Jane Little, who debuted as a bassist in Atlanta on Feb. 4, 1945, at age 16 and who has been playing ever since, died during a performance of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Sunday. She was 87, and rumored to be the longest-tenured orchestral musician in the world.
According to a spokeswoman, the orchestra was only moments away from the end of a concert called “Broadway’s Golden Age”. The players were at the end of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun,” when Little collapsed and was carried backstage by her fellow bassists. She never regained consciousness.
In the days following the passing of music icon Prince, a number of stories about the artist have come out.
One of the more interesting stories comes from Journey’s keyboard player and co-writer Jonathan Cain, and guitarist Neal Schon.
When Prince had finished composing and recording his signature song, PURPLE RAIN, he felt it sounded a little too familiar.
Jonathan Cain recounted the story to Billboard:
He was notified in early 1984 that Prince wanted to speak with him. Curious, Cain went to Columbia Records’ offices in Los Angeles and took a call from Prince, who told Cain, “I want to play something for you, and I want you to check it out. The chord changes are close to ‘Faithfully'” — a top 20 single from Journey’s 1983 album Frontiers — “and I don’t want you to sue me.” After listening, Cain says, “I thought it was an amazing tune, and I told him, ‘Man, I’m just super-flattered that you even called. It shows you’re that classy of a guy. Good luck with the song. I know it’s gonna be a hit.’
Earlier this year, it was reported that Guns & Roses front man Axl Rose would finish the last 10 dates on the 2016 AC/DC North American Tour.
Earlier today, Brian Johnson, AC/DC’s frontman for the past 36 years, released a statement shedding further light on the situation.
It seems his hearing has been in a precarious state for some time, and he was finally advised by physicians that continued touring would deafen him entirely.
He added that he was “personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine. The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before. Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work. I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice. The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.”
This sad development underscores the need to properly monitor one’s hearing at loud music events, both onstage and in the audience. Damage is cumulative, and over time the continued exposure to levels of sound that exceed the safe decibel range will erode hearing. Other long-term rockers have suffered hearing loss as well. Among the most-famous examples is Who guitarist Pete Townsend, whose battles with tinnitus have forced him to limit his touring and severely manage his on-stage sound mixes.