Archive for August, 2015

Andrew Wood

Posted in Miller-Woodlawn Memorial Park with tags , on August 26, 2015 by Cade

awood1January 8, 1966 – March 19, 1990

It’s completely understandable if the casual music fan doesn’t know Andrew Wood’s name. It’s also a distinct possibility that the same fan might not know Mother Love Bone, the band Wood fronted. But, Wood’s influential work in the late-1980’s Seattle music scene and his tragic death touched off much of what the landscape of the 1990’s alternative music would come to look like.

In 1988, Andrew Wood formed the Seattle-based post-metal/pre-grunge alternative rock band Mother Love Bone with bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard, both formerly of the locally-influential band, Green River. MLB showed massive promise in the burgeoning Seattle circuit. They recorded their debut album in 1989, but Wood never saw it released. After years of battling substance abuse, he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 24.

But, Wood’s story doesn’t end there. Devastated by the loss, Gossard and Ament turned to darker, edgier music and lyrics. While Wood’s former roommate, Chris Cornell – whose own band Soundgarden was already experiencing some commercial success – approached the duo to see if they would be interested in a tribute album to their late friend. The album and band (both called Temple of the Dog) would go Platinum. And it would also bring Gossard and Ament together with guitarist Mike McCready and a vocalist from San Diego named Eddie Vedder. These four bandmates went on to form Pearl Jam, one of the most popular American bands of the last 30 years. In addition, Wood’s life and death directly inspired other alternative/grunge acts such as Alice in Chains and Candlebox.

More than just a simple music history footnote, Andrew Wood’s commanding stage presence and electric personality influenced and helped define one of the biggest genre changes in American popular music. One he would never get to see or hear.

Burial

Miller-Woodlawn Memorial Park – Bremerton, WA

Specific Location

In the outdoor mausoleum at the top of the hill (next to the chapel), Andrew is interred to the right of the ROSE section in the first column, six spaces up.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Posted in Phillips Academy Cemetery with tags , on August 17, 2015 by Cade

stowe2June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896

Harriet Beecher was a very well-educated writer from a very religious family who wrote dozens of books. But, none are as well-known or had as much of an impact as her landmark 1852 work, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Originally produced as a serial for the abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, the story’s popularity (and accompanying controversy) demanded it be released in novel form. Cabin‘s depiction of the daily, oppressed life of slaves in America both enrapt a sympathetic people in the North and enraged Southerners whose very way of life depended on the slaves Stowe portrayed. The book sold outrageous amounts of copies.

During the Civil War, Stowe was invited to speak with President Lincoln in Washington D.C. After the war, she turned her sites on women’s rights. And she continued writing. She lived the last years of her life next to Mark Twain in Hartford, CT. and died at the age of 85 after a long bout of “mental decay” that many now speculate was Alzheimer’s disease.

Burial

Phillips Academy Cemetery – Andover, MA

Specific Location

Enter the small cemetery from Chapel Ave. and walk up (south) the central “road.” Harriet’s large, reddish cross marker is on your left just past halfway up.

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Jimi Hendrix

Posted in Greenwood Memorial Park with tags , , on August 13, 2015 by Cade

hendrix2November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Any bio-let I could come up with for Jimi Hendrix would immediately fail to do him justice. Perhaps the most iconic guitar player in the history of rock-and-roll, Hendrix blazed (both figuratively AND literally) onto the scene in the late 1960’s and quickly became one of the most popular and sought-after artists around. His style was unique. His persona was wild. And his legend – following his untimely death at the age of 27 – remains unmatched and ever-expanding.

With that said…James Marshall Hendrix grew up in Seattle and idolized musicians like Elvis Presley and Little Richard. He learned guitar at 15 and found his first success in England where he formed his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. He made his first splash in the U.S. at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival where he blew the audience away by his performance (not to mention his flaming guitar.) He went on to headline Woodstock and dazzle audiences everywhere he went. He enjoyed just four years of fame and only released three studio records, but still managed to change the course of music for an entire generation. But, alas, sometimes, meteoric rises crash hard. And, sometimes, they choke to death on their own vomit while high on barbiturates in a flat in London.

But, still, that cat could flat-out play.

Burial

Greenwood Memorial Park – Renton, WA

Specific Location

In 2002, Jimi’s father was finally able to move him from his original, modest grave to a new plot and a large family memorial was built for him at the Monroe Ave. entrance to the park. Jimi’s parents and other family members are also (and will also be) buried there.

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Martin Van Buren

Posted in Kinderhook Cemetery with tags , on August 4, 2015 by Cade

vanburen1

December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born in mostly-Dutch-speaking Kinderhook, NY in 1782. He was the first U.S. President to be born AFTER the country had declared its independence from Britain. He was 5’6″. And, because of his upbringing, was the only President to speak English as a second language.

But, fun factoids do not a great president make. Despite a successful political career serving as Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator and as Vice-President to Andrew Jackson, Van Buren’s stint in office was largely ineffectual. He did no favors for slaves (though, he was increasingly anti-slavery) and Native Americans in his policies. He wanted nothing to do with admitting Texas into the Union. And, he had no answer for the Panic of 1837 that sent the country into a years-long recession. He was defeated in his reelection bid by Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison, but undertook a number of later attempts at getting back to the White House. He never succeeded. After remaining in the public and being a fairly loud voice in American politics throughout his later years, Van Buren died in his home after a bout of pneumonia. He was 72 years old.

Burial

Kinderhook Cemetery – Kinderhook NY

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Specific Location

On the east side of Albany Ave., there is a small gravel pull-out. From this parking spot, President Van Buren’s grave is clearly marked with signs. It’s the large obelisk in the center of this section.

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