Last week I saw an obit with a pic of a Big Band Leader with silver hair and a flashy suit. Oh shit says I, Doc Severinsen has died.... and I think for a bit and I get emotional about it. I wasn't even aware that I liked him specifically as an artist or a person. I suppose on a subconscious level I liked him and his sound or maybe the life he lived and his style, regardless I felt loss, of someone great. Got me to thinking about other iconic deaths and how these losses effected me and everyone else.
Elvis comes to mind right away. His funeral procession was televised and I remember seeing that, 25,000 people showed up at Graceland. Then there's John Lennon, everyone singing Give Peace a Chance, holding candles and crying. Soon after, we lost Freddy Mercury. Chronologically, I added John Denver and Jerry Garcia, Kurt Cobain, Tupac, Biggie, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, M.C.A. and B.B. King.
In the end The King, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Ray Charles, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch better known as M.C.A. and B.B. King to take away my blues from all this loss, made the short list and helped me shape this song. Where is Doc Severinsen you ask in all of this? Well, funny enough it wasn't Doc who died but Big Band Leader James Last. I didn't even read the article, I couldn't get past, shit Doc Severinsen has died. I finally did go back and read the post on James Last. Last lead a Lawrence Welk type swing disco big band with just a few too many horns. He peaked in the 1970's and kept on going till his death. He had a big, big sound. He was apparently panned by the press during his career and I had never heard of him myself. He sold 80 million records world wide so thats a pretty big success regardless. I'm glad Doc Severinsen is still alive, I guess i've been a big fan all this time. He has a gig at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. on the 2nd of September 2015.
Here's the Time.com article on James Last
This is Doc's Website
Finally, here's the tune I wrote.