightly different from the norm. A little less structured, and a little more irreverent than my usual tribute(s)... You'll see what I mean.

As I'm sure you're aware, there have been more than the average amount of actors, singers, and whatnot dropping off of the planet during the past week. And I'm forgoing my usual take on these multiple deaths, even going so far as to omit my standard "R.I.P." notation.

I don't even have my own so-called "personal slant" for some of them. I was only familiar with actress Gale Storm by reputation, having never seen My Little Margie or any of the programs in which she was prominently featured in. In a similar vein, although I'd enjoyed impressionist Fred Travalena's act whenever I'd seen him perform on TV, I can't really go so far as to list him as someone "for whom I held a particular respect, fondness, and/or admiration."

(By the way, today's post won't talk about Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's second banana on The Tonight Show. Ed will get his very own write-up in an upcoming post.)

So here's my take on a few of the ones we've just lost:

Sky Saxon

The leader of The Seeds, the group that gave us "Pushin' Too Hard" and "I Can't Seem to Make You Mine" in the psychedelic sixties, never really escaped his hippiedom... and I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing.

Sky "Sunlight" Saxon, man!

Michael Jackson

*sigh* There's been so much speculation about this incredibly talented dude's personal life, it's almost... almost... over-shadowed his tremendous contribution to the world of music. Maybe you're as sick as I am of all the news coverage of his unexpected death. If so, I'll just take up enough time to say this: I saw the Jackson 5 debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in the late 1960s, and it was obvious that the dynamic little shit zipping back and forth across that stage, belting out "I Want You Back," was going to become a huge star.

Michael Jackson was one of the few who could get away with singing a love song to a rat ("Ben"), and he went on to even bigger success, culminating in the multi-million-selling "Thriller" LP (which some eBay dealers insist on describing as -- I swear to God -- "rare!")

It's the earlier version of Michael Jackson that I'd like to remember, rather than the creepy and controversial object of curiosity which he became.

And, in that spirit:

This is my personal favorite of the half-dozen or so
computer-generated images I've seen showing what
Michael Jackson might have looked like if he'd never had
any of his disastrous cosmetic surgeries. (Full article

Farrah Fawcett

I was a young adult when Farrah first hit the big time, so I was a bit older than the teenage boys who bought her famous poster for Lord knows what kind of inspiration. But I did watch Charlie's Angels for a season or so, and casually -- as opposed to slavishly -- followed Farrah's career as she did her damnedest over the years to be taken seriously as an actress.

In projects like The Burning Bed and Extremities, she earned her spurs, and I hope she'll always be given credit for those kind of roles in between mentions of a "jiggle show" like Charlie's Angels or a series of jokes about her semi-lucid appearance with David Letterman back in 1997.

A slightly different shot of Farrah, from the same
photo session that produced the iconic poster!

And last but not least, someone whom I was... umm... slightly less than kind to over the years: Billy Mays!

In a previous blog post (again, on David'Z RantZ), I wrote "I love oxymorons. Probably at the top of everybody's list is the oft-mentioned 'military intelligence.' But I also like to list 'disco heaven,' 'happily married,' and... Billy Mays."

In keeping with that sentiment, I later wrote an entire post about him called "Billy Mays, The Oxy-Moron!" in which I said "I really can't stand this guy. If I wanted someone to scream at me like that, I'd turn up the volume on my television."

But gee, folks, I never wished him dead or nuthin'...

As I've said previously, this is a rarely-seen nude photograph
of big, bushy, bearded Billy Mays. Or should I say it this way:


Thanks for your time.

P.S. -- I don't think Fred Travalena really died. He's just doing an impression of one of the others who did.


  1. And now ... Karl Malden dies in his sleep, aged 97. Who's next? Any bets?


  2. Ahhh, Kat, you're the first one to tell me. Beat an email from a friend by 64 minutes.

    (And Subby, you're slipping!)

    As for who's next? Hm. I'm betting it'll be another surprise, someone in his or her fifties or early sixties. Just a guess.

    And although the term "celebrity" is pretty far-reaching, have you noticed that all these recent deaths would fall under the category of "entertainer?" (Even Ed McMahon & Billy Mays were TV personalities.) No religious leaders (like the Pope, or an evangelist), no politicians... Weird.

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  4. I was truly interested in the computer generated photograph of Michael at fifty...quite handsome unlike his ALTERED face!

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  6. NEW YORK (AP) — Harve (HARHV) Presnell (prehs-NEHL')), whose booming baritone graced such Broadway musicals as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" and "Annie," has died at the age of 75.

    Presnell's agent Gregg Klein says the actor died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Presnell also appeared in the film versions of "Molly Brown" and "Paint Your Wagon" as well as "Fargo."

    Yesterday I asked the guy who sits behind me, "who died yesterday? He said no-one, than I found this. Now Karl.

    At least both of them are older.

    Karl, 97, that is one hell of a good run.

    I liked the Michael Jackson photo. We were watching videos the other day, the wee ones had not seen them. They also didn't get that he had , who knows how many, plastic surgeries. The videos did allow you to see the progression of them.

    Kat Zah Zah is up there and just got out of hospital a few days ago.

  7. crazy the number of deaths...there have been several reports of deaths this week that have not been true. evidently there is a website that keeps generating them. heard one about Clooney, not true. interesting the press and conspiracy theories that are coming out.


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