Comedian Patrice O’Neal died Monday night … after suffering a stroke back in October … this according to his friends at the “Opie and Anthony” radio show.
O’Neal had been a staple in the comedy world for years — and performed at the “Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen” back in September.
O’Neal was a regular guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show — and appeared on several TV shows such as “Chappelle Show,” “The Office,” and “Tough Crowd withColin Quinn.”
Opie just tweeted, “Yes it’s true that our pal Patrice O’Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I’ve ever known PERIOD.”
O’Neal was 41.
Every December 8th for the last 30 years, I have quietly paid tribute to my fallen hero. Last year, I went to John’s memorial in Central Park to remember the man who changed the world in a way few have. For so many fans of John Lennon, the relationship remains deeply personal, even after all these years.
Throughout high school, I spent much of my free time locked in my room with headphones on studying every beat, every note, every second of every Beatles song. My love of their music inspired me to play the guitar and write songs. And when my band wasn’t playing our songs in the basement, we were in my room marveling over the magic of Abbey Road’s medley or speeding up the end of Strawberry Fields to hear John’s “I buried Paul” or isolating the vocals to hear Paul’s voice crack for a split second on “If I Fell.”
We would then consume books and devour documentaries like “15 Hours With the Beatles.” We would have heated debates over albums and songs. Since I was the unabashed McCartney worshiper, I would take on the unenviable task of arguing how “London Town” matched up to “Abbey Road” or how “Girl’s School” was every bit as driving as “Get Back.”
And while our friends at school were listening to AC/DC, Kiss and Cheap Trick, we were isolated in the corner of the cafeteria talking about “Somewhere in New York City” and laughing over lines from the “Rutles.” This lonely obsession that started in 1977 made us seem more than a little quirky to our friends. It also had to be the cause of more than a few raised eyebrows from our parents.
I can understand now why they didn’t get it back then. That disconnect was laid bare the night we heard the news from Howard Cosell that John Lennon was dead. I sat watching Monday Night Football stunned and silent as my Dad walked through the room muttering that he liked Paul better. A friend on twitter, @Otoolefan, remembers his father telling him the next morning that “they shot Jack Lemmon last night.”
Many parents who suffered through the Great Depression and lost loved ones during World War II surely saw our angst as a little too much to bear. But my mother was a musician who understood the transcendence of music. She also understood that it was probably best to leave me alone with my headphones and Beatles records for the next several weeks.
What I found alone in my room is what I rediscovered last year when a dream of mine came true backstage at Radio City.
As a young congressman, I had been blessed to be able to meet any president, prime minister or politician. I had also met music heroes from B.B. King to U2 to Elvis Costello. All were exciting to meet, but none were Paul McCartney.
That chance came when Carole King was sweet enough to take me backstage to meet Sir Paul. Even the possibility seemed surreal since McCartney had impacted my life more than anyone outside of my family. As the day of the concert neared, a strange ambivalence swept over me. The day before the concert, I even told my wife I was thinking of skipping the chance at shaking my hero’s hand.
“What???” Susan asked incredulously. “I’ve never seen you scared of anyone or anything. Why in the world would you be afraid to meet Paul McCartney?”
It was a good point. People are people. Nothing more, nothing less. I have yet to meet a star who was worthy of worship. They just don’t exist anymore. In fact, I’m pretty sure they never did.
But I still couldn’t answer why I wanted to skip out on my lifelong dream of meeting Macca. Maybe it was Paul Simon’s fear that everything looks worse in black and white. Or maybe it was the fact that I could never tell him in a few seconds how he brought so much joy to so many years of my life. I just knew that the meeting would be short, awkward and leave me feeling a little empty.
Better not to pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz.
But I went ahead to Radio City, met Sir Paul McCartney, got my picture taken and managed to get out a few words. I don’t remember what they were but it was so surreal that I wouldn’t be surprised if I blurted out “I like purple” before quickly being escorted from the room.
After Carole and I left the backstage area and made it to our seats at Radio City, I realized that I had been right all along. I should have skipped the meeting and stayed home with my family. That regret lasted only as long as it took McCartney to strap a Hofner around his neck and rip into a supersonic rendition of “Jet.”
I was immediately transfixed–not by the myth, not by the legend, not by Beatle Paul. Instead, it was the music. As Carole and I jumped to our feet that night, I realized in an instant that the secret to their success had always been simple. The Beatles wrote remarkable songs.
For almost half a century, reporters and critics have tried to dissect why the Beatles had such an staggering impact on our times. After arriving in America in 1964, some suggested that Beatlemania was a needed distraction after the horror of JFK’s assassination. A few years later, critics would claim that the band was an outlet for a youth culture in rebellion against authority. And tonight, I am sure we will hear many try to explain again why so many of us still care about the Beatles 30 years after John’s death.
But in the end, all the philosophizing about the Beatles cultural transcendence is unadulterated bullshit. After all that has been written and said about the Liverpool band over the past 50 years, it still comes down their music.
The same music that moved me in 1980 moves my 7 year old daughter 30 years later. And the same magic that made me smile the first time I heard the back side of “Abbey Road” makes my 2 year old laugh when I pull out my guitar and sing him “Yellow Submarine.”
I spent a few hours today watching a BBC special on John’s life. The most revealing part of the documentary for me was a piece of film taken during John’s “Imagine” session. Lennon was told that a young, burned out straggler had made his way to John’s garden where he was spending much of his time.
The former Beatle left his session and walked outside to try to convince this lost soul to go home. As Lennon shot down every suggestion of cosmic connectivity between his songs and the drifter’s life, the Beatle who often had the sharpest edge revealed an inner sweetness that he seldom showed the world.
“Don’t confuse my songs with your life.”
The kid pushed back. Surely the lyrics to “I Dig a Pony” had a deeper meaning.
“I was just having fun with words” replied the retired dreamweaver.
“I’m just a guy.”
Maybe. But he and his bandmates also happened to create music that will bring joy to generations long after we are all gone. So tonight, I don’t have to go to Strawberry Fields to remember John. All I need are his songs.
I’ll put on my headphones, turn on “Number 9 Dream”, close my eyes, relax and float downstream
Memorials, merchandise for Lennon 70th anniversary
Reuters, Oct 6, 2010 11:00 pm PDT
LONDON (Reuters) – What would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday on Saturday will be marked around the world with memorials, music and plenty of merchandise.
Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow and the guardian of his commercial and musical legacy, will lead the tributes from Iceland, where she will light the Imagine Peace Tower in memory of Lennon and perform with their son Sean.
In the singer’s birthplace Liverpool, Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and their child Julian are expected to unveil a monument dedicated to the artist and funded by the Global Peace Initiative involving young artists.
“Nowhere Boy,” a film about Lennon’s early years before he found fame and fortune with the Beatles, hits U.S. theatres on Friday and on Saturday, the documentary “LennonNYC” will be screened in New York, where he was killed on December 8, 1980.
The 30th anniversary of his murder at age 40 is expected to launch a new wave of Lennon-mania in December.
“It’s a strange phenomenon in a way, but probably the Beatles are more popular now than they ever were,” said Jerry Goldman, managing director of the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool which will be custodian of the new $350,000 monument.
“Lennon is the most iconic of them. His activities for peace with Yoko, his ‘bed-ins’, perhaps don’t count quite so much as the music,” he added.
“‘Imagine’ is a world anthem, as is ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Whenever people gather to protest … you are probably going to hear them singing a Lennon song. More than anything else it’s the music, and nobody has come close in recent years.”
Few would debate Lennon’s musical influence.
As one half of the key songwriting axis in the Beatles alongside Paul McCartney, Lennon was responsible for much of the band’s catalog, including seminal hits like “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night.”
As a solo artist after the group split in 1970, he went on to produce songs including Imagine, and became a symbol of opposition to the Vietnam War.
Lennon’s legacy is also big business. Critics have accused Ono and others of cashing in on his memory and betraying the ideals of a man who once sang “imagine no possessions.”
Ono has overseen the release of a digitally remastered Lennon catalog, including eight studio albums and several newly compiled titles, on the EMI Music label.
“Remastering was emotionally hard for me,” she wrote recently on Twitter.
“I felt John was at my side, and when I looked at my side, there was only an empty chair. I was crying, but still my job was to listen to John, like I used to … So I am a lucky girl.”
Ono also authorized Gibson to make three special edition acoustic guitars priced between $4,700 and $15,000.
Montblanc has produced a Lennon-related pen, complete with sapphires and diamonds and retailing in luxury magazines for a cool $27,000.
“It’s easy to lose sight of the music with all the surrounding Lennonphilia that, over the next few weeks, will be particularly cloying and suffocating,” said Brian Boyd, music columnist for the Irish Times.
Ono has defended her decision to allow Lennon’s name to be used to endorse products, saying it is the most effective way to keep his name and music in the public consciousness.
And in response to complaints in Britain earlier this year when archive footage of the singer was used in a car advertisement, son Sean tweeted: “Having just seen ad I realize why people are mad. But intention was not financial, was simply wanting to keep him out there in the world.”
Meth trailer pulls up to gas station. Jesse fills up and realizes he doesn’t have cash (?). He asks if he could “come back later” to pay. Girl says no problem but her dad is a hard ass and he checks all receipts.”
Jesse offers her meth. He actually convinces her to try it. Says it’s not addictive, that’s just a “media thing.” Tells her it’s awesome. Starts describing the high. to convince her to let him have the gas for the meth.
Cop walks in. She takes the meth.
Trailer drives away.
Saul’s office. Looking for victims of the plane crash.
Bald PI is working for Saul and they listen to tapes of Walt and Skyler arguing. It’s obvious that Walt will be going after Ted.
Walt goes to office and is told it could be awhile, Ted is on a conference call. he takes a seat and sees Ted’s office and starts knocking. Starts yelling, “I can see you, let’s talk.” Ted won’t open the door. Walt is trying to lift a big potted plant to throw threw Ted’s glass door. Skyler tries to stop him. He gets thrown out of the building. “all right, all right, I’m calm. . .”
Bald PI pulls up and grabs Walt into the car and brings him to Sauls. Saul starts yelling at him and is letting him know how stupid he’s acting and he needs to get his shit together.
Walt wonders how Saul knew where he was and what was happening. “Did you bug my house?” Then Saul blamed Walt. “let’s not get lost in the who, what and whens.” “Ironical silver lining . . . .”
Walt attacks Saul and PI watches. He finally gets Walt off and Walt fires Saul. Walt wants bugs out of house today and Saul calls Walt a psycho.
Bald guy finally gets to speak. He’s removing all the bugs. He tells Walter that sometimes it doesn’t hut to have someone watching your back.
Machete drawing in chalk – – – message to Walt?
Walt in his classroom. Clicking clock, water dripping, students staring blankly. Silence. Once girl arrives in class late. Then some women come in the room and they take him in a room for “counseling.” Therapist wants Walt to sit down. She mentions his absences and his behavior. They are concerned. He starts to flirt with this woman. She asks if he’s okay and should she call Skyler. He tries to kiss her and she freaks. “Walt, what’s wrong with you!?”
Hank’s wife takes him to airport. She’s upset. He’s explaining that this is part of paying dues for their future. El Paso is like the Superbowl. She mentions last time. He says, what about it?
His phone rings and it’s the Sheriff. They are talking about the blue meth that some guy they just arrested has. Hank wants to talk to him. Doesn’t get on the plane.
Walt leaves the school with all his belongings in a box. He was fired. Jesse is waiting in the parking lot.
“yo, did you just get fired?”
No, sabbatical. Indefinite.
Walt gets in Jesse’s car Good to see them back together. Awkward. Jesse wants to introduce Walt to a distribution guy. He wants to keep cooking. Walt calls him ‘son’ and says he’s good at other things besides cooking meth. Walt doesn’t want to cook again. Jesse wants an introduction to the distribution guy, Gus.
Jesse shows Walt the blue meth and is proud of his accomplishment. Walt is pissed. “What, in the hell is THIS.” “This is MY PRODUCT MY FORMULA, MINE!”
Walt doesn’t want to ‘lend his name’ to an inferior product’ Walt is embarrassed for him. Walt is being mean and condescending to Jesse. Jesse calls him an asswad. “eat me” and Jesse runs over Walt’s box o’ office crap.
Skyler making copies. Woman walks in and she tries to make small talk. Woman gives polite smile. Sklyer senses the coldness.
Skyler moaning having sex with Ted. He tells her to stay and move in with him. He starts asking about the problems with Walt. She says she doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it.
Hank is questioning junky about blue meth. Junkie, Russell, is tweaking and remembers the dude’s name is “Mel.” Now he’s back to forgetting. The drug addicted mind . . .
Hank wants to find Heisenberg. He’s all giddy that the guy is back. He’s turning down the task force in El Paso to continue this investigation. His partner is worried about him but Hank is being a dick. “take your hand off my shoulder.”
Saul again chasing victims of the plane crash. Looking for pain and suffering.
Jesse comes to Saul and Saul is yelling at Jesse. He plops the blue meth on the desk. “you know the guy who knows the guy, right?”.
Mike (bald PI) guy tells Gus about the threat. “animals.” They talk about Walt and the Pinkmen kid. Gus tells him to do the deal. Gus is a business man.
Hank driving, cell phone ringing. He ignores it. Going through list of “M” names. Gas station girl, same one Jesse gave the meth too, is being questioned by Hank.
He asks where the blue meth came from. He tells Cara she’s a bad liar. He plays bad cop. She confesses and said she hated it and gave it to Matt. She starts describing the guy that traded the Meth for the gas. Jesse. She starts crying. She’s tr5ying to remember and she said, “he drove an RV.” Begging Hank not to tell her dad. Hank sees the camera. It doesn’t work.
Hank, sitting in the car staring at the ATM machine. Wonders if that had a camera? Wow. Them DEA agents is sure smart.
Walt at breakfast with family. Silence. Soggy cereal.
Walt Jr. mentions that the website hasn’t had any donations.
Walt says he’s off for 2 weeks. Guess he didn’t tell the family he was fired. Says he pushed it, going back to work too soon. Walt Jr asks for a ride to school. He says “dad could babysit now” . . . “sometime, maybe, we’ll see.”
Skyler is such a bitch.
Jesse. Leaning. Smoking. Meets with all business, no words. Seems Jesse was ripped off. Only got half. Driver said that his half.
Hank is reporting his findings on and has pictures of the motor-home from the ATM camera. Hank wants to knock on doors. Boss says, “they need you in El Paso” but he wants to wrap out this case. Boss is giving him ultimatum. Hank refuses to go to El Paso because he’s “really close to something” here. Boss says, “better get to it.”
Jesse’s connection throws money at Walt and says, “your half” and drives away..
Andrew Koenig’s Body Found in Vancouver
Koenig’s body was found in Stanley Park about noon, Vancouver police said. Friends of Koenig initiated their own search of the park and invited his father, Star Trek alumnus Walter Koenig, along. His body was found in a densely wooded area where it initially was unseen from the path.
Search and rescue teams had scoured the park Wednesday and found no evidence that Koenig had been there recently. The park was known to be one of the actor’s favorite spots when he lived in the city in the early ’90s.
“My son took his own life,” Walter Koenig said, trying to keep his composure at a news conference Thursday night. “The only other thing I want to say — I’ve already said what a great guy he was, and good human being — he was obviously in a lot of pain.”
The Vancouver police would not give details on cause of death but “have no reason to believe that foul play was involved at all,” Constable Jana McGuinness said. The case has been turned over to the British Colombia coroner’s office.
Koenig’s father went on to mention “hundreds of e-mails” he had received from depressed people and their loved ones and express hope this tragedy would help them.
“If you’re one of those people who … can’t handle it anymore,” he said, breaking down in tears, “if you can learn anything from this is that there are people out there that really care. You may not think so, and … ultimately, it may not be enough. But there are people who really, really care. And before you make that final decision, check it out again. Talk to somebody. And to families who have members who they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it. Extend a hand.”
Koenig’s mother, Judy Levin-Koenig , echoed those sentiments: “There is love out there.”
The 41-year-old Venice, Calif., resident was last seen by friends Feb. 14 during a visit to Vancouver. Friends and family reported him missing Feb. 16, when he did not return to Los Angeles as scheduled.
The Koenigs previously held a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. They were later scheduled to appear on Larry King Live to discuss their missing son, but walked off the set moments before their segment because of “personal reasons,” according to Walter Koenig’s website.
Koenig is best known for his role as Boner, the best friend of Kirk Cameron‘s Mike Seaver, on Growing Pains and appeared frequently from 1985 to 1989. During the search for Koenig, Cameron told People he was “praying for his family during this time of distress and for his safe return.”
Koenig also appeared in various TV shows, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, My Two Dads and 21 Jump Street. He dabbled in directing and writing as well, with a 2004 short called Woman in a Green Dress.
Andrew Koenig‘s family is keeping hope alive, but they remain “very, very worried” about him.
“We’re all kind of a mess as you might guess,” Koenig’s sister, Danielle, told E! News Tuesday when our cameras caught up with her outside CNN headquarters in Los Angeles, where she was interviewed for Larry King Live.
While Koenig, who was last seen by friends on Feb. 14, is said to have suffered from depression, Danielle said that the last time she saw her brother, he was “acting normal.”
“I spoke to him briefly via email, maybe around the 5th or 6th of February,”
she said. “And I saw him January 31st, for several hours.
“He was acting normal,” she added. “But he’s suffered from depression for many years. He didn’t seem particularly depressed. We were there for a birthday and he seemed all right.”
Danielle said that she doesn’t know whether or not her brother gave his landlord 30 days’ notice on his Venice, Calif., apartment—but that if he did indeed clear out, she hopes he was merely relocating.
“I hope that’s what he was doing. I hope that was it,” she said.
Authorities say that Koenig’s trail went cold on Feb. 16, the last day he used his credit cards or cell phone. He had been booked on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles, but he never boarded the plane.
Vancouver police are still expressing hope that Koenig is alive, but none of the tips they’ve recieved have panned out.
“A good lead would lead to them finding him,” Danielle said. “So I guess none of the leads have been fruitful yet. I certainly encourage anyone who thinks they’ve seen him to call the Vancouver Police Department and talk to Constable Ralla and Detective Payette and tell them what they know.”
Her continued hope that Andrew is out there somewhere is why Danielle has been talking to the press in the first place.
“This is not comfortable being on camera like this,” she told E!. “It’s not something any of us want to do. But we really appreciate people caring. I read the Facebook stuff and everyone’s been incredibly supportive. And that does help.”
Actor, producer, director, writer, editor, photographer…. Andrew Koenig –
Walter’s 41 year old son – has been missing since February 14th.Andrew Koenig was last seen on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010,
in Vancouver, British Columbia. Andrew Koenig never boarded his
flight back to the US, on 2/16 and he hasn’t heard from since.
Andrew was last seen at a bakery in
the Stanley Park area of Vancouver. If you’ve seen Andrew since February 14th, PLEASE contact
Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver PD at
by Jason English – February 6, 2010 – 11:44 PM
It’s been two weeks since Conan’s final Tonight Show. On the off chance you’re wondering what’s become of that big empty studio, former Tonight Show blogger Aaron Bleyaert took some depressing photos on Friday and posted them on his site—here and here.
The place is crying out for Ransom Riggs to give it the Strange Geographies treatment.
Some people have velvet Elvis or Pop Art Marylyn Monroe in their living rooms. I have a John Lennon drawing that I bought in Central Park, along with a picture of Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon.
Mark David Chapman took greatness. He shouldn’t be walking this earth. John would forgive him but I do not. I cannot forgive the man for putting a bullet in John Lennon and taking him from his loving wife and adoring public.
“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”
John Lennon’s words are never outdated.
He is peace. I miss him. The world misses him. RIP, Great Man of Peace.
Sean Lennon and a naked Kemp Muhl (a model and his girlfriend) have recreated the iconic Rolling Stone cover of Lennon’s parents, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, taken by Annie Leibovitz.
The pic, snapped by Terry Richardson, was taken for the fall issue of Purple magazine.
Sean stays clothed, in the Yoko role, while Muhl is nude and curled up against his side. Unlike John Lennon, she even shows some nipple.
If this pose seems familiar then you probably remember Madonna’s video for Like A Virgin.
Now, 25 years on, the Queen of Pop’s daughter, Lourdes, has re-created the iconic look. Footage apparently taken from a shoot for Madonna’s latest video, Celebration, shows the 12-year-old, right, dressed in a very similar guise to her mother’s outfit for the 1984 video.
But perhaps Madonna, 51, realised (sic) the look could offend some fans and it was removed from the final edit.