We lost three vastly different, but equally great, men in the last week.
Ian Copeland was the least famous of three brothers, but he still made quite an impact on the music business. One brother, Stewart, is the former drummer for The Police, and a noted composer. His other brother, Miles, was the brains behind pioneering new wave label, IRS Records, the first home of R.E.M, among many other bands of the 1980s. Ian took care of the less glamorous side of tour management. With Frontier Booking International, he booked tours for The Police, The B-52s, Oingo Boingo and dozens of other new wave bands. It’s been said that Ian Copeland was the man who brought New Wave to America. He was 57 when he succumbed to cancer last week. More details can be found here, and here.
Alex Toth was a noted comic book artist and animation designer. He’ll always be remembered for designing the 1960s cartoon Space Ghost, but he also worked on Jonny Quest, Superfriends, and countless other cartoons, primarily for Hanna Barbera. Before that, Toth made his mark in the world of comic books, where he is recognized as a genius, on par with the greatest names in the business — Kirby, Eisner, Wood and Kubert. His flawless sense of lighting and page composition makes him a true artist’s artist, whose work is, and will continue to be studied by aspiring comic book artists all over the world. Heidi MacDonald writes more about Toth here. Mark Evanier, who was privileged to work with Toth, explains just exactly what Toth did here.
Toth passed away at his drawing board last Saturday morning. He was 74. Fans can leave condolences here.
Desmond Dekker was a legend of Jamaican music. His song “The Israelites” was the first worldwide hit record by a Jamaican artist, and he was a key figure in the mutation of first-wave Ska music into what would eventually be known as Reggae. Dekker died last Wednesday of a heart attack at his home while preparing for a European tour. He was 64. You can read more about his music here, and check out more detailed obituaries here and here.