February 5, 2012 by Ronn Ives, under Larger Forces at Work, What Really Matters.
George Harrison died in 2001. Twenty years earlier, John Lennon was murdered. Each of their deaths had a very different effect on me.
We’ve come to almost expect people in the music business (and the other arts) to be self-destructive – dying “too young”. This is NOT the exclusive history of Baby Boomers and their Rock & Roll heroes. Just two words to make my point: Billie Holiday. But when a NOBODY simply walks up in the dark out of nowhere with no warning and guns down a famous person (especially one you admire), and offers no explanation (not even a crazy one), it’s a shock. THAT musician was supposed to go on – creating more of their Art.
Harrison died of throat cancer. I don’t know its cause, but many of his career photos show a cigarette nearby. It’s a choice. My Great Uncle Willis collapsed dead in the hallway of the hospital sneaking a smoke while being treated for lung cancer. As did his sister, my grandma. As did her son, my father. None the less, Harrison was 58 – only 7 years older than me – and his Time was up. All Things Must Pass. Paul lost his wife Linda to breast cancer, but he, along with Ringo – as “Beatles”, true markers in the lives of so many – still live.
Let the fragile illusion continue as it can. We want our heroes with us. I heard Elvis was spotted at a truck stop near Omaha, Nebraska just last week. The King lives!!
“My sweet Lord, I really want to be with you.”