2016 was not the first year that the world really noticed a sharp increase in legends moving on to the stage of Rock and Roll Paradise.
But it was the first year that a number of Giants like David Bowie, Prince, Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and troubadour lyricist Leonard Cohen, legends who had been laying the soundtracks to our lives for over 40 years, were called to the new stage at Rock and Roll Paradise. Bowie and Leonard Cohen left us with brandnew albums just prior to moving on, reminding me of singer/songwriter Warren Zevon’s “plea” to Keep him in our hearts for a while just prior to transitioning on September 7, 2003 and Prince had enough unrecorded music in his vaults to remember him for at least another decade or so with brandnew tunes.
Pop rocker genius George Michael, guitarist Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, the two key members of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the omni-present Leon Russell, no category or subcategory of rock and roll was spared in 2016. Rick Parfitt played guitar with English rockers Status Quo, Pete Burns was a British vaudeville sensation, Maurice White gave us the soul of Earth, Wind and Fire; Scotty Moore invented rock and roll guitar as hot shot guitarist for Elvis Presley and Henry McCullough gave Paul McCartney “wings” after he broke away from the Beatles, while Matt Roberts was lead guitar for the Mississippi new wave sensation 3 Doors Down
There were also some divine coincidences in 2016 departures as Paul Kantner moved on the same day (January 28) as Grace Slick’s predecessor in Jefferson Airplane, Signe Anderson, while Prince’s paramour Vanity left us just two months before the himself.