Friday, July 06, 2007

"As a surrealist, I quite enjoy having dementia"

We should all have lived half as well:

British jazz singer George Melly dies at age 80

LONDON: George Melly, a flamboyant, gravel-voiced jazz singer, critic and raconteur, died Thursday, his wife said. He was 80 years old.
He died at his London home, Diana Melly said.
Though suffering from lung cancer and dementia, Melly continued performing nearly until the end. "As a surrealist, I quite enjoy having dementia," he joked.
He gave his last concert on June 10, attired in African robes and rolled on stage in a wheelchair.
Melly was noted for loud suits, louder ties and the image he cultivated of a hard-drinking throwback to the jazz age.
"He was loved for his risque storytelling and Bessie Smith blues songs. He adored Bessie and tried his utmost to sing like her," said jazz diva Dame Cleo Laine.
Tonight, I am playing "Old Codger", a song The Stranglers wrote for him, and he performed with them, from 1978. Loud.