Another year gone by, and you know what that means…its time to rank the people who didn’t live to see 2018. There were the expected deaths. The TV stars who were so old you forgot about them. Or the gone-before-their-time music artists that “surprised” us despite a brazen rock and roll lifestyle. And then there were the weird coincidences like all those Phillies’ all-stars and so many rock stars that I saw at the Tweeter Center on August 18, 2006. Also, is it just me, or were there an above average amount of a 90’s dads and society influencers who died? Now you see all sorts of list this time of year, but I tend to disagree with who they consider the most notable deaths of the year. The only solution I have is to publish my own ranking based on how many fucks I give about the death.
25. Roger Ailes
5.15.1940 to 5.18.2017
You know, he barely even deserves to make my list. I can’t give a flying fuck about the death of a scumbag like Ailes. He ruined American politics through his awful news network. He’s the epitome of everything wrong with the white male patriarchy that has reigned over this great country for far to long. I only wish he had lived long enough to see how the #metoo movement further empowered and united women across the country.
24. Adam West
9.19.1928 to 6.9.2017
From what I can tell, Adam West’s Batman is probably the best Batman Movie ever made. You literally cannot compare any of the subsequent Batman movies to this mid-60s gem. However, I can’t say I’m surprised that an actor who was most relevant a half century ago bit the dust this year. He was 88 years old after-all. Come to think of it, I’ve actually never seen any Batman movie, therefore I don’t have any fucks to give about he’s death. Anyway, where can one watch the original? Netflix? HBO? Hulu?
23. David Cassidy
4.12.1950 to 11.21.2017
There’s a middle-aged lady out there who is still coming to terms with David Cassidy’s death, but not I, he was way before my time. I caught a few episodes on Nick-at-Night growing up, but the Partridge Family was no Brady Bunch. But his heartthrob status is quite apparent, so I sort of give a fuck about his life. Too bad he didn’t do much with his life after the 70s. He was broke by the 80s, and was frequently arrested for DUIs in the last decade of his life. Unsurprisingly, he lost his mind and then his liver. As the story goes for celebrities who peak early in their life.
22. Judge Joseph Wapner
11.15.1919 to 2.26.2017
Growing up without cable left me with few options for what to watch on days off. I often found myself watching courtroom TV on UPN 57. I prefer Judge Judy and Joe’s replacement, Judge Marilyn Milian. Regardless, his ability to make some great mindless TV is undeniable. At 97, he’t the oldest guy on my list. To be honest, I’m more fucking surprised that he was still alive than the fact that he died.
(SIDENOTE: My family has been contacted by The People’s Court on two separate occasions for lawsuits that would have made great TV. Good News/Bad News, both cases were settled prior to the court date, so my 15 minutes of fame will have to wait.)
21. Powers Booth
6.1.1948 to 5.14.2017
With the ability to grow a hearty mustache and a name like Powers Booth, he was destined to become a villainous character actor. He’s that token rich asshole, you know that one from that show? Oh that brothal owner Deadwood? No, no, he’s Rayna Jaymes’s Dad on Nashville. He really played a great douche-bag. Who the fuck is going to play Roger Ailes when they make a drama based on the true story of Fox News? Powers would have been perfect for the role had he not died four days prior to that real life asshole.
20. Ralphie May
2.17.1972 to 10.6.2017
We all knew Ralphie’s days were numbered. He was like 800 pounds. Obviously his heart was a ticking time bomb. He was an okay comedian, but I couldn’t stand his voice and accent. He’ll be easily forgotten over the next decade. Still, its sad when young people die, so I give a slight fuck that he kicked the bucket. Barely ranking in the Top 20 deaths of the year.
19. Dorothy Mengering
7.18.1921 to 4.11.2017
Better known as David Letterman’s Mom. It was always a special treat to see her come on the Late Show. Such a cute little old lady. And was quite funny herself. Plus, I’m always fascinated when “old people” still have parents who are alive. She lived to be 95! She’s barely a noteworthy person, but I give more fucks about her death than I should.
18. Chester Bennington
3.20.1976 to 7.20.2017
Guys, suicide is no joke. Even when life is bottoming out, know that you are loved; 1-800-273-8255. Life almost always gives us more ups than downs. Chester Benington’s depression got the better of him on Chris Cornell’s birthday. He took his own life in the same way his good friend did just months earlier. Leaving his Linkin Park Superfans in despair. Fans who would scoff at him being so low on my list. Don’t get me wrong, Linkin Park had its moment for me, so I do give a fuck that he died. Admittedly, I had a CD of theirs and pretty sure I saw them in concert back in my Y100 days. But my music tastes have evolved since high school.
17. Glen Campbell
4.22.1936 to 8.8.2017
I generally don’t like country, but Rhinestone Cowboy has always been one of my favorite tunes. My dad got a cassette of cowboy songs from an Aussie farmer in Tasmania, and it was regularly played on family car rides. Its probably the reason I like folk music so much to this day. I even made a playlist called “Rhinestone” that’s comprised of all my favorite “country-esque” songs. Even the people I’m closest to probably have no idea how much of a guilty pleasure that Glen Campbell is for me. They probably would guess that I give more fucks for the lead singer of Linkin Park than this cowboy. But he wins out thanks to a hefty amount of nostalgia.
16. Bill Paxton
5.17.1955 to 2.25.2017
Bill Paxton just your average movie protagonist. Of all his starring roles, my favorite was him in Twister as the indestructible Bill “The Extreme” Harding. “Let’s drive into the tornado…We’re gonna die! Here, take shelter in that ramshackle barn and hold onto my belt…It worked! We’re alive!” Sadly he’s wasn’t so invincible in reality. Its a fucking shame that death came a-knocking for him so early in his life.
15. Miguel Ferrer
2.7.1955 to 1.19.2017
Miguel Ferrer is another one of those actors that makes you ask, “wait, where do I know that guy from?” For me, the answer to that question is “oh he’s the bossman on Crossing Jordan.” I was a huge fan of the show, but it was mostly because of the main character, Jordan Cavanaugh. He was a natural for the crime drama world. The CBS loving grandmas will miss this tough exterior smart guy. The man who once played a chief medical examiner, made his final visit to the morgue just prior to the inauguration. Lucky for him that he’ll never know the post-Trump years. That’s it for the notables that I give a slight fuck about, now onto the ones that I’ll really miss.
14. John Heard
3.7.1946 to 7.21.2017
You know John Heard, the shitty dad who left his 8-year-old son home alone at Christmas. Who thought it was a good idea to go to France for Christmas anyway? Its really not that hard to mind four kids between four adults when traveling. You fucked up real bad, Peter. Also, he didn’t really have the same sense of urgency as Kevin’s Mom, do he? You can tell he used to be a bro. Nonetheless, I watched Home Alone all year round as a kid. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized that most people consider it a Christmas Movie. Rest in Peace Mr. McCallister.
13. Earle Hyman
10.11.1926 to 11.17.2017
It feels inappropriate to talk about Hyman given his fame on The Cosby Show. The beloved sitcom now leaves me conflicted because of the scandals. Like did Russell Huxtable know about Bill’s escapades? Ignorance is bliss, let’s not go down that road. I cannot deny that the Huxtable Family were a huge part of my childhood. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode at least three times thanks to living on the daily reruns. So I have a few fucks to give about the passing of Dr. Huxtable’s dad.
12. Nelson Ellis
11.30.1977 to 7.8.2017
Nelson Ellis and Alexander Skarsgård were pretty much the only reason I watched HBO’s True Blood. Lafayette Reynolds somehow seemed to be the one that stayed grounded the longest while while the rest of the characters succumbed to the supernatural creatures invading the tiny bayou town of Bon Temps, LA. Normally I hate the vampire genre, but his character kept me engaged. In the real world he would be considered and eccentric outsider in the deep south. But in this parallel universe, he saw right through the bullshit of the vampires and managed to stay grounded with the help of a regular cocktail of all sorts of drugs. Nelson Ellis had a lot more life to live, and it fucking blows that he died so young.
11. Charles Manson
11.12.1934 to 11.19.2017
I actually give a lot of fucks about the life of Charles Manson, but I morally could not put him in the Top 10 deaths of the year. He will go down as the most notorious criminal cult leader who ever lived. You think of a guy like Helter Skelter when asked “would you rather be a forgotten hero or a notorious villian?” That was an easy answer for Charlie. He brainwash young women to be his puppets for murders, and in the process, captivated pop culture for decades. Even Diane Sawyer interviewed him. I heard that psycho followers will pay a lot of money for sculptures he made from his hair (as he was not allowed anything in his cell). This man should have been forgotten years ago, but he fascinated us for decades. But now that the most dangerous man alive has died, who took his place?
10. Tom Petty
10.20.1950 to 10.2.2017
I probably should give more fucks about Tom Petty than I do. But he obviously deserves to be in the Top 10. The reason he’s not higher in the list is that I hate the song “I Won’t Back Down”. Which I’m not allowed to hate that song because it became an anthem for 9/11. However, in my high school computer class, we were working on making videos for a group project, and this one group was using that song for a 9/11 tribute video, so they played it over and over and over again. But other than that, he’s a legendary Rock Star. I’m very fortunate to have seen him live in the summer of 2006. He still had “it” till the day he died.
9. Greg Allman
12.8.1947 to 5.27.2017
I had the best summer job in 2006. I worked at the Tweeter Center and got to go to any show I wanted as long as I worked a couple hours in the parking lot ahead of time. (Yes shooting t-shirt cannons are as fun as they look). Looking back, I actually saw the Allman Brothers open for Tom Petty. They blew me away with their endless jams. I enjoyed their act way more than Tom Petty so its only natural that I give more fucks that their lead singer died this year.
8. Butch Trucks
5.11.1947 to 1.24.2017
Are you kidding me? Another member of the Allman Brother’s died this year. I give one more fuck about Butch Trucks than Greg Allman. Simply because he fathered Derek Trucks, founding member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, another favorite of mine. Plus I have a thing for drummers. Isn’t it weird that I saw Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, and Butch Trucks play in Camden over a decade ago, and go figure, all three die within the same year. What are the odds?
7. Chris Cornell
7.20.1964 to 5.18.2017
So you know that job I had at the Tweeter Center in Camden? Well the area where we gathered to get instructions, played “Like a Stone” by Audioslave on repeat. So by the end of the summer, I started to loathe one of my favorite songs. I have a real soft spot for the Seattle Sound of the 90s. Grunge was my gateway into rock music. Not only that, you know I love a good fun fact. Did you know that the origin of the name Soundgarden came from an actual park in Seattle? Unfortunately, musical genius is often paired with tragedy. Sadness is the best ingredient in the recipe for an amazing song. Depression was his muse and his end. I give a pretty big fuck about him taking his own life. But I won’t let his loss get me down, unlike it did for his buddy Chester.
6. Hugh Hefner
4.9.1926 to 9.27.2017
My inner-feminist wants to rank Hugh Hefner lower, but I find his life absolutely fascinating. Another one of my guilty pleasures is following the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I secretly loved the TV show The Girls Next Door. I wouldn’t mind living in a sweet-ass mansion…or was it a sweet ass-mansion? Sure Hugh took advantaged of girls with Daddy issues. But all things considered, many of the ladies felt liberated by posing nude. The magazine did it in a way that was less explicit than his compeTITors like Larry Flint’s Hustler. We all knew his end was near, but the legend of this societal game changer will never die. So I give about half as many fucks about this this playboy’s death as he gave to all those playgirls over his lifetime. But that’s still a whole latta fucks.
5. Bruce Brown
12.1.1937 to 12.10.2017
Who is Bruce Brown? Why he is the writer, producer, director, cinematographer, and narrator of my favorite surf movie, The Endless Summer. If you haven’t seen it you should. While everyone was Beach Partying with Frankie and Annette, Bruce was changing surf culture by filming an epic chase for the perfect wave while following summer across the globe. I loved all things surfing in my teens. I was a regular subscriber to Surfer Girl and Surfing magazines. Even painted the famous poster after school one day. It now is framed and hangs in my living room. He fucking deserves to be in my Top 5 deaths of 2017.
4. Mary Tyler Moore
12.29.1936 to 1.25.2017
She can turn the world on with her smile. Any funny lady deserves a lot of thanks to the female comedians who shattered the sitcom glass ceiling. Admittedly, I sometimes mix up Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett, but thankfully Carol will still be hanging out with us until further notice. And the silver lining, Betty White, is still here to make us laugh. Her show was revolutionary. And I give one huge gracious fuck about her legacy. We’re still fighting for more females in the film and television industry, but The Mary Tyler Moore Show laid the groundwork. Don’t we all want to be a city-slicking, muscle-car-driving, single-lady, business-woman like Mary Richards? I certainly do. As a Mary myself, I have a natural affinity toward other Mary’s, there’s just something about us? You know?
3. Dallas Green
8.4.1934 to 3.22.2017
How is it possible that I lost not one, not two, but three of my favorite Phillies. My only option is list them in order of their impact on my life. First, Dallas Green, the least surprising death due to his age. Any other year I would have the most fucks about his death. His legacy will live on in my family. While he was managing the first Phillies World Series team, my pop-pop was working in the front office. Officially, Pop-pop was the “Mail Room Supervisor” but he titled himself “Directer of Office Service”, a title that unofficially stuck. So one day I found this awesome vintage jacket in the basement of our house. Family lore says that it was Dallas Green’s Jacket. The only proof I have is that its has his number, 46, sewn into the tag. The one thing wrong with the jacket was the pocket that was sewn shut on the wrong side of the opening. I imagine that Dallas tossing it to my Pop-pop saying, “Hey Tommy, get me a new jacket, this one is busted.” Years later, I got my mom to fix the pocket and it became my all-time favorite fall outerwear.
2. Roy “Doc” Halladay
5.4.1977 to 11.7.2017
Doc…the pitcher who threw a game with the precision of a surgeon. Why did you have to develop a passion for flying planes? I was hoping you would come back to the Phils as a coach. My dad said to my that the ’80 team was for him, the ’08 team was for me. I can proudly say I was at the game when he made history by throwing only the second post-season no-hitter throughout in all of baseball. After a near miss in 1993, Philadelphia badly needed a World Series win. Celebrating the win out on Broad Street with thousands of other passionate fans will go down as one of the greatest moments in my life. Thank you Doc Halladay. Philadelphia embraced you as their own, and we’re real fucking sad your gone.
1. Darren “Double D” Daulton
1.3.1962 to 8.6.2017
Doc would rightfully be number one for most people, but that honor has to go to my first Phillies love, Dauren Daulton. I give the most fucks about Double D since he was the first player to really get me into the game. Prior to the age of 7, baseball was mostly cool because my pop-pop got a World Series Ring. The 1993 run for the pennant got me excited for the game in a way I hadn’t experienced before in my life. I fell head over heals with the sport despite experiencing my first World Series loss. He’s the reason I loved being the catcher in little league in spite of all the uncomfortable equipment. Sure John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and Mitch Williams all have a special place in my baseball card collection, but DD will always be number one in my book.