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Shane MacGowan, Tina Turner, Sinead O’Connor, Tony Bennett, Pee Wee Herman & More Appear in 2023 ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ Cover Tribute

Mr. Nimbus | 12/12/2023

Seeing the list of stars we’ve lost in the calendar year is always a shock. But there’s something comforting about British artist Chris Barker’s annual visual homage to stars who’ve left this mortal coil, which this year includes yet another unfathomable tally of beloved singers, actors, public figures and personalities. 

As always, Barker organizes the faces using the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover as the template, with this year’s model featuring Pogues singer Shane MacGowan front-and-center above the bass drum, flanked by Tina Turner and Sinead O’Connor. Just a few spots down, Tony Bennett smiles next to British guitar great Jeff Beck, with beloved comedian/actor Pee Wee Herman copping a squat in the foreground. 

In a statement to Billboard about his eighth go-round, Barker — who has frequently pledged to make each year his last — says that after cramming all his work into November in the past, this year he began compiling his list in September because he knew this year would be jam-packed with subjects. 

“This is the most overwhelming number of huge significant losses I remember in the eight years doing this since 2016. The front two or three rows are all really recognizable legends. It’s a bit much to be honest,” Barker says of the list that includes the above mentioned, as well as beloved British actor Barry “Dame Edna” Humphries, Raquel Welch, Friends star Matthew Perry, CSNY singer David Crosby, composer Burt Bacharach, De La Soul’s Trugoy the Dove and Calypso singer/civil rights activist Harry Belafonte. 

Barker said he was glad that Pogues and Smiths fans were sharing the image of MacGowan and Smiths bassist Andy Rourke. He pointed out some other small touches he was happy to include were late artist Jamie Reid’s Sex Pistols flag under Herman’s feet, replacing the flag more earnestly commemorating  Queen Elizabeth II in last year’s montage. “I also quite like the way I’ve used Steve Mackey from Pulp’s actual cardboard cutout from the Different Class album cover,” he says. 

“I know it’s a very sad topic, it’s a very strange hobby and I really don’t know how I’ve ended up as this weird custodian of international grief, but people do really seem to like it so I’m kind of stuck with it now!” Barker says. 

Among the other faces in the crowd are: actors Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Lance Reddick (The Wire), Angus Cloud (Euphoria), Suzanne Somers, Richard Belzer, Gina Lollarigida, Jerry Springer and game show host Bob Barker, singers/musicians Sixto Rodriguez, Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Jimmy Buffett, Yukihiro Takahashi (Yellow Magic Orchestra), Tom Verlaine (Television), Robbie Robertson (The Band), Steve Mackey (Pulp), Tim Bachman (BTO), John Gosling (The Kinks), Fred White (EW&F), Lisa Marie Presley, Randy Meisner (Eagles), Anita Pointer (Pointer Sisters), Astrud Gilberto, Dwight Twilley, Van Conner (Screaming Trees), Jane Birkin, The 45 King, Gary Wright, Paul Cattermole (S-Club 7), Gary Young (Pavement), Denny Laine (Wings) and Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell. 

In keeping with Barker’s comprehensive determination to keep the image as up-to-date as possible, the most recent iteration features two images of Hollywood icons we lost just last week, Love Story star Ryan O’Neal and legendary sitcom producer/writer Norman Lear (Good Times).

Check out the image and the key for the 2023 edition below.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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