hello friends. it appears that interest in this discussion is waning. therefore, unless anyone has anything else to add, i reckon it's time to nail down the lid. the website TMZ will not be writing about leonard, by the way, so mollydog, you need not be worried - put those valiums away. leonard was probably not well enough known for them. scandal and controversy is the lifeblood of any celebrity seeking to be a household name, and apart from the time when that ex-manager emptied his bank account, i cannot recall another occasion when his name was in the tabloids - even on a slow news day
actually, that makes me think of something. violet suggested that perhaps i am not hated by the webmaster, leonard's family and manager. perhaps they have empathy with me. they may even approve of the attention i try to bring to his name - who knows? like they say in the world of celebrities: "no publicity is bad publicity!" it is important to keep an artist's name in the news, whether said person is dead or alive, because their work will continue to have commercial value for as long as their name remains relevant. do i not speak the truth?
well, let us compare obituaries: please bear with me for a moment while i air one or two thoughts. when amy winehouse, also of the jewish faith, was found dead some while ago, the news was released immediately. although she was very famous, the press gave her passing considerably less attention than it deserved, because the newspapers were completely swamped at the time with news of anders behring breivik who had murdered 77 people the previous day. like leonard, amy was buried three days after her death, but unlike him it followed an autopsy. several factors causing her death were announced, the main one being alcohol poisoning. her final hours were fastidiously detailed, the precise time she was discovered, the position in which she lay, the number of ambulances that were called, the items removed from her room, how many milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood alcohol content she had, etc., etc., etc.; there was no attempt to delay the news or keep anything secret. as with leonard, the funeral was a private affair, but with fans assembled respectfully and peacefully outside the cemetery gates while the graveside service was conducted.
news of leonard's death last year was withheld for three days, until after his funeral. it was later reported: "with only immediate family and a few lifelong friends present, he was lowered into the ground in an unadorned pine box, next to his mother and father - exactly as he'd asked." does this mean he asked for only family and friends to be present, or simply that he wanted to be laid next to his parents in a simple coffin? in any case, no matter how one interprets that sentence, fans gathering outside the cemetery gates to pay their last respects would not really have interfered with a private graveside service. or perhaps the news was withheld because the day following leonard's passing was the date of the USA election, and such news would have received minimum media coverage - but i cannot believe that would have been the reason for the delay - surely that would have been the last thing on anyone's mind. all i am doing is comparing the similarities between two deaths.
bob dylan had a knack for regularly being the media's target, right from when the folk singer first walked on stage with an electric guitar strapped to his body amid boos - and subsequent shouts of "judas!". apart from continually re-inventing himself, there was the famous motorcycle accident, then his much publicised divorce from sara, then being driven away by police after he was found looking through windows at the back of an empty house, then causing uproar in the art world when it was discovered his 'asian series' of pictures were exact copies of someone else's work, and more recently, of course, it was the nobel prize; his slow reaction to acknowledge the award, and then sending someone else to collect it. add to this he was the first artist to release a double album ('blonde on blonde'), the first to make a rap song and music video ('subterranean homesick blues'), the first to break the 3-minute format ('like a rolling stone') and the first to suffer widespread bootlegging ('great white wonder') - well, how could anyone compete?
by the way, even though there was no medical autopsy performed on leonard, there is a procedure called a 'psychological autopsy' (often implemented after possible suicides), a method involving the collecting all available information on the deceased via structured interviews of family members, relatives or friends, including attending health care personnel. this can be conducted after the funeral, of course.
that's all from me, a big thank you to everyone who took part in this discussion. i hope i did not upset anyone, merely wanted to say what was on my mind, and maybe give a little food for thought. close with a little pencil portrait made while thinking about what to write