Recent deaths in the musical world include Warren Zevon and Johnny Cash.
Warren Zevon was never a great voice but a wonderfully inventive lyricist. The only albums I actually own are Transverse City and Mutineer on both of which his wit shines through. He died on September 7th from cancer. My favourites In Transverse City are Gridlock, Networking and Down in the Mall - all offering characteristic sardonic comments on urban life.
Johnny Cash was very different - while his rich dark voice put him head and shoulders above most of the country scene he was still in my view only a moderate talent. In a tribute to him BBC TV last night broadcast his appearance in 1992 on the Jools Holland 'Later' programme. It also played immediately afterwards his film for his latest record "Hurt". This was truly a shocking contrast. It is an amazing performance - painful, honest and comparable in its intensity with that by Billie Holliday on "Lady in Satin" which given my feelings about that album is saying a great deal. It is especially poignant to see his wife June Carter Cash watching him perform, with real anguish in her face, knowing he was dying - as he did - and to know that in fact she died first. As far as I can tell Hurt is a track from an album. If the remainder of the album matches this performance the album will truly be a masterpiece. - not a word I would ever have expected to write in connection with Johnny Cash.