James Brown, the singer, songwriter, bandleader and dancer, who indelibly transformed 20th-century music, died early today at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, where he been admitted on Saturday with pneumonia, his agent, Frank Copsidas, said. Mr. Brown was 73 years old and lived in Beech Island, S.C., near the Georgia border.
And almost equally sucky - Paul Westerberg severely injured his left hand and could be sidelined for a year, according to a blog posting from Jim Walsh, a Minneapolis writer and friend of the former Replacements lead singer.
"A week or so again he put a screwdriver through his left hand trying to get some wax out of a candle and cut some nerves and ripped some cartilage and hurt himself pretty bad," Walsh reported. "He's in a cast. He's seen a couple of doctors who say he won't be able to play guitar for a year."
A spokesperson for Vagrant, for which Westerberg records, did not respond to a request for comment.
The injury comes on the heels of a very productive 2006 for Westerberg. Aside from scoring and providing the soundtrack to the animated film "Open Season," he also reunited with his Replacements colleagues Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars for the first time in 15 years to record two new songs for the Rhino retrospective "Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? The Best of the Replacements."
I Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!
Westerberg Photo by: Christian Lantry