105.7 the Hawk’s Biggest Deaths of 2017
As time continues the relentless march forward, it's a simple fact that we will start to lose more and more of our classic rock icons. Still, some of these deaths come as a shock simply because they're all dying young. If these guys were all 90 years old, it wouldn't be such a surprise as losing someone in their 70s or 60s or even 50s.
It seems morbid and inappropriate to "rank" deaths, as though one was more "shocking" or "important" than another...so for this, it's just the five deaths that stood out most to me.
We're stretching the boundaries of "classic rock icon" for Charlie, but his story is so intertwined with the music scene that he still fits. He was buds with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, he was heavily motivated by the Beatles, he was covered by Guns N Roses...and now he's dead.
I think this was sort of shocking, because lots of us probably didn't realize he was still alive. Berry was a pioneer, an influencer on so many classic rock legends.
Is it possible to be underrated for such a long career? Tom Petty always seemed to hover just below the level of mega-stardom. Never as big as the Stones or Aerosmith or Lynyrd Skynyrd, but churned out hit after hit, strong album after strong album, bolstered by consistent touring and a great live show. Tom Petty is the sort of act that few people list when you ask "who's your favorite band/singer?" but when one person says "I love Tom Petty", everyone else says "oh yeah, Tom Petty is amazing!"
This one hurt, mostly because I grew up around this music. I was deep into the grunge era, and after losing Kurt & Layne at such young ages, things felt kind of safe that Eddie & Chris might be around for a while. Pearl Jam have been established as elder statesmen of rock for a long time already, and Chris Cornell laid a foundation with Soundgarden that he continued to build on with Audioslave and his solo work. We lost a voice that will never be duplicated.
I love David Bowie, but I never met him. I love Tom Petty, but I never met him. I love Pat DiNizio and the Smithereens, so this one stung a bit more because I actually had met him, talked with him, interacted with him, shared some experience with him. I'll genuinely miss Pat DiNizio.
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