A London Sims Tribute To Some Of The Stars We Lost In The Last 4 Months (Part One) -3rd Dec 2015 Through Jan 2016 by Jas

May 2, 2016 • Culture & Community, News

We at the London Sims would like to pay tribute to some of the great names from the world of music, TV and movies that we lost in the four months between  the 3rd of Dec last year and the 3rd of April this year.
I am also mostly concentrating on those celebrities who were most known (or influential)in the UK and US in our current society . That is to say, those who are most known  to the generations of people who mostly inhabit Second Life. Of course, there will be some British people that Americans will never have heard of ( and visa versa) , but after all that s what this article (in it`s 2 blog format) is going to be  all about- paying tribute to those who have entertained us, and making sure they are not forgotten.
So let`s start way back in December  last year:

 December 2015

Firstly, on the 3rd Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) Open Air St. Gallenof Decemnber it was the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weisland (48) (left) who sadly left us. And then on the 22nd, it was actor Brooke McCarter (52)  perhaps best known for starring in the cult eighties movie  “The Lost Boys”, who lost his life.
 Then, in quick succession, we lost some more iconic musicians, Lemmy (70) of  Motorhead, on the 28th of December, followed on the 29th by both the talented drummer and instrumentalist  John Bradbury (62)  from The Specials, and the daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole (65), whose beautiful voice lead to her having many hit records and proving herself as a talented singer in her own right.

January 2016

It was in January that this phenomena first began to catch our attention though, when some huge names of our era were snatched from us. At the very beginning of the month the first iconic name of the year died. It was a man who had brought us a massive movie, which many of us remember vividly from childhood. In the days when there were a lot less motion pictures which we (as kids) could connect to, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmund (who died aged 85) created scenes in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” which will live forever in our minds. For instance, if we see anyone moulding mashed potato into shapes (which they have been mysteriously dreaming about) we are unlikely to be overly concerned. Our bags will be packed immediately, so that we can set off to a remote place, which just feels like the right location for a spaceship to arrive at!
A110, Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming, USA, 2004

On the fourth of January, the death came of a big name on the management side of show business. Robert Stigwood (81) had been manager of two of the seventies biggest bands- Cream and The Bee Gees. He also produced a lot of big name musical movies in the same era- including Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive and Grease.

 The biggest shock to many people, though,came when David Bowie (69) died on the 10th of January. It wasn`t even as if his fans had been given time to prepare themselves. No one in the public eye had even known about his battle with the disease that had finally taken him. He had just celebrated his 69th birthday with the release of Blackstar, his 26th studio album, and it was just weeks after the opening of his musical, Lazarus. With hindsight, it`s easy to see that his final album was a swansong, but how could we have guessed when the man behind such iconic characters as Ziggy Stardust and  Aladin Sane had often expressed his deep emotions in the most confusing, but always wonderfully creative, of ways.

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There was genuine shock and sadness in Second Life as the news of Bowie`s death broke, and in the London Sims we have a picture of him hanging in our busiest club (Sexy Brits,), which constantly reminds us of the major effect he has had on the world.


The first persoAlan Rickman after Seminar (4)n in this section of time that we lost was Alan Rickman (69), on the 14th of January. Rickman was usually cast as the bad guy in many movies ( think of Hans Gruber in the original  Die Hard movie) ,and it was looking like things were going the same way when he was cast as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. However, those of you who have seen all of that series know that Snape is  not all that he seems, and Rickman`s parts in Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and   Sense and Sensibilty (1995) also show much more vulnerability. Altogether Rickman was in over 60 films and TV shows, showing the diversity in this much loved British actor.


 After that it was the turn of lots of iconic musicians. On the 17th January Dale Griffin (67),  drummer and founder member of British rock band Mott The Hoople was the first to go, followed by Glenn Frey(also 67), singer and founder member of the US rock band the Eagles on January the 18th. Hotel California by the Eagles is one of my favourite songs, and maybe the lyrics say a little bit about the rock lifestyle at the time.
 But, that was not all the famous musicians that were to be taken from us in January. We then lost not one but two members of the Sixties band Jefferson Airplane on the same day. In a bizarre coincidence both Paul Katner, the gutarist, singer and co-founder of the  band, and the original female vocalist, Signe Toly Anderson, both died on the 28th of January. They were both 74. Although my favourite Jefferson Airplane song doesn`t feature Signe, it properly captures the mood of the late Sixties, and the iconic sound the band were known for.

  These songs both featured in the London Sims Sixties Night which we had a few weeks ago.


Abe Vigoda, (94) was the next big American actor to go. His portrayal of Salvatore Tessio in  the huge movie “The  Godfather” (1972) made him most famous. In 1982 “People” magazine reported Vigoda as dead, although he later expelled that myth  by posing for a photo in “Variety” sitting up in a coffin. This time however, I fear the reports may actually be true.

Then, at the very end of January, Sir Terry Wogan MBE Investiture croppedTerry Wogan (77) died. Wogan had become a household name in Britain over many decades for both his radio show and his eighties chat and quiz shows. He had a dry wit – especially when commentating during The Eurovision Song  Contest. He was born in Ireland, but eventually became dual nationality, which enabled him to receive a Knighthood in honour of his work for the British entertainment industry. At one time he was the most listened to radio broadcaster in Europe.


Our London Sims tribute to those we have lost is continued in my next blog.

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