Never Sing Ill of the Dead

Hereafter, tunes extolling departed musicians should assume they might have a chance in hell

Wait a minute--what's a bacchanalian hell-raiser like Morrison doing in heaven, anyway? Were pride, lust and gluttony taken off the list of deadly sins sometime before 1971? And once the Lizard King leered and swaggered his way into paradise, you think he'd agree to share a stage with Bobby Darin? Come on, guys.

Sure, Monterey Pop and Live Aid had diverse lineups, but nobody forced the Who to actually play with Simon and Garfunkel (although the thought of "Dangling Conversation" ending in auto destruction and smoke bombs does make one's mouth water).

And another thing--according to the Righteous Brothers, God's house band has a glut of vocalists, one drummer (sadly, it's Dennis Wilson instead of Keith Moon), a few guitar heroes, and absolutely no bass players. Hey, down there--heaven needs bass players!

Apparently, the only pitfalls on the path to rock 'n' roll heaven are committing suicide or murder (no Spade Cooley, thank you). Self-destructive stars like Joplin, Morrison and Elvis drank and drugged themselves to death, but get off on a technicality because they didn't leave a note. However, don't bank on Kurt Cobain getting his wings in the inevitable "Rock and Roll Heaven 2000."

Clearly, "Rock and Roll Heaven" is designed for the living. So, please, the next time one of your favorite rockers is found stiff with a needle in his arm, forget about wringing out his persona for the last drop of entertainment value. He's already given enough, and you're better off believing he finally gets the help he needs at the great Betty Ford Clinic in the sky.

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