The deaths of the famous don’t usually affect me more than the deaths of the less well known. There are two recent exceptions. First:
Robert B. Parker, whose spare, eloquent sentences turned the tough private investigator Spenser into one of Boston’s most recognizable fictional characters, died in his Cambridge home Monday. He was 77. (From the Globe.)
Several of the Spenser novels are excellent. My pick of them would be the third, Mortal Stakes. It starts in Fenway Park, and concludes with one of the best insights in Spenser’s character.
Kate McGarrigle also passed away yesterday. I saw Kate and Anna a couple of times. I almost had they privilege of being clonked on the head with an accordion as they took the stage at the Iron Horse in Northampton. Both shows were tremendous, with “I Eat Dinner” being one of the highlights.
Considering that we are only about 60 hours into June, there’s quite a lot of musical news already. Yesterday morning, Bo Diddley died, at the age of 79.
There’s always been a lot of argument among the architects of rock ‘n’ roll as to who deserved the most credit for inventing the genre. Was it Little Richard? Chuck Berry? Elvis? Sam Phillips? Ike Turner? I’d say Diddley’s claim is as good as any of theirs. There was that indelible rhythm, of course, copied by countless others…