Death and the Rock Star by Catherine Strong, Barbara Lebrun

By Catherine Strong, Barbara Lebrun

The premature deaths of Amy Winehouse (2011) and Whitney Houston (2012), and the ’resurrection’ of Tupac Shakur for a functionality on the Coachella song pageant in April 2012, have concentrated the media highlight at the courting among well known song, reputation and dying. If the word ’sex, medicines and rock’n’roll’ ever certified a way of life, it has left many casualties in its wake, and with the ranks of useless musicians transforming into through the years, so the categories of loss of life concerned and the reactions to them have various. Conversely, as many artists who fronted the rock’n’roll revolution of the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties proceed to age, the assumption of demise younger and leaving a gorgeous corpse (which gave upward thrust, for example, to the parable of the ’27 Club’) not includes an identical resonance that it as soon as may need performed. This edited assortment explores the reception of lifeless rock stars, ’rock’ being taken within the widest experience because the artists mentioned belong to the genres of rock’n’roll (Elvis Presley), disco (Donna Summer), pop and pop-rock (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse), punk and post-punk (GG Allin, Ian Curtis), rap (Tupac Shakur), folks (the Dutchman André Hazes) and ’world’ tune (Fela Kuti). while tune artists die, their fellow musicians, manufacturers, fanatics and the media react another way, and this booklet brings jointly their intertwining modalities of reception. the industrial impression of dying on checklist revenues, copyrights, and print media is taken into account, and the several justifications by means of residing artists for being concerned with the lifeless, via covers, sampling and tributes. The cultural illustration of useless singers is investigated via obituaries, biographies and biopics, looking at that posthumous repute presents coping mechanisms for enthusiasts, and shoppers of pop culture extra in most cases, to house the information in their personal mortality. analyzing the contrasting ways that female and male lifeless singers are portrayed within the media.

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Whether at a modest gathering like the above commemoration or at any other concert, everybody present will be singing from the chest. 2 André Hazes fans at the commemorative ceremony of 23 September 2006 (Albert Cuyp Street Market, Amsterdam) Photo: Irene Stengs 27 28 Death and the Rock Star Intermezzo, Part II: The 5 Years without André Hazes commemorative concert, Amsterdam, 23 September 2009 Thanks to the efforts of the Stichting AndréHazesFan more than 10 more or less well-known Hazes singers will perform this evening, including Hollywood Boulevard – for many years Hazes’s regular accompanying band.

Rephrasing and recomposing have made singing-along impossible, a disappointment for many ‘true’ Hazes fans. Significantly, the musical has spurred other, widely promoted and mediatised Hazes initiatives: a ‘people’s singer’ (volkszanger) talent scouting show titled Blood, Sweat and Tears (Bloed, zweet en tranen), named after Hazes’s most 10 As advertised on the musical’s website and posters. 11 Organised and supported by the same stakeholders and media partners, these different initiatives work in tandem: one event offering publicity for the other and vice versa, with the lead singer from the musical and the winner of the talent show performing at ‘Holland sings Hazes’.

4). For the participants, whether they actually ever have been at a Hazes concert with Hazes performing or not, these events bring the past into the present. Social memory is thus, as Connerton argues, not only preserved and transferred in the collective recollection of words and images, but also by the repetitive performance of bodily practices. The Hazes fans, with their Hazes outfits and through their singing – the latter an example of bodily engagement par excellence – provide the habitual substrate that gives these commemorative ceremonies a persuasive power of their own.

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