Last week’s been quite a funny one this month, and I don’t mean that in the ha-ha context. It’s also been emotional for the fans, friends and family of three celebrities who have passed on; all on the same week and same illness that was, cancer. It’s quite peculiar, because those guys are high-profile celebrities and have had the same illness (but effecting different body parts) and it feels like the times when Britain was hit by bird flu and it effected some people, then there was the swine flu problem, and of course when we experienced the problems with Ebola last year. And not forgetting how common AIDS was during the late eighties/early nineties. Just saying. I shall give a brief overview of each of the three celebrities one-by-one. Those three guys I’m referring to are; Alan Rickman, Brian Bedford and of course David Bowie.
I’ll start with Alan Rickman, because his name is first alphabetically. I agree that he was such a great actor. I should know, I’ve seen him in numerous films. He’s played great villains, i.e. Gruber, that terrorist leader in Die Hard, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street and as the Sheriff Of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. He was also great as Frank Mesmer in Mesmer and, I know I’m not a fan of Tim Burton’s version of Alice In Wonderland, but I have to admit, his voice as the caterpillar was very impressive. If I had to pick a favourite role of Alan’s, that point would go to his portrayal of Alexander Dane aka Dr Lazarus in Galaxy Quest. In this one, his character’s rather grumpy and often reluctant to come on-stage for the convention signings, but we do feel for that guy, because all he wants is for people to recognise him as more than just an alien character. Probably the role Alan will most be remembered for is Severus Snape in all eight Harry Potter films. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the franchise. I did use to enjoy it at a younger age. I read the first five books and I enjoyed the first two films and The Chamber Of Secrets is my favourite one, but by the time I watched the next three, I began to lose interest and thought the series was going downhill. The Goblet Of Fire, for instance, I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on and lost the plot. Therefore I dodged the last three. But I most certainly give credit for interesting characters, especially Snape himself. The reason why he’s my favourite character in the series is because I think he’s the most unique. He resents Harry; one reason being that Harry’s dad, James, bullied Snape as a kid and they fought over Lily (Harry’s mom), and to him, it seems Harry is sort of following his father’s footsteps. Speaking of Lily, that’s why Snape secretly loves Harry and would do anything to protect him; apparently Snape had romantic feelings for Lily. Yet, Snape just can’t show it or admit it that he truly likes Harry. It’s kinda like the rivalry between Phil Mitchell and Ian Beale in EastEnders and BA’s love/hatred for Murdock in The A-Team. In other words, you could say Snape is an anti-hero.
So if a film that stars Alan next gets broadcast on the television, I shall be happy to watch it. With that said, I shall cut the Harry Potter films some slack. This’ll be for Alan.
Brian Bedford next. I haven’t seen him in a lot of films. He mainly starred in/directed theatre productions, a lot including Shakespeare plays, but I’m definitely always up for William Shakespeare’s works, Macbeth being my favourite one of his. Actually, what I mainly remember Brian for is as the voice of Robin Hood in the Disney version of the same name. I certainly remember him for that, because I saw his name in the opening credits. Plus the fact that Robin Hood is one of my favourite Disney movies (somewhere in the Top 5) and I keep saying that it was a film that inspired me to be a left-winger. It also contains a criminally underrated soundtrack; it would be great to have the fanfare or maybe The Phony King Of England play at some future political campaign. I personally think Brian deserves some credit for his impressive voice as the character. Before I heard that Brian died, I had no idea he was gay whatsoever. Apparently he was in a relationship, later married to, Tim MacDonald. Of course, sometime before they began their relationship, homosexuality was considered illegal. It no longer is, thank god. I may not be homosexual myself, but I definitely give my support for LGBT rights.
A legend will live on.
And finally, I shall talk about David Bowie. I was absolutely horrified and upset when I heard that David Bowie died. I was listening to BBC Radio 1 that morning and I felt a little sick when I heard the news. This news still affects me, because he wasn’t just some ordinary pop/rock musician. If ever I had a favourite solo artist, it was and always will be most definitely be David Bowie. We had two records of his; Best Of Bowie (1980 version) and ChangesTwoBowie, and three CDs; Singles Collection, Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars (my favourite album of his) and Black Tie White Noise, the latter which I got for Christmas last month. I would’ve asked for Blackstar that Christmas, but I knew it wasn’t coming out until David’s birthday. With that said, I have recently bought Blackstar and it’s a very dark, yet awesome album. I’ve always been a huge fan of David Bowie and I love his songs i.e. Changes, Rebel Rebel, Suffragette City and Day In Day Out and I’ve got five covers of his songs on YouTube (my account: Johnno9989). Dave has an artistic creative and open mind. He has created a variety of characters through his songs i.e. Ziggy Stardust and he has tried out various different music genres i.e. glam-rock, soul, funk, avant-gaude, comedy music (i.e. Laughing Gnome). I love this guy so much, I’m extremely appalled that Kayne West has plotted to ruin his songs for a so-called tribute album of his. This is why I’m signing this petition (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-kenye-west-recording-covers-of-david-bowies-music?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1453216400) telling West to back right off. All Kayne does is rip-off respectable songs. it was bad enough when he did that to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey. But enough of my ranting. David also deserves extra credit for his acting; The Man Who Fell To Earth (my favourite), Labyrinth, that amusing cameo appearance in Zoolander, the intro to that short cartoon The Snowman, oh and that episode of Extras, which I’m personally not a fan of, but I did enjoy seeing Dave singing ‘Chubby Little Loser’, which maybe would’ve made a great new single. It’s a mystery why he decided not to release that one. Did I mention he made a fantastic contribution to the soundtrack of When The Wind Blows? Speaking of visuals, maybe I should also discuss his various appearances, the make-up, costumes and so forth. Keeping in mind that I’m straight and always have been straight and just because I respect him for those things, it doesn’t make me a homosexual. Those appearances had a moral message; if you want to look different, do it. And don’t take any nonsense from those disapproving of your appearances. Yet, maybe I’ll want to wear make up if I was playing in a band on-stage.
I should also point out the good news; though I don’t pay much attention to the charts, I’m thrilled to hear that Blackstar has reached number one in the charts in various places. David would’ve been proud.
So may all three guys who have made a difference to the world rest in peace.
I should also like to mention Glen Frey of the Eagles who I just heard this morning has also passed on. As a fan of the Eagles, I say RIP to him too.