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Too Soon


It was the first day of June in 2006, when I heard the news. This would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 80th birthday. Actually, folks have been leaving bouquets beneath the crypt at Westwood Village in Los Angeles most every day since 1962. Marilyn Monroe’s iconic image has been preserved and immortalized. The astounding life force contained in all those stills and movies would become frozen in time, mainly because her actual life gave us so little of it to work with. Together, we all became acquainted with what is actually meant when someone lives forever.

The stated cause of Marilyn Monroe’s death was an overdose of barbiturates; a dependency and a tolerance she probably acquired from years of shooting films during Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age. Arriving on the set bright and early for make-up, hair, and wardrobe. Actresses especially expected to look fresh and alert in those wee hours. Often, that early call would have followed a late final wrap the night before so the only time that would be too short is the time you’d have to sleep. Try riding that wave in your early 20s. Not really a coincidence that a generation of movie actresses, including Judy Garland and Jean Seberg, took the same exit. 

So did Jimi Hendrix. That last day, it was 7:00 AM when he finally got to sleep after taking nine tablets of someone else’s prescription. It turned out to be 18 times the recommended dosage.

Yea, the 27 Club. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones of the Stones, Pigpen from the Dead. This exclusive membership covers multiple generations. If Bluesman Robert Johnson had lived past 27, he might have had the opportunity to celebrate his 100th birthday just two months before Amy Winehouse died. Meteors that light up the night skies, then leave it a little blacker than before. Whatever the coroner says, you can attribute all of these early deaths to just plain bad luck. Didn’t mean to wind up there, honest. Wait, there’s proof. Just listen to how I was spending this part of my life.

Song, ArtistAlbum

Jesus Was A Cross Maker, Judee Sill, Judee Sill

Time Has Told Me, Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left

Who Knows Where The Time Goes, Sandy Denny, Sandy

Reminiscing, Buddy Holly, Not Fade Away

Donna, Ritchie Valens, The Very Best

Chantilly Lace, Big Bopper, Hellooo Baby!

Roadhouse Blues, Doors, Morrison Hotel

I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long, Otis Redding, Otis Blue

Crazy, Patsy Cline, 12 Greatest Hits

The Late Great Johnny Ace, Paul Simon, Hearts And Bones  

Pledging My Love, Johnny Ace, Memorial Album

Danny Boy, Sinead O’Connor / Davy Spillane, Sea Of Dreams