It was hard to feel particularly sad about the passing of JD Salinger: most of us had become accustomed to the idea that we wouldn’t be hearing from him again. I am glad that January 2010 is over, though, because in the last four weeks, a lot of people who meant a great deal to me at one time or another passed away. Apart from Salinger, we lost Willie Mitchell, the man responsible for the sound of Al Green and Ann Peebles and OV Wright; Bobby Charles, the Cajun white soul singer, whose ‘I Must Be In A Good Place Now’ is one of my wife’s desert island discs; Kate McGarrigle, mother of Rufus Wainwright and one half of the McGarrigle Sisters, whose first album is one of my favourite-ever; Mick Green of the Pirates, whose guitar style influenced both Wilko Johnson and Pete Townshend; and Teddy Prendergrass. If the year continues in this way, then we will be left with Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift by its end.
‘It’s over before you know it
It all goes by so fast.
The bad nights take forever
And the good ones don’t ever seem to last.’
– ‘The Best Of Everything’, Tom Petty. And that, I’m afraid, is the only rhyming couplet you’ll ever need; all the rest are superfluous.