Yet another Bradbury alum, my friend, the sweet and gentlemanly Angus Scrimm passed away last evening.
He appeared in Mr B's Let's All Kill Constance in South Pasadena.
We attended the memorial service for Alan Neal Hubbs at the Fremont there, as well.
I remember the night I drove him to visit a dying Forry Ackerman, and he insisted on stopping for flowers and ice cream, on top of the homemade chicken soup he had so carefully placed in my trunk. He even brought 4E an autographed gift! Later, we attended his memorial.
Rest in peace, Rory!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Doug Spaulding,
The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies published this lovely story on facebook:
Ray Bradbury recalling his 1974 encounter with David Bowie, from Sam Weller's book LISTEN TO THE ECHOES: THE RAY BRADBURY INTERVIEWS:
"[...] About twenty-five years ago, David Bowie was coming to Los Angeles to perform, and my daughter Alexandra came to me and said, "Do you know David Bowie?" I said, "No." "You know his music?" I said, "Yes, it's pretty good." She said, "Well, he's gonna have a concert next Saturday night, and the tickets are sold out. Do you think you could try to get us in?" So I called BMI and asked about Bowie's agent. They gave me his name and phone number, and they said, "He's in San Francisco with David Bowie right now.
"[...] I identified myself and said, "I want to buy two tickets for the concert. I don't want free tickets." They said, "Are you kidding? David Bowie's your number-one fan. You're gonna come and you're gonna see him after." So we go to the arena to attend the concert, and I take Alexandra backstage afterward. David Bowie comes out and embraces me, and then he introduces me to Ringo Starr. Ringo falls over a chair getting to me. Neil Sedaka, Bette Midler, and John Belushi are all there too, and they swarm. My daughter was standing there like, you know, "This is just my father."
"The next night we had dinner with David Bowie. It was fun because he liked to talk about certain essays and science fiction books. He was off on some discussion about Francis Bacon."
Not only was David Bowie handsome, brilliant, and a fine musician who made wonderful artistic contributions, but he had excellent taste in choosing Ray Bradbury and Buster Keaton among his great favorites! He is gone too soon and will be sadly missed!
This is excellent!
There was a very interesting background story to this if you have time to do a follow up on the anecdotal info leading into David and Bing getting together.
A few days ago I was listening to the audiobook of The Illustrated Man. During the story The Rocket Man, I became interested in the connection to the Elton John song, so I did what I do with musical questions - I researched it.
I discovered that, while Mr B's story did have an influence on Taupin's lyric, it was more directly influenced by a song called "The Rocket Man", from the 1970 album The Use of Ashes by the group Pearls Before Swine, a song which was based directly on the Bradbury story.
It was thought by many at the time that the Elton John song was an allusion to David Bowie's character "Major Tom" as he called out "Oh, Rocket Man!" during live performances of Space Oddity, but this was not so.
That is fascinating. The story told in "Space Oddity" is so compelling I have even seen the question raised as to whether Major Tom was a real person. And of course, Ray was very affected the three times fatalities were suffered in the space program. None of the victims were named Tom or Thomas, I believe.
Glenn Frey . . .from all the way back to those great college days - as with David Bowie - when music and lyrics were discernible!
(Again, way too soon!)
David G. Hartwell, 1941 - 2016. Hartwell was one of the most distinguished editors of science fiction books who ever lived.
There is also a Bradbury connection (probably not the only one) I'd like to point out.
In 1998, Hartwell included the Bradbury story "Mr. Pale" in his anthology Year's Best SF 3.
This is the last time a Bradbury story appeared in an annual "Best" anthology. I can only imagine that Hartwell jumped at the chance to have Ray's name in his book. "Mr. Pale" had been published in DRIVING BLIND the previous year, so it was published in the year under review—but it was one of ray's old trunk stories, originally written decades earlier, it was nowhere near his best work, and it wasn't science fiction.
And certainly not "hard" science fiction, of which David Hartwell was a champion. Just shows you the allure of Ray Bradbury's name in a table of contents!
dSP, Thanks for the note on this fine gentleman!
What an impressive literary and publishing life Mr. Hartwell shared. His bio runs impressively for five decades through all that SF had to offer. This clip reflects his love of life. Unfortunate that a mishap shortened his very active and highly engaged approach to daily life.
Much appreciation for his Timescape/PocketBooks editorship of early 1980s STAR TREK novels. They are very special.
Those who haven't read Kathryn Cramer's blog post on David Hartwell's death are encouraged to do so. It says all it needs to say, and says it well.
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