Friday, December 07, 2007

And Then There Were Nine
What do these nine celebrities/artists have in common: Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Larry Bell, Dion DiMucci, Shirley Temple, Tony Curtis, Richard Merkin and Bobby Breen?

They are all on the cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, and the only ones still living (according to my highly scientific research formula). That number was 10 until Wednesday, I've just learned, when composer Karlheinz Stockhausen passed away at age 79.

Stockhausen would likely want to be known for his Klavierstucke, or electronic pieces like Gesang der Junglinge (probably my own favorite), and Hymnen (which might be my favorite if it wasn't so damned long). Maybe he would want to be remembered for his more recent and quite, um, unusual Helicopter String Quartet. Or for helping to make Marcus. But, he might ultimately be best known for being in the back row, on the left, between W.C. Fields and Lenny Bruce.

Rest in peace, Karlheinz. My students never liked you (except maybe one), but I'm sure yours did. Anyway, it wasn't personal.

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