WILLIAM "SHOOBY" TAYLOR
The Human Horn
William Taylor, a.k.a. Shooby Taylor, the Human Horn, passed away in June 2003 at the Veteran's Hospital in East Orange, NJ. Shooby's musical reputation rested on one collection of amazing, lunatic scat recordings which had been circulating for years among tape and file-swappers. In Summer, 2002, Shooby was discovered living in a Newark, NJ nursing home. The entire story is recounted here:
Absolutely Kosher Records is planning to release the first-ever commercial collection of Shooby's recordings in late 2004. Irwin Chusid will co-produce with the label honcho Cory Brown.
Wesley Willis passed way on August 21, 2003. He had been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in late 2002, and his health had been deteriorating while staying at a hospice in Illinois.
Wesley was a LARGE (6' 5", 350 lbs.) poster child for Outsider Music -- perhaps the most prolific (at least 50 albums) and the best-known. His formula was simple: a kicking synth beat under a spoken verse, trailed by the song title yelped four times in an adenoidal chorus. The modus worked so well that Wes composed thousands of songs in the same exact pattern.
Wesley was accorded his own chapter in the book Songs in the Key of Z. As I noted in that profile, Willis released more albums than Culture Club, Boston, Fine Young Cannibals, Tone Loc, Nirvana, Men at Work, the Spin Doctors, and Blind Melon combined.
His SRO club gigs were less about music and more about interactive theater, and despite suffering chronic schizophrenia, Wes knew how to work a crowd. He was all instinct and reflex, and his fans were very protective of the childlike gargantuan. He deserves our admiration for pursuing -- and living -- the life of an artist/rock star instead of spending his days cooped up in a syringe monastery. Drugs kill some rock stars, but they kept Wes on the road.
More about Wesley's life and death can be found at the Alternative Tentacles web site: http://www.alternativetentacles.com/wesleywillis.htm
(May 1, 1904 - July 25, 2002)
"You can't live life going backwards. You must go forward." - Lucia Pamela
Entertainer, singer, songwriter, radio & TV star, multi-instrumentalist, all-girl orchestra leader, Ziegfeld Follies beauty, Miss St. Louis 1926, and lunar explorer LUCIA PAMELA Angelo passed away in Los Angeles on Thursday July 25, 2002, of cardiac arrest. She was.98.
In 1969, she recorded her only album, INTO OUTER SPACE WITH LUCIA PAMELA, on the moon. You can look it up. The CD reissue was produced by Key of Z author Irwin Chusid for Arf Arf Records in 1992. Lucia was also profiled in a chapter entitled "Interstellar Overdrive" in Songs in the Key of Z.
Miss Pamela enchanted patrons at St. Louis' Odeon Theater as "Venus in Spookyland," and played Mother Goose at Fresno Storyland. She kept her Christmas tree decorated and glowing all year 'round.
A magical matron, sui generis. Sweet, enigmatic, an inspirational sorceress. She will be missed, always. But her music and art survive, as does her spirit.
Lucia leaves 2 children, 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and millions of past, present and future fans on numerous planets.
Read the New York Times obit of Lucia here...
Stereolab's song "International Colouring Contest" (on the album MARS AUDIAC QUINTET) is about Miss Pamela, and begins with a voice sample.
Visit Danielle Lemaire's Lucia Pamela tribute page: here...
includes photos: Mortuary Card & Last Resting Place
"The last time I saw Lucia," recalled Kirk Biglione, "she was trying to raise funds to build an amusement park, with a ride that would actually take visitors to another planet. Not such a strange proposition when you consider that she's also convinced her pink Cadillac can.fly."