My most missed musicians

My most missed musicians
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Who are my most missed musicians – and why?

Who are the musicians that are most missed? Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon? Amy Winehouse or Janis Joplin? Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye or Whitney Houston? Brian Jones, Ray Vaughan? The lead singer of The Prodigy or some more obscure band? A hip hop star or rock band musician? A singer songwriter who was shot to death in New York or one who died in a plane crash? Which artists do YOU miss the most? Whether they went in March or June, so many artists are gone long before their time, at far too few years old. The world mourns those singers who’ve died – and their music. Here are my most missed musicians. (None of whom, incidentally, are listed above, among some of the top music legends of all time…)

Christmas Day 2016

I’ve already waxed lyrical on the loss of George Michael, but he’s far from alone in being taken from us far too soon. In fact, in the same year alone, there were many actor and musician deaths. David Bowie and Prince departed many months before Mr Michael slipped away on Christmas Day 2016. Only one of those is among my most missed musicians, however.

I didn’t really feel a huge sense of loss when any of the above left us, to be honest. For me, it’s been more of a slow burner. I hear a song on the radio, or select a song from our – extensive and eclectic – CD collection, and suddenly I’ll feel a genuine, deep-seated sadness right in the pit of my belly, that makes me almost have to catch my breath. It is the same feeling that I get when I suddenly miss my mother. It can be just about as strong, and it almost always takes me completely by surprise.

Swizzle hips

My mother died at 57, the same age as another of the deceased that I miss dearly. I think it might be pushing it to categorise him as one of the singers no longer living. Nevertheless he was a major feature of my teenage life – and fantasies. I’m talking about old swizzle-hips himself, the one and only Patrick Swayze, the guy who could pin me into a corner any time he chose. That, if I’m truthful, is why he qualifies as one of my most missed singers who’ve died.

Mr Swayze did, in fact, record one of the song’s for the soundtrack of ‘Dirty Dancing’, although as far as I was previously aware that was his only flirtation with singing. I was wrong. He is described, in fact, on the ubiquitous Wikipedia as an ‘actor, dancer and singer-songwriter’. I’m not here to praise his musical talent – of lack thereof – though. I recall his connection to music in his dancing to it rather than his singing of it. He could certainly dance. Mmm…

dead British singers

Taken FAR too soon

Patrick Swayze isn’t top of my list of deceased musicians I miss. He lies somewhere beneath an Australian rocker (that I’d love to have lain beneath) who, of all dead artists, I miss most of all. Definitely, in fact. INXS are my all-time favourite band, and I loved everything about Michael Hutchence. Yep, even that whole tortured-soul thing he had going on, that was almost definitely the cause of his demise in one way or another. It almost certainly played a large part in causing my crush on him, too.

Oh, to have been Paula Yates, on that bed with him in 1994. To have seen INXS play live at the Coogee Bay hotel, a Sydney boozer in which I spent far too much time and money, for a few brief months in 1996. Furthermore, imagine bumping into the man himself in that crowded, raucous joint… I think I’d better stop right there, this is a public place. (Is lusting after dead music legends even allowed?)


There’s a big connection building here, isn’t there? The artists I miss the most, seem to be those I lusted after the most. To put it another way, Do I only mourn dead music legends I fancied? Which takes me right back to George Michael, the subject of my earliest teenage stirrings. He was the first musician I can remember who awakened those feelings in me, but I think it’s more than just physical. With music, I’d argue that there’s a mental connection too. Through melodies, lyrics, harmonies and poetry, the artists speak to something deep in the soul, and I think that’s why they become so very much admired – and later, when they pass – very much missed.

After all, crushes in our early adult life are supposedly practice for the real thing; a rehearsal for out later years when we might fall in love, commit and in many cases, reproduce. It’s said that the first cut is the deepest, referring, I presume, to our first real-life love; but surely that depth of feeling for our musical idols – the practice run – would mean that their loss would leave, at least, a deep scratch?

I’d say, yes, indeed, the first cut is indeed the deepest and leaves the biggest scar, like the cut below my knee from a minor car crash in the 1980s. The nasty scratches I got when taking a cross-country shortcut through brambles during my school days may now be invisible, but they took years to disappear, and surely there might be some permanent damage to the skin beneath? It can no longer be seen, granted – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

singers no longer living

Missing the music

I wish Prince and Bowie were still around, but I can say that without intensity of feeling. It’s a real shame they’re not around to make wonderful music any more, but that’s where it ends. I don’t feel that connection with them, as I did – and do to this day – with George Michael, Patrick Swayze and Michael Hutchence. I do feel that they were part of my life.

My mood changes, in a more serious way, when I hear ‘Praying for Time’, ‘Cry to Me’ (by Solomon Burke, from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack), or ‘Never Tear us Apart’. I experience a profound sense of loss, in a way that just doesn’t happen with other late greats, who I miss purely for their musical output. Prince’s ‘1999’ will always make me want to get out and party, while Bowie’s ’Changes’ will make me feel a little sad – but not gut-wrenchingly so.

Em Jay

There’s an artist, though, who for me lies somewhere between the two extremes, and that is Michael Jackson. His music featured hugely during my schooldays, and I have very fond memories of my sister and I singing (or rather, yelling) along to the ‘Thriller’ video, trying (and failing miserably) to copy Jackson’s signature dance moves. There’s another one who could move, for sure – but could not move me, in the way that Patrick Swayze could. I look back upon Michael Jackson’s life and work with affection, and a measure of palpable emotion, but I suspect that’s down to my connection with my sister and what we shared, than down to any emotional relationship with the man himself.

Part of my past

I grew up with George, Patrick and Michael (Hutchence), and they will always be very dear – and feel very familiar – to me. Therefore I will always regret their loss, just like I will always yearn for my mother and grandmother. When you grow up with people, they leave a lasting impression on your life and things will never be quite the same again when they’re dead and gone. Even if you never met them.

Marcy x

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Note –  This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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