Rock n' roll icon and TV and radio pioneer Dick Clark died on Wednesday, April 18th of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California at age 82. The Associated Press reported that Clark's death came a day after being admitted for an outpatient procedure. Clark, affectionately known as "America's Oldest Teenager," is survived by his wife Kari, and his three children Richard Augustus II, Duane, and Cindy. Memorial plans have yet to be announced.
In 2005, Clark returned to his Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking' Eve special after missing the 2004 broadcast, due to a stroke, which forced him to skip his first broadcast in 32 years. Clark was once again back in Times Square this year, along with co-host Ryan Seacrest, to ring in 2012.
Seacrest issued a statement on Wednesday, saying:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him."
The Band's legendary lead vocalist and drummer, Levon Helm, died yesterday (April 19th) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, at age 71 following a long battle with throat cancer. His death was announced by his guitarist Larry Campbell, who told Rolling Stone: "He passed away peacefully at 1:30 this afternoon surrounded by his friends and bandmates. All his friends were there, and it seemed like Levon was waiting for them. Ten minutes after they left we sat there and he just faded away. He did it with dignity. It was even two days ago they thought it would happen within hours, but he held on. It seems like he was Levon up to the end, doing it the way he wanted to do it. He loved us, we loved him."
Greg Ham, the saxophonist and flutist for Men At Work, was found dead in his home on Thursday, April 19th in Carlton, Australia "after he failed to turn up for a pharmacy appointment," according to Noise 11. Ham, who was 58, was an active member of Men At Work from 1979 to 1986 and had continued to perform with the group's leader Colin Hay periodically since 1996. No cause of death has been announced by police for the musician, who is survived by his wife and two children -- although he was the lone occupant of the house he was living in.
Legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose's death on March 3rd has been ruled a suicide by California's San Mateo County Coroner's Office, according to Guitar Player magazine. Montrose who was 64, was at first reported to have died due to complications from prostate cancer. His family has confirmed Montrose's cause of death as being from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Montrose reportedly battled clinical depression for nearly all his life.
A statement by his family was posted on his official website, RonnieMontrose.com:
A Message from the Montrose Family
By now, the devastating truth of Ronnie's death is public knowledge. We hope you can understand why we wanted to keep this news a private family matter for as long as possible. We can only hope that you will choose to celebrate Ronnie's life, and what his music meant to you, rather than mourn his passing. Ronnie would have wanted it that way. He loved being a guitarist, a composer, a producer, and a creator of magic. He fully understood his gifts, and yet he constantly pushed himself to evolve, improve, and make better music. He did this for himself, and he did this for you, because he adored and appreciated his fans. Please keep his energy, his joy, and his love in your hearts. Please note that there will be no more statements from the Montrose family at this time. We ask that you respect the family's privacy.
Jim Marshall, who changed the course of rock history or at least made it much louder with his invention of the Marshall amplifier, died last week at the age of 88. A message posted at the website of Marshall Amplification, the company he founded 50 years ago, stated, "Jim's ascent into the history books as 'the Father of Loud' and the man responsible for 'the Sound of Rock' is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The groundbreaking quartet also included the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover -- together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock." The site described Marshall as "a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life." The cause of Marshall's death was not announced.
A former singer, drummer and music shop owner, Marshall eventually landed a job as an electrical engineer that helped him design a transportable amplifier to use at his own live shows. Consulting with musicians like the Who's Pete Townshend and Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore, Marshall refined his invention and opened Marshall Amplification in 1962.
By the mid-1960s, he had created the classic Marshall Stack, consisting of one head containing the actual amplifier, on top of two stacked loudspeaker cabinets each containing four 12-inch loudspeakers arranged in a square layout. The setup has become an iconic symbol of rock music played as loud as possible.
REACTIONS TO THE DEATH OF JIM MARSHALL:
Slash: "The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!"
Sevendust's John Connolly: "Terribly sad to hear Jim's passing. Not sure what popular music would be like if he hadn't invented the high gain amplifier. My most prized possession is my 1971 Super Tremolo and I'll never get rid of it and it is part of every record I make. God bless him and his family."
Egypt Central: "Jim Marshall was one of the most influential creators and craftsmen in music history. His ideas gave way to some of the greatest scrapes of music ever created. He will be missed and honored in the art world forever."
John 5 of Rob Zombie's band wrote: "Sad to hear about the death of the king of loud, Mr Jim Marshall."
Scott Ian of Anthrax wrote: "Just heard about Jim Marshall passing... I am lucky to have spent time with the man that created the sound of Rock music. A true LEGEND."