Ranking Roger – 1963-2019





Leonard Cohen


Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows


Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows



Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows



And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
When you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows






Prince Rogers Nelson – 1958-2016


There was an unfortunate fundamentalist bent to our household when I was coming up – typical 80’s occult paranoia stuff. The folks meant well, but it could be challenging in pursuits in pop cultural literacy for sure. I remember getting blasted by my dad once for reading the Bible while listening to Purple Rain on headphones. “They cancel each other out!” he insisted. He was strident. Theatrics and carnality were the Devil’s realm, after all. He was the same age I am now. Dad has since become more broad-minded, as has our collective conscience, thankfully – and it’s funny and quaint looking back. It’s sad, too. Not because Prince is gone, rather because if there was anything that could have made young me more sure of a benevolent God in the Universe, it would have been the preachers and teachers affirming the music of Prince and others as all part of One glorious Creation, rather than somehow separate and outside. It would have been one Sunday school True Believer with all the finger-wagging certitude challenging me to listen to the guitar break in “Let’s Go Crazy” or the opening run of “When Doves Cry” and declare there’s not a fucking God in Heaven. Sold. All would have been aligned. Instead with the false divisions. The kinds it takes a lifetime to reconcile.


We do the best we can and I forgive them. Rest In Peace, Prince. Your music is a celebration, a lament, a prayer, a thing of Goodness and Beauty. Maybe it isn’t so much that artists like Prince cancel out our piousness, but rather balance it. Thank God for that.





Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland


Had a chance meeting with Scott Weiland in a roadside bar in South Austin last Spring. Little place outside the city. We were of a small gathering of locals and travelers – enjoying acoustic covers, billiards, refreshment, conversation. Enjoyed a nightcap with my brother, Brian, shook Scott’s hand and exchanged hellos and headed home to San Antonio. Like with anyone, you don’t really think of a person on their last trip around the sun.

We might be better otherwise. Mortality is our common indignity. The great equalizer. Full awareness of it might make us kinder. Evidence shows our resistance makes us worse – greed, division, superstition… denial of our common fate. However you judge Weiland’s work or his problems – or anyone’s – we all have detractors and fans – folks just strive to do some good in the world. It’s easy to be glib about dead rock stars – foreigners, outsiders. It’s easy because we get to feel on some level we might beat the odds for a moment. We’ve got the winning ticket. Weiland and I have dealt with some of the same problems. By some momentary grace, mine haven’t yet dealt with me. If there’s any good to be had from our departures, maybe it’s remembering to find connections – because we’re all ghosts passing in the night on the way out of town.

Good Travels, Scott.


Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks — the celebrated British neurologist and author of the book Musicophilia, which explores the brain’s exciting and unpredictable relationship with music — died Sunday (August 30) of cancer at the age of 82 in his New York City home.

Sacks was one of the most popular scientists of his time, and The New York Times reports he received about 10,000 letters per year. His ability to capture more than just the condition, to capture the human underneath it, helped him achieve success as a lecturer and an applauded author. His 2007 book Musicophilia chronicled the tales of people who had strange, often whimsical flings with music in their lives.  >>>more>>>

Yes Co-Founder Chris Squire Dies at 67


Chris Squire, stalwart co-founder of Yes, has died, bandmate Geoff Downes confirms via Twitter. The 67 year old had announced a hiatus from the band in May, following a diagnosis of acute erythroid leukemia.
“Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire,” says Downes, who appeared on three Yes studio albums with the bass-playing legend – 1980′s Drama, 2011′s Fly From Here and 2014′s Heaven and Earth.
Squire was the only constant in a band that began evolving almost as soon as it was founded in advance of a self-titled 1969 debut. Yes’ Aug. 7 concert with Toto will mark the first-ever without him.

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