24 August 2010

Michael Been of The Call dead at 60

Many of my peers who came of age with the music of the '80s have never heard of The Call, although they'd likely recognize a song or two.  But those of us into the Simple Minds, The Alarm, U2, and Big Country know the every note of the Reconciled, Into the Woods, and Let the Day Begin albums.  And now we mourn the passing of singer/bassist Michael Been, who died of an apparent heart attack while working with his son's band at a music festival in Belgium.  He was 60, which seems old for a rocker from my youth, but young given my age of 40.

One of my first concerts was The Call opening for The Simple Minds at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine, around 1987.  The band's hits were "Everywhere I Go" and "I Still Believe."  I wore out my Reconciled tape, and didn't yet own a CD player, so I listened to bootlegs and tapes recorded off the radio.

The San Jose Mercury News opens its obituary thusly:
"He played John the Baptist in a Martin Scorsese film. He once beat John Belushi in a comedy competition. He counted as friends Bono and Peter Gabriel. Al Gore borrowed one of his songs as the theme for his 2000 presidential campaign."
So dust off your box of tapes, listen to music from your youth, appreciate the synthesizers, and thank gosh your friends didn't have camera phones in high school.

Watch videos after the break...


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