June 28, 2009

A Death Less Obvious

“Sky has passed over and Ya Ho Wha is waiting for him at the gate. He will soon be home with his Father.”

In amongst the recent departures shocking and stellar (Michael Jackson), prefigured and less stellar (Farrah Fawcett) and purely fictional (Jeff Goldblum) was that of a man who, arguably, had a greater influence on popular culture than all of them but who remained a figure beloved only by the cognoscenti and those who do actually remember the 60s.

I first noticed that Sky Saxon had died while reading Mick Farren’s blog the other day.

From Bruce Weber’s Obit, NYT, June 26, here

“Sky Saxon, the mop-haired bass player and front man for the psychedelic protopunk band the Seeds, whose 1965 song “Pushin’ Too Hard” put a Los Angeles garage-band spin on the bad-boy rocker image personified by the Rolling Stones, died Thursday in Austin, Tex. He was thought to be 71.”

The truly impressive thing is that he played his last gig on Saturday night and was admitted to hospital on Monday. That, surely, is a rock ‘n’ roll death.

I remember hearing The Seeds not long after puberty and the discovery of real rock music coincided in the early 60s. Finding anything that wasn’t commercially-oriented was tricky in those days, especially here in Australia. I disagree with Mr. Weber in that I thought the Seeds, musically, had a more "dangerous" edge than the Stones, but they certainly prefigured punk, and they remain one of the bands that musicians have been name-checking ever since as a major influence. Just wish I’d managed to keep all my records from those days.

June 27, 2009

Three Years in Prison…

"Three Years in Prison will be served by Lee Monroe Crider, 40, who pleaded guilty to grand theft when he appeared in a Sacramento court charged with stealing a bike belonging to the Tour de France tour de forcer, Lance Armstrong."

Meanwhile, closer to home…

“A WOMAN who admitted to shooting her husband and chopping up his body might be out of jail by the end of 2011 after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Joyce Chant, 57, was originally charged with murder, but after a jury was unable to reach a verdict earlier this year she admitted to killing her husband after he produced a gun during an argument in their violent marriage.

Justice Roderick Howie sentenced Chant to a minimum of three years and five months' jail for manslaughter and 10 months for interfering with human remains.”

I know that Justice is ultimately just an artificial construct designed to maintain social order and provide a means of punishing wrongdoers, but if Architects used the same standards of “judgment” there wouldn’t be a building standing.