Every year sees its share of loss and the arrival of new life. However, some years seem to bring more than its share of heartache when beloved entertainment figures pass on. This year was no exception to this writer as the tragedies seem to come early and continued to push across the months in waves. While some of those who are no longer with us may not be widely known, the void they have left for those who knew them and their music, their absence is palpable.
The losses began early in the year. The well-known actor, Bill Paxton, died from complication related to heart surgery. He was best known for his roles in Titanic and Twister. He was only 61, and was working on several new projects at the time before his sudden and untimely death. On March 5th, a promising guitarist, Pete Rossi, who was currently playing for the hard rock band, Reverence, died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest at the age of 48. He was preparing to go on tour in support of their latest album at the time. His friends, one of whom was me, knew he was an earnest man who was trying to get his career where he wanted it to go. He was a talented guitarist who had much left to contribute.
Less than a month later, Rossi’s death was followed by the passing of the rock opera genius, Paul O’Neill. O’Neill was the brainchild of the phenomenally popular Christmas touring act, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Paul was also a well-known philanthropist who was fond of finding music-related charities in the cities they toured in and left sizeable donations. He would pass out cash to strangers as if it were candy – all in an effort to brighten lives and create lasting beauty. His legacy lives on in TSO, whose mission is to spread the joy of Christmas through his rock operas.
In June, the music world was stunned by the death of Chris Cornell. He was one of the most popular singers of the grunge-era bands and was working on a comeback with his old band, the Stone Temple Pilots. He had battled the twin demons of addiction and depression for years. He had appeared to overcome both of these troubling issues and was involved in a non-profit organization to rescue young kids from the sex-trafficking trade. Unfortunately, his demons were too strong and he committed suicide just hours after a successful concert.
In July of this summer, the metal band, Adrenaline Mob, was just a few months into their tour when tragedy struck. As the bus was pulled over to change a flat tire, a tractor-trailer smashed into it. David Z, a beloved and talented bass player was killed instantly in the explosion that followed the impact. Six weeks later, the tour manager and a singer, Jane Train, died from the extensive injuries she suffered in the crash.
The entertainment world lost many bright lights this year. Here’s hoping that 2018 brings only peace.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.