R.I.P. Ray Bradbury: Five Musicians Who Love the Sci-Fi Author
by Chris Gray
Sci-fi fans across the world were saddened when prolific author Ray Bradbury died Tuesday, Wired magazine reported. The typewriter-loving Bradbury was 91 and lived in Los Angeles.
Bradbury was best-known for writing that set the standard for post-WWII science fiction such as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes. His novels and stories often addressed popular Cold War-era themes such as paranoia, censorship and space travel, but Bradbury also wrote fantasy, horror and the screenplay for the 1956 Gregory Peck/Orson Welles film, Moby-Dick.
As one of the few 20th century sci-fi authors to become a household name (alongside Isaac Asimov and a few others), Bradbury inevitably developed some fans among musicians, some of whom grew quite fond of him indeed.
5. The Half Brothers: The above Seattle acoustic group takes Fahrenheit 451 to heart, advising "don't burn a book, burn your iPad instead."
4. Frank Black: The notoriously oddball Pixies front man titled his third solo album, 1996's The Cult of Ray, after Bradbury. Songs included "Kicked in the Taco," "Men in Black" and "The Creature Crawling." Black elaborates his love of the author a little more in the title track: "I saw Raymond speak one time, he said hello/ And as he opened up my mind, so fried and battered/ I heard his words so very fine so high above this constant dripping chatter."
3. Rachel Bloom: The young L.A. comedienne caused a minor Internet stir a couple of years ago with "Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury," which she wrote as a tribute to the author's 90th birthday, and was more graphic than anything Katy Perry could have come up with by a power of ten: "I'll feed you grapes and dandelion wine/ And we'll read a little Fahrenheit 69."
2. Steel Prophet: The Connecticut-formed metal band and major Judas Priest fans based several songs from 1999 debut Dark Hallucinations around Fahrenheit 451, including "Montag (Chapter One)," "Strange Encounter (Chapter Two)" and "Betrayal (Chapter Five)."
1. Rush: Rock has no greater sci-fi fans than the Canadian trio, and Neil Peart in particular loves Bradbury .The drummer wrote the song "Body Electric," from the 1984 album Grace Under Pressure, as a tribute:
"Memory banks unloading Bytes break into bits/Unit One's in trouble and it's scared out of its wits."