Post LXXXI…To be or not to be…

Today, April 23rd is the actual death date of one of the greatest writers of all time, William Shakespeare (hence the reason for the title)…it’s also considered to be his birth date (although he was baptized on the 26th of April, 1564 and his actual date of birth is listed as “Unknown”).

That, however, is not the reason for this column.  The reasons for this blog entry today are for two of the biggest influences of my musical life…the birth dates of Roy Orbison and former Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark.  Both artists’ music was prevalent throughout my life and both have pretty much cemented my base in rock music.

A career that spanned three decades, Mr. Orbison’s regally distinct voice was around in my childhood by listening to the local “oldies” stations growing up (WCBS-FM here in New York).  Born on April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Texas, he really was a driving force behind the young “rock-and-roll” business when his career took off in 1958.  Also, if you happen to catch his “Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night (from 1988, some 11 months before his demise), you’ll see just how well-respected he was in the industry.  Also, his collaboration with The Traveling Wilburys (along with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne of ELO, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan) is in my collection because of his voice, specifically.  His voice and his light are sorely missed here…RIP Mr. Orbison…

The latter, Mr. Steve Clark, born on April 23, 1960 in Sheffield, England and was a catalyst (and original guitarist) for the creation of Def Leppard.  Recruited before the first album…by performing “Freebird” without accompaniment, according to lead singer Joe Elliot, which speaks volumes about the man’s talent as a musician.  A tragedy that his death, on January 8, 1991, was caused by an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription painkillers, for his guitar virtuosity is also sorely missed here.

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

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