RIP – JIM “MOTORHEAD” SHERWOOD


EXPIRED: 12/25/11 –  Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, 69,  played saxophone, tambourine, and created sound effects in Frank Zappa’s band, the Mothers of Invention. He was an integral part of the albums 200 Motels, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Uncle Meat and We’re Only In It For The Money.

Sherwood and Zappa met as children, and the saxophonist played in Zappa’s first band, a R&B unit called The Black-Outs, that they formed in high-school.  He later joined the Mothers of Invention as a roadie, adding some vocal effects to their first album Freak Out before being recruited to be a full-time member.

Later Sherwood and Zappa were roomates in Zappa’s bizarre recording studio, “Studio Z.” Often during live shows, Sherwood would just walk up to the mike and talk about fixing his car, while the band performed free-form psychadelic jazz-rock in the background.

After the Mothers broke up, Sherwood stayed around to contribute to solo Zappa recordings including the last album Zappa completed before his death, Civilization Phaze III.

More recently, Sherwood added to various musical projects alongside his fellow Mothers alumni, including records by The Grandmothers.

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RIP – WILD MAN FISCHER


EXPIRED: 06/16/11 –   Wild Man Fischer, 66, suffered from schizophrenia & bipolar disorder & was institutionalized at 16 for attacking his mother w/a knife. Upon release he wandered LA singing songs for a dime. Frank Zappa discovered him & recorded his 1st album, An Evening w/ Wild Man Fischer. But after Fischer threw a jar at Zappa’s kid, Moon Unit, they stopped talking. Later, Billy Mumy of Lost In Space fame, produced his records ‘Pronounced Normal’ & ‘Nothing Scary’. I thought he was a genius.

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RIP – ALAN RUBIN


EXPIRED: 06/08/11 –  Alan Rubin, 68, was a trumpeter from Saturday Night Live’s houseband who was best known as Mr. Fabulous in both Blues Brothers movies and in the touring band. Outside of the Blues Bris. he also played w/Sinatra, Zappa, Aerosmith, The Stones, Clapton, & Yoko Ono. Yes, I did say Yoko Ono.

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RIP – DANIEL SCHORR


EXPIRED: 07/23/10 – Daniel Schorr, 93, used to describe himself as a living history book. And that he was.

A journalist who worked for nearly his whole life, Schorr started in the field before he was even a teenager. A local woman jumped from the roof of his apartment so he called the police, got the story and then called a newspaper in the Bronx and sold them the information for $5.

Not bad for a future Emmy Award winning journalist.

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RIP – HERB COHEN


EXPIRED: 03/16/10 – Herb Cohen, 77, left the US Army in the 50’s, moved to California and started to arrange small concerts and happenings with beat poets and folk singers like Pete Seeger and Odetta in coffee bars and hotspots like Los Angeles’ not-yet-famous Unicorn and Cosmo Alley clubs.

Eventually he hooked up with performers like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, and Linda Ronstadt and started managing their careers.

But it was his association with Frank Zappa that gave him the most notoriety.

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RIP – MICKY JONES


EXPIRED: 03/10/10 – Micky Jones, 63, was a hairdresser who became a guitarist with the Welsh prog-rock band Man. With Man he made a lot of music that messed with your brain back in the late 60’s, but couldn’t win the fight the brain tumor that took his life too young.

Man began as folk-rock group called The Bystanders in 1962, but they West Coast scene influenced them as it did so many other bands of the time.

As the psychedelic influences crept in, so too did new lead singer Deke Leonard, and by 1968 they were officially Man.

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RIP – GREGG EDELMANN


greggEXPIRED: 11/04/09 – Gregg Edelmann, 42, didn’t need to develop a personality or start a career to inspire people. Decades ago, if you were born with a single ventricle congenital heart defect, the chances were that you might very well die in infancy without surgical intervention. Survivors of the surgery faced lifelong hurdles. From day one, Gregg had a big fight ahead of him and, without knowing it, he started inspiring people immediately.

Despite its physical limitations, his heart was practically limitless in it’s ability to laugh at life and love living it.

For Gregg, that meant living a life with art – studying it, creating it, admiring it. If you were an artist, a musician or a writer, he’d ask about your latest project. If you weren’t, he made you feel like you were. To Gregg, everyone was an artist; it just depended on your perspective.

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