Avicii, born Stockholm, Sweden, as Tim Begling. Found deceased Muscat, Oman – aged 28.
Avicii – the showman will be remembered as a pusher of boundaries. A 16 year old prodigy, who would go onto become among the forerunners of the EDM takeover of the pop music charts post 2010.
Avicii is a story spoilt by success, with copious premonitions of an oncoming conclusion. The elbow grease of a life on the road, weighed down too heavily on the traveller. Alcohol dependency, and stress lead to premature and severe health problems, and an eventual death. Avicii had taken an indefinite hiatus from touring since 2016.
Feeling my way through the darknessGuided by a beating heartI can’t tell where the journey will endBut I know where to startThey tell me I’m too young to understandThey say I’m caught up in a dreamWell life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyesWell that’s fine by me
Lyrics – Wake me up -Avicii
Avicii ‘is a developing story.’ – quote Rolling Stone. Oman police initially found no proof of foul play, or criminal intentions in the death. As VersesInked went to words, a heartfelt remembrance, and a note of appreciation towards the fans was released by the artist’s family. May the family, friends and fans find peace in their time of loss. A parallel storyline speculating a possible suicide has started taking over the internet.
Avicii – True stories, is a documentary written, produced and directed by Levan Tsikurishvilli, chronicles the life and time of the artist – the stage, the rush, the ricochet, the man, the entertainer, the money making machine, the phenomenon.
Avicii, as per Buddhism, is the lowest rung of hell. The artist, an existentialist, as may be inferred, had taken to the screen name, as his given name had already been taken up on myspace.
“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.” – P.G. Wodehouse from Adventures of Sally.
Andy Warhol took his fascination on the subject to a whole new level having fallen pray to the wrong end of the instrument. Victim to a fateful gunshot wound in the late sixties, inflicted upon him by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas, Warhol was plagued by the injury for the rest of his life. On the psychological level, the incident had an even more profound influence on the artist, wherein thirteen years after the incident he released a series of paintings which were to be entitled – Guns and Knives. The Guns depicted in the series, particularly resembled the .22 snub nose pistol, which was used to take aim at him. During the production of these pieces, Warhol is said to have invited friends over to his studio with their firearms. The subsequent polaroid images of the guns would later be immortalized by the artist on the canvas. Long live the Pop Art.
What brings Warhol in trend in 2017?
The world could not be enough. Amidst, the work that need be for the promotion of an Alice Cooper album release, its twenty seventh act since its inception in 69. We have Alice in persona and social profile, Vincent Damon Furnier speaking about his lucky break.
“ Yea, so this more or less beats that feeling you get when you find $20 in an old jacket. “
Read one of Cooper posts with an appropriate cnn.com link.
“ Alice Cooper’s ‘forgotten’ Warhol found after four decades in storage.”
Was the headline to the Cable News Network link. Need we say more.
The piece, by chance discovered among the fabled props from the Alice Cooper concerts, is a silkscreen rendition in classic red and black of an electric chair. An instrument which on its part was a popular prop in its own capacity in Cooper concerts of yore.
No coincidences out here as both Cooper and Warhol had been known to be socially acquainted, perhaps indeed friends during the early 70’s. The painting which was then acquired for a couple of grand is now a million dollar baby in the making. Credit to the mother of Vincent Furnier and her perhaps photographic memories of a rolled painting resting in inventory.
Warhol’s Little Electric Chair, in its red replaced with green imagery, which is said to be the original of which the Cooper’s Warhol is a reproduction, sold at a 2015 auction at Christie’s, New York for a chart topping 15 millions. All of us including Warhol,Cooper or Roger Fedrer could always do with a few honest millions of dollars to show off.
The theme behind the electric chairs is a part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series of the early 60’s. A period wherein Warhol was dealing with the elements of the darker side, upon been advised by friend and then young art curator Henry Geldzahler, at a lunch at Serendipity, an usual hangout for Warhol of the day. The Death and Disaster series which included a body of somewhat seventy loosely connected works of art, was an attempt on the part of the artist to move away from his all embracing commercial image of soup cans and coke bottles. A period prior to the time of the Gun and Knives series of the 80’s, wherein the artist would take on the subject of the dark side, drawing on experience from his own past.What would come to be known as the Guns and Knives series.
Again no surprises, for one of these guns were reason enough for not just us at Verses Inked, but in fact the aware art community on the whole, to get busy about Andy Warhol. And when t is Andy Warhol, you could rest assure of some Limousines. Now only a few Limousines would be an understatement when talking of Art Basel.
You Have to Talk about Basel!
Speaking of abstract, objective, misplaced preludes; Basel is home to Roger Federer, and since 1970 also host to the extravaganza which today materializes every year as Art Basel. The years since has seen the brand include Miami beach and Hong-Kong into its annual itinerary, expanding into a three times a year, multi-national, age defining art affair.
With over 100,000 in attendance from June 15th -18th , picking on the works of 4000 contemporary artists represented by 291 of the world’s leading galleries.The cornucopia on display ranging from paintings and installations to publications and films, showcasing the works of modern masters, living legends and those up and coming, the artwork on display categorized into exclusive sectors.
Among names like Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein August Sander, Fernand Léger, Christopher Wool, Samson Kambalu, Subodh Gupta to name a few at the 47th edition of Art Base, stands the 16”x20” monumentalization of the revolver by Warhol. Making its own space in the Art Unlimited sector, the most spectacular of sections in the exhibition, one of Warhol’s guns is showcased for the viewing pleasure and interest of the visitors.
An acquisition by Mnuchin Gallery New York, at the turn of the millennium, for as per Warhol standards, a modest sum of $12 millions, this 80’s silk screen Warhol, with its surrealistic yellow duplicating effect, and larger than life presence of the .32 snub nose, the same weapon with which the artist was aimed at and critically wounded. This piece sure is a head turner in any time and space. To whom it matters, Steven Mnuchin, who is the son of the gallery owner is a public servant in the exceedingly pro-ammunition Donald Trump administration.
The world still could not have had enough of Andy Warhol. At the VIP preview at Basel, still June 2017, Sweden based art gallery Skarstedt found themselves amassing $30 millions, from an unnamed American private collector for the sale of a Warhol self portrait, done in shades of modest, narcissistic pink, where the artist approaching middle age is depicted sporting an out of bed, shock spikes.
Tom Morello’s TimeLine – Memories of Chris Cornell and Prophets of Rage Debut Song
Buzz World – Character Press – Verses Inked
BuzzWord will be a segment where we get nosy about our favorite artist’s social life. Truly touched by the emotional out-pour by Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello, on the death of his AudioSlave band mate, Chris Cornell. Verses Inked pays homage to the friendship, the association and its contribution to the world.
Tom Morello, with multiple genre bending musical acts, a bagful of guitar tricks, and a few famed guitars can afford to have a busy timeline. Yet Morello sure is a man of measured notes. In one ridiculous video he chucks his soul power, customized fender stratocaster, only for a crew member to delightfully catch it for safekeeping. The post accompanied by some honest words of wisdom regarding love and relationships.
“ If you love someone set them free. If they come back, they’re yours; if they don’t they never were. ” -Thus spake the artist about his own gimmick.
Otherwise there are numerous socio-political causes which Morello supports. With having his views on the future of rock and humanity published in LA Weekly, to contributing content for Chelsea Manning Benefit Compilation. An initiative by a number of luminaries among whom are Thurston Moore, Graham Nash, Against Me! And others including, yours’ truly Tom Morello.
Also on Morello’s timeline you will find appreciation for Canadian author, journalist and social activist, Naomi Klein’s new publication, No is Not Enough – Resisting Trump’s shock politics and winning the world we need. “ Essential reading for resistance ! – Tom Morello says in his post on Facebook.
Then there are the basic promotional post for the release of the debut song, unf**k the world, from the latest super-group that Morello is part of, Prophets of Rage, inspired by the Public Enemy song of the same name from the album- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back. The band constitutes of Morello on guitar, Tim Commerford on backing vocals and bass, and Brad Wilk on drums. All three have been previously together in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. The remaining members of this galactic gathering consists of Hip-Hop artist Chuck-D and DJ Lord from Public Enemy and rapper B-Real from the band Cypress Hill.
From early impressions the song is heavy on hip-hop backed by funk rock, thrash metal RHTM influence. Morello is simply sublime with his notework and chords which climaxes to a solo of some reckoning. With the facility of of an in house DJ, and Morello’s affection for pedals and processors, you could be assured of a lot of effects and texture to the sound. The video of the song hovers on the lines of pop angst. With multiple clips of meat processing, pharmaceutics, infantries, the here and now Republican America and the band tearing the stage apart in their 2016 Make America Rage Again tour.
Tom Morello – In Memory of Chris Cornell:
Most of Morello’s recent timeline is all in memories of Chris Cornell. There are a number of posts to pick from. Foremost among which is a poem composed by Morello for Cornell.
You’re a prince, you’re a snare, you’re a shadow
You’re twilight and star burn and shade
You’re a sage, you’re a wound shared, you’re masked
You’re a pillar of smoke, you’re a platinum heart
You’re a brush fire, you’re caged, you’re free
You’re vision pierces, you do not see
You are pieces strewn on the hillside
You’re open armed, you’re armed, you’re true
You’re a revealer of visions, you’re the passenger, you’re a never fading scar
You’re twilight and star burn and shade
You’re the secret veiled, you’re the secret revealed, you’re surrounded no more
You’re not there, now you’re always here
Youre a handsome groom, a loving father, a haunted stairwell
You’re the clear bell ringing, the mountains echo your song
Maybe no one has ever known you
You are twilight and star burn and shade
Among other mentions of the late singer by his bandmate include a quote of the lyrics written by Chris for the Audioslave number – Shadow of the Sun.
“Shapes of every size Move behind my eyes Doors inside my head Bolted from within Every drop of flame Lights a candle in Memory of the one Who lived inside my skin… I can tell you why the end will never come I can tell you I’m the shadow on the sun”. Chris Cornell, Shadow On The Sun
– Tom Morello Facebook Post 28.5.17
A hearfelt au revoir:-
“Farewell, Sunshower. Goodbye, Shadow King. Until we meet again, sweet friend, break your rusty cage and run…”
– Tom Morello Facebook Post 28.5.17
Some exclusive Seattle grunge scene trivia:
#ChrisCornell & #AndrewWood were good friends and roommates in Seattle. Chris sang for #Soundgarden, Andrew sang for #MotherLoveBone (who were signed to MCA by @goldie.momandpop). Andrew overdosed and died. Chris wrote songs for Andrew that became the #TempleOfTheDog album. Some of the guys from Mother Love Bone formed a new band briefly called Mookie Blaylock before they settled on a permanent name…#PearlJam. Some of those dudes, including their new singer #EddieVedder played/sang on Temple Of The Dog record. Pearl Jam needed a drummer so Eddie called his old pal, #bradwilk. Didn’t work out so Brad came home and helped form #RageAgainstTheMachine, who were then signed by @goldie.momandpop to Pearl Jam’s new label, Epic. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and RATM all rocked the planet mightily (and we’re all produced and/or mixed by #BrendanObrien). Soundgarden & RATM broke up and dudes from those bands formed #Audioslave, who also rocked the planet (also produced by Brendan). Audioslave broke up but later Soundgarden, RATM, Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave all reunited at one point or another. Then Chris Cornell passed away and now he and his good friend Andrew Wood are roommates once again.”
An Obituary to Chris Cornell – Say Hello to Heaven
And if I show you my dark side Will you still hold me tonight? And if I open my heart to you And show you my weak side What would you do? Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
-The Final Cut – Rogers Waters
Rolling Stone have got their stories going anyways. We at Verses Inked furnish a humble eulogy. To the student of magic, the moment in time feels like the passing away of the professor of potions. Chris Cornell was the Severus Snape like character. The man who poured out his dark side for the world to see until the world and its darkness got the better of him. Long life to the cause of creation of magic. The man lived and loved and lost. He fought for a cause, established an order- call it Phoenix or Grunge. Yet them demons. Don’t the bible say. You fight them for too long, and you end-up as one of them.
The news of Chris Cornell’s passing away came as a rude awakening to the world, yet only this time the world had got too used to such unfortunate occurrences. Every now and then someone brings it to the point where one should see it coming, yet it is all so comfortable with your eyes closed. Moreover who wants to think about the how – how death shows up – how John Lennon was overcome by multiple bullet wounds, or perhaps how Jhonny Cash passed away in peace, inebriate with grief on the death of his wife June Carter four months before, and diabetes. While Picasso’s heart failed him at the age of ninety one while he and his wife had invited friends over for dinner.
As Chris Cornell would himself sing in, ‘ Like a stone ‘. The second single from the eponymous first album of the American rock-n-roll super-group, Audioslave.
“ On a cobweb afternoon In a room full of emptiness By a freeway I confess I was lost in the pages Of a book full of death Reading how we’ll die alone And if we’re good, we’ll lay to rest Anywhere we want to go“
Following the typical octave stretching chorus, the second verse continues as –
“ On my deathbed I will pray
To the gods and the angels
Like a pagan to anyone
Who will take me to heaven
To a place I recall…”
And just before Chris Cornell explodes into the chorus for one last time, the concluding part of the final verse read as;
“ In dreams until my death
I will wander on…”
And that is to speak of just one song.
How much of the prophecy came true is there for everyone to listen and read about. Chris was found dead by Soundgarden bodyguard Martin Kirsten in the bathroom floor of room 1136 of the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Detroit Michigan, with a red exercise band around his neck and blood spilled from his mouth. The autopsy report would later confirm that Cornell took his own life.
The stimulant to the action was perhaps an extra dose of Ativan, a prescription medicine administered to control anxiety. Chris would incoherently complain of tiredness to his wife over the phone just moments before he took his own life.
Vicky Cornell, the bereaved widow mourned the passing away of her husband in an open letter. Vicky emotionally speaks of Chris’s “ patience empathy and love..”. The wife mourns the circumstances in which her husband gave away his life, in solitariness. Her disbelief at the event of the suicide clearly shows through in her words. Further in the letter, she hopes of their paths crossing again, like soulmates often do, as Chris would say. She speaks of him finding her again with a promise of nurturing the beautiful babies which they bore.
As would circumstance have it, Chris was at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Detroit after having performed at the Fox Theater in the city with his band Soundgarden. The performance was a homecoming for both Chris as well as the band.
The Promise, is the last single released by Cornell. The song was composed as the ending credit of a movie by the same name.
In his last ever stage performance, Chris Cornell sang a cover of Led Zepplin’s In My Time of Dying for the encore.”…a bellowing vocal flourish” is how Rolling Stone Magazine describes the rendition.
What has the world lost. A singer of unmatched vocal prowess. A voice that would be etched in people’s mind for a lifetime. A voice that had its own little space in the fringes of the realm. A space in terms of voice scales touched by few, surely none with the ease with which Cornell did. A song writer whose lyrics carried in its depth the very soul of grunge. A poet who wrote his darkest thoughts in the cleanest of words. Someone who was still excited about the future, yet as in his last words, too tired to make it happen. A chart topper for best vocalists across genres and sagas. A saga in his own rights. The world mourns the passing away of Chris Cornell. We at Verses Inked humbly join in. Unable to express out grief in eloquent words we quote him. The song written by Chris Cornell for his band Temple of the Dog. Say Hello to Heaven.
He came from an island and he died from the street and he hurt so bad like a soul breaking but he never said nothing to me So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven… So say hello to heaven, heaven, heaven…
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.
I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.
Lyrics from A Thousand Kisses Deep, from Cohen’s tenth studio album – Ten More Songs. A fitting prelude, in the man’s own word, retrospective of his life and times.
We have Leonard Cohen in our thoughts at Verses Inked. November 7th 2016 saw the passing away of Cohen. A poet, musician, writer and artist. A lifelong observer to orthodox Judaism, a proud Canadian. A personification perhaps, of the resplendent land-locked water-bodies of Canada. A master at rhymes with a voice with strength.
Leonard Cohen, among other personas about whom enough could never be written about, because certain remote yet engaging episodes of such blessed lives would always miss been on print of the finest intentions. For instance this not so interesting fact which Cohen himself accepted on some recorded interview for a certain Scandinavian television. That he once tried to introduce red wine to a Buddhist monk. He for once even convinced his zen teacher to deviate from the path of raw fish and sake and develop a taste for a traditional Jewish chicken soup. The most amusing piece of information, if one may think so.
Leonard Cohen – Spiritual Sojourns:
For a period of five years in the neoclassic 90’s Cohen shaved his head clean and lived his days at a monastery atop Mount Baldy at the outskirts of Los Angeles, with Buddhist Monk and Zen teacher Kyozan Hoshu Sasaki. Cohen was eventually consecrated as a Buddhist monk in the mid-90’s. Although his roots to orthodox Judaism remained compellingly strong, with him maintaining lifelong correspondence with Quebec based Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.
Although still, it was not until meeting Indian spiritual master Ramesh Balsekar, later in the 90’s that Cohen considered his spiritual quest close to fulfillment. In fact many of Cohen’s verses have been accepted to be straight lift ups from Talmudic literature, as they have been from other spiritual text, as well from the works of Fredrico Garcia Lorca, Albert Camus, William Butler Yeats, Walt Whitman and the likes.
The need for constant structure in life, which Leonard Cohen sought through his spiritual experiments, are sure to bring him peace in the life after. Death the ultimate leveller, if ever need be for one. Some wait for it, others have horses for their courses, working their way to extinction, one breath at a time.
The Passive Showman:
Leonard Cohen went for it for sure. It did go all ablaze, when doth need make. The Walter White story line played out in exact, albeit in real life. The man lost it all, was insecure of his inheritance to his family. The rest is ‘History’. Speaking objectively of which; Cohen lost most of his previously accumulated fortunes to the underhandlings of a female financial adviser, and been unable to re-collect any money even after winning a legal battle, Cohen, revving on his 70’s, set out on a world tour, after a complete absence from the scene for 15 years. The earnings from the tour were in millions of American bucks.
A voice you can sleep on, a singer and songwriter who understood and addressed the gravest needs of the time. A modest suit and hat gentleman made of love, faith and justice. A fortnight before he peacefully passed away in sleep, Leonard Cohen had released his final studio album. The album; the ever resounding Cohen recorded on a wheelchair and was produced by his Son, Adam Cohen. It was incidentally the first time the choir from the Orthodox Synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, to which Cohen had associations all his life, was part of the production crew. Otherwise Cohen’s sound was known to be characteristically dominated by female vocals. This was the first time the father and son were working together. For Cohen senior, it was to be his first moves away from minimalism in the scope of sound. Too bad Curtain Call.
“ a little too weak to get there and boogie, and a little too healthy to die. “, in his own words, Cohen described his condition during his last days.