Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dead Poets (Playwrights, Singers and Guitarists) Society

More deaths, but closer to home and less distressing. Over the past fortnight I've been noticing the demise of various people I greatly admire. Most recently of course, we've lost the twentieth century's most important British playwright: Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize winner and general national treasure. Tony Blair might disagree, but when even Michael Gove, who disagreed with Pinter on every possible point of politics, can praise the genius of his writing, you know you're deailing with someone pretty special.

When Phil linked (in a comment box) to a clip of Kylie Minogue doing Santa Baby, I couldn't remember who had recorded the original. It was of course Eartha Kitt, who has also just died. Here she is doing a song I remember from my youth.

Staying with musicians, Davey Graham died on December 15th. Here he is in an early video:

And here (audio only) he is accompanying Shirley Collins in a track from the album that is generally held to have kicked off the whole English folk-rock movement.

I was fortunate enough to see him on his last tour. RIP, DG.

Finally, but by no means least, one of my heroes, a poet whom unfortunately I never did get to see live has died. Let's hear it for Adrian Mitchell, "shadow Poet Laureate" and another national treasure. Here is a personal favourite of mine from among his poems. And here is the man himself: