We don’t deal in the world of celebrity over Numero HQ very often. Our business is the obscure. And yet, there was a dark cloud over 2348 S. Marshall Boulevard yesterday afternoon. Robin Williams was dead.
We’re in the death business, no doubt. Every week or so we get news of another artist we work with falling out, or we discover the guy we’ve been searching for has actually been dead for six months. When we started working on Cavern, we had no idea we’d need to talk to John Mosley—keyboardist for the second incarnation of the Royal Guardsmen—and when we did know, it was too late. Mosley had been dead a matter of days.
The news of D-list celebrity deaths comes like the tide these days. No one will mourn the death of Dustin Diamond. And if you were big in the ‘50s and not named Betty White, chances are you’e a CNN sub-headline for a few hours before being replaced by some Kardashian mishap. For us to really turn our heads, we need someone major to die, preferably in their prime, but we’ll take just past in a pinch. And let’s be honest, Robin Williams was a decade past. When you’re making CBS sitcoms with Sarah Michelle Gellar, your best days are behind you. But it’s impossible to deny how major he was.
We do obits now and then, but no one visiting this space is here to read our musings about Mork, Garp, or Smoochy. And unless Robin was in a Chicago garage band in the late ‘60s, this will likely be the last time we ever discuss him in this space. While TMZ is going through his trash looking for what type of rope he used to hang himself, we’ll focus on something we have some expertise on. In tribute to the man who gave us Jumanji, here are five great musical moments in the filmography of Robin Williams:
#1 Shelley Duvall “He Needs Me.” From the 1980 film Popeye.
#2 Professor Longhair “Hey Little Girl.” From the 1989 film Dead Poets Society.
#3 Ry Cooder “Tattler.” From the 1990 film Cadillac Man.
#4 Fletcher Henderson “Shanghai Shuffle.” From the 1990 film Awakenings.
#5 Elliot Smith “Miss Misery.” From the 1997 film Good Will Hunting.
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