Farewell to Music Icons of the Past

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It's been a bad year already for musicians. Warren Zevon (search) died... then today, Robert Palmer (search) dropped dead of a heart attack at 54.

Palmer fascinated me for reasons I'm not sure I can fully describe.

His video "Addicted to Love" was a huge hit in the early days of music videos, and — for me — it seemed to capture the decade that gave us the '90s and the often-overlooked '80s.

The song and the video were the rough equivalent of Michael Douglas (search)' character in Wall Street... remember? His name was Gekko and he said, "Greed is good."

It was new stuff, especially for all those '60s people who said to themselves, "Greed is good? I better get going or these kids are going to eat my lunch!"

And then there was Palmer... good song, great performance and a genius stroke with those backup girls.

They were painted up and slicked down, and danced just well enough to indicate they were actually hearing the music. The eyes... vacant, distant, perhaps addicted... maybe the look of Gekko's greed. That seemed to be what the song was about... "Gimme more!"

Anyway... George Plimpton (search) died, too. It's always too soon but he was 76, so he got a bit more time than Palmer, who was only 54. And, of course, Zevon was only 56.

Bad year for musicians... I'll miss old Palmer and his girls.

That's My Word.

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