Lockdown: Enough reaping, Grim Reaper

“Death Comes for us all. Even for Kings, he comes…” Robert Bolt.

So true.

Like taxes and the Golden State Warriors winning, death is one of the few absolute certainties in life.

It’s only April and we’ve lost visionaries, luminaries and bona-fide geniuses in the fields of science, literature and entertainment, the likes of which I ca’t seem to recall in my relatively young 44 years on this big blue marble floating in space.

1997 was arguably comparable with the passing of Princess Diana, Burgess Meredith, Mother Teresa, William S. Burroughs, James Stewart, Chris Farley, Robert Mitchum, Roy Lichtenstein, Red Buttons and Michael Hutchence, but as we approach May – only the fifth month of the year, I reckon enough is enough.

In the first 18 weeks of 2016, we’ve witnessed the passing of David Bowie, Prince (Rogers Nelson), Alan Rickman, Abe Vigoda, Lemmy (kind of 2016), Maurice White, Edgar Mitchell, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, Better Loosen Up, Garry Shandling, Ronnie Corbett, George Martin and Joe Medicine Crow.

I’m not sure I could handle too much more, so if someone could quarantine the following people in 5-Star Luxury at the hotel of their choice until Jan 1 2017, I’d be grateful (in no particular order):

Sir Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr
Paul Keating
All remaining NASA astronauts (Aldrin, Bean, Scott, Young, Duke, Cernan, Schmitt, Borman, Stafford, Lovell, Haise, Anders, Collins, Glenn, Gordon, Worden, Mattingly ).
Bob Mould
Bruce Springsteen
Stevie Wonder
Iron Maiden
Eddie Izzard
Charlie Watts
Susannah Hoffs
Tom Waits
Harrison Ford
The members of Luscious Jackson
The members of Midnight Oil
James Hetfield
Kirk Hammett
Rob Trujilo
Jason Newstead
Diana Rigg
Larry Mullen Jr.
Barry Dickins
Layne Beachley
Leon Baker
Michael Anthony
Alex Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
David Lee Roth
Greg Proops
Jay Mohr
Neil Finn
The members of Weezer
The remaining original members of The Beach Boys
Stacey Peralta
Tony Alva
Missy Eliott
Maria Bamford
Margaret Cho
Makybe Diva
The remaining members of The Beastie Boys
Kim Deal
The members of Soundgarden
Kim Gordon
Ken Burns
Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Larry David
Mel Brooks
Jenna Jameson (Do not google. NSFW)
Francis Ford Coppola
Billy Connolly
Morgan Freeman
Jane Birkin

It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Additions or arguments against the inclusions welcome.



About Steve Baker

"Colourful central Victorian racing identity". Recovering Essendon supporter, and sometime weekend night racing presenter on RSN Racing and Sport.


  1. How about The Seinfeld Four plus Neumann? And Alan Adler & the remnants of the 4077th MASH? Musically: Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder & Mark Knopfler. Our greatest ever golfer: Peter Thompson. And our grumpiest: Bruce Crampton. Frank Sedgman & Muscles Rosewall. Clint Eastwood. Myrle Streep.

  2. Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Ian Chappell, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Pele, Evonne Cawley, Joan Baez, Robert Zimmerman, Neil Young. Shandy the Wonder Dog.
    “We all owe god a death.” – Some pommy geezer that croaked 400 years ago.

  3. Don’t forget, Paul Kelly, Slavoj Zizek, Lucinda Williams, Kinky Freidman,Alain Badiou, Bill Lawry, Peter Robl, Humphrey McQueen, Polly Farmer, Freddy Cook, Jeff Thompson , to name but a few.

    I’ve already lost my mother and one friend this year,so if we can quarantine my family and friends the rest of the year i’l be happy.


  4. jan courtin says

    How about ME – as in oneself! We’re just as important as the famous.

  5. E.regnans says

    SCSB – it’s confronting.

    But then, I think we can only expect an increasing rate of celebrity deaths, as the number of celebrities of the world continues to increase.
    There just weren’t that many globally popular or influential people of the 1920s.
    Compare it to recent times.

    I was surprised that The Saturday Age ran a purple wrap-around cover on Saturday – to mark the death of a US performer (Not an Australian, nor Victorian, nor Melburnian performer).
    If that’s the precedent, we can look forward to wrap-around covers for all of the people you (and others) list here.

    Of course, we’re all touched by members of the global village.
    But there an awful lot of us, each with finite time.
    tick tick tick tick.

    Personally, I’d like to see death marked/ celebrated differently.

  6. The People's Elbow says

    Don’t be so sure on the Golden State Warriors… I’m backing the Spurs to come out of the West.

    Back to the topic at hand, I used to participate in a Dead Pool each year – gave it up after six people I picked to die in 2006, dropped off the twig the following year.

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Especially not Larry David, Bakes. Not while he’s running for president !!

  8. I find Alain Badiou is the best on understanding death. The three key points are.

    Identity: The dead can only be what they were in life. They are not capable of more.

    Necessity: It is the one certainty/change we know will occur.

    Repetition: Death is a leveller. We all must die.


  9. Neil Anderson says

    I thought Larry David would be on top of your ‘ keep safe’ list.
    I seem to remember in one episode he had a death trial-run after an operation where he floated above the operating table…and of course was able to listen in to his relatives and friends talking about the enigma that was Larry David. I think it was Shelley Berman playing his father.
    So I would add Bob Newhart,, John Cleese and Ricky Gervais as innovative comic geniuses that have kept us laughing.

  10. John Butler says

    People, I think you’re all ignoring how great for business a good death can be.

    Where are your priorities?

    Ps: I did not know Gary Shandling had died. You could have broken it to me gently SCSBTHD.

  11. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Thought ‘Chyna’ Joanie Laurer might get a mention as a celeb death and you omitted ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Wrestling fans would be very disappointed, Bakes !!

  12. Neil Young.
    Raj – The lady who takes up my new trousers just down stairs from my office.

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Barry Humphries

    The original members of the Ramones, err, whoops.

    Would it be wrong to expect the spin-off article, “Who Do We Want To Kill Off This Year?”

  14. Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Harrison Ford, Bob Skilton

  15. Swish – my list would be huge at present.

  16. Don’t worry about Keef. He’s got decades.

  17. Dame Edna, Sir Les Patterson & Chad Morgan. My medical team.

  18. Luke Reynolds says

    Good to see Neil Finn on your list Steve. I’d have Tim as well.
    Some others for the 5 star hotel-
    Mark Seymour
    The Man Stan Lee
    Lou Richards
    Shaun Micallef
    Malcolm “Rulebook” Ashwood
    Peter Daicos
    John Clarke
    Robert Plant
    Jimmy Page

  19. Luke Reynolds says

    And has Bob Neil been safely put away for the rest of the year?

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