2010: The Days the Music Died

Not a definitive list by any means, but here’s a tribute to five artists we lost in 2010 and have been part of the soundtrack to my life...
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Ari-Up. October 20, age 48.

Until I heard the Slits I thought the standard for female rock bands were Hole and L7. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when my uncle played me Cut for the first time. I also admit to buying it on vinyl and knocking out several furtive wanks to the cover while smoking rollies, drinking Hoffmeister and trying to work out what the fuck Ari-up was on about. The best British girl group ever.

The Slits - Typical Girls

Captain Beefheart. December 17, age 69

While most kids of my age had to put up with Elton John, Simply Red or a whole host of sonic dog shit when making the long journey to Weston-Super-Mare in the back of the Cortina, my Brother and I were introduced to the full Beefheart back catalogue. I’d be lying if I said that we were instantly hooked, and must admit to often drowning it out with a quick blast of NOW 7 on my walkman. But as I’ve got older and, coincidentally, become more regressive in my musical tastes, Beefheart, along with Waits, Cash and Richard Hawley, has become one of the stalwarts of my maudlin wine n’ fags evenings. Known as Captain Beefheart due to his uncle’s humungous bell-end apparently.

Captain Beefheart -Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I Do

Gregory Isaacs. October 25, age 59.

Until I was 20, reggae to me was buying every Bob Marley CD and thinking I was cool by listening to them while smoking obscene amounts of dirt-poor hash. Then I found out about the Trojan back catalogue through a mate and Bob was sent packing. While I appreciate his more standard reggae classics such as Night Nurse and his early work with the Concords, my best memories of the Lonely Lover come from 1978’s Slum. Recorded at the legendary Channel One and mixed at King Tubby’s, it was pretty much on constant repeat in my dark bedroom as I graduated from solids to high-grade skunk and, even now and a long time off the smoke, if I hear the opening crash of Leggo Beast my fingers begin to itch.

Gregory Isaacs - Leggo Beast

Malcom McLaren. April 8, age 64.

In forming the Sex Pistols and inspiring Bernie Rhodes to do something similar with The Clash, he made sure that, when all my mates were listening to Pearl Jam and shaking their curtain hair-styles, I was round my cool uncle’s house being schooled in everything 1977.

The Sex Pistols - Bodies (animated)

Peter Quaife. June 23, age 66.

In 1994, like the total cunt I was, I took a picture of Ian Brown into the hairdresser that my Mum used, purchased a couple of Ben Shermans, three pairs of Adidas and a pea coat and, in short, basically pretended I was from Manchester. But while everyone else suddenly went Beatles bonkers, I fell in love with The Kinks. Quaife went out on a high after recording The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and, for me, beats McCartney and Wyman as the bassist of the 60s.

The Kinks - Dedicated Follower of Fashion

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