November 25, 2005

R.I.P. x 3


The first soccer pin-up (and cover boy for an excellent Wedding Present album) has passed away:
George Best, an Irish soccer star who captivated the public with his flamboyant skill on the field and his playboy exploits off the field, died today in London's Cromwell Hospital of multiple organ failure, a hospital spokesman said.

He was 59.

Mr. Best had been in the intensive care unit for a month, when his condition deteriorated drastically on Wednesday. Dr. Roger Williams, in charge of his care at the hospital, said that the former soccer star had internal bleeding, most likely from his bowel.

Mr. Best was hospitalized in 2000 for a liver condition and had a liver transplant in 2002. He had waged a lifelong battle with alcohol and lost.
Since famous people always seem to die in threes, there are of course two more on the hit list:
Self-proclaimed Hip Nip, Pat "Wax On, Wax Off" Morita (73, natural causes)
and the scariest performer I've ever seen, Chris Whitley (45, "lung cancer").


Whitley had his lifelong battles as well -- that's why I put lung cancer in quotes and named him the scariest performer ever. My wife and I sat about two feet away from him at Joe's Pub in NYC on a night when he couldn't play in the same key as the rest of his band, blamed it on his guitar tech and kept telling the audience, "I have a snub-nosed pistol and I know how to use it." My wife has been unable to listen to his often wonderful music ever since.

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