Why didn’t you pick me, you bastards!
2014: This lot passed the ice kick-the-bucket challenge
So another year comes to an end, and as we reach the halfway mark of the decade with no name, a familiar name is at the top of the pile…
But first, the final hits (as if we needed any more). The first is a very late, in the nick of time obit of sorts but enough to qualify. Barry Rubin was a journalist who specialised in Israeli affairs. He died way back in February aged 64, but with just days to go This mention in the Independent from July was enough to make Rubin retrospectively the 38th hit of the year and a second such late obit find for The Beatles Are Dying In the Wrong Order, turning what was till then a relatively poor season into their best yet, with a place in the top 10 for the first time. The fickle finger of fate, eh?
And there’s still room for more hits by the year’s end. Luise Rainer became the first person to win consecutive Best Actress Oscars, in 1936 for ‘The Great Ziegfeld’ and the following year for ‘The Good Earth’. After that she almost totally disappeared from Hollywood. She was 104 and the spark of a fair scramble for substitutes for next year, I can tell you!
2014 ended as it began with hits even on the final day with hours left. The Duke of Wellington pegged it just months not just shy of his hundredth birthday but also the 200th anniversary of his great-great-etc grandfather’s win over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo He was 99 and again, something of a ballache for yours truly in terms of replacing for substitutes. At least it wasn’t Sam Simon. The final and 247th hit of what’s been a record-breaking year was music journalist/expert Michael Kennedy who was 88, leaving the last word on 2014 for theme team Boddies… Manchester’s Finest.
Quantick Wins Again
So David Quantick’s Showbiz Pals retains the title, although it was by no means a stroll, with the champion swapping the lead several times with veteran double winner Drunkasaskunk before making his trademark late burst. Curiously, the bulk of DQSP’s points were won in effectively three seperate months, January, July & October but it doesn’t matter how you win, it’s all about staying on top at the year’s end that matters. US team Misers are rewarded for their consistency with a podium finish for the first time. Despite the huge volume of hits, only the champion scored more than half their selection and some contenders had a disappointing time. DDP legend Octopus of Odstock signed off the last time with a respectable 6th place finish. The Theme teams had better luck, with the top two even entering the overall top 20. Football team Kicking Buckets Instead of Balls holding off defending champion The British (D)i(e)sles by just 2 points.
Hits of the Year
When even The Man In Black’s own brother casually mentions that it’s been quite a year for celebrity deaths, then we’ve had quite a year. Indeed it’s pointless even trying to name even a few, knowing that I would miss out on loads of others. Arguably the hit of the year was the shocking demise of the comedian and actor Robin Williams. So what did we miss? Well of those we picked before, there was of course Rik Mayall, Alvin Stardust, Sam Kelly, James Ellis, Johnny Winter, ‘Beagle 2’ inventor Colin Pillinger, Peaches Geldof & Clarissa Dixon Wright of ‘Two Fat Ladies’ fame to name but a few. And those we missed entirely included ‘Trigger’ AKA actor Roger Lloyd-Pack, House music pioneer Frankie Knuckles, film director Mike Nichols and actor Harold Ramis, actresses Kate O’Mara and Patsy ‘Nursey’ Byrne as well as singer Lynsey De Paul and musicians Scott Ashton (Stooges) and Ian MacLagan (Faces/Small Faces). What a year…
Of course this was supposed to be the year that we have a new host but no-one was forthcoming and so, with a little help, The Man In Black continues. However, I am seriously considering some changes to the rules, the format and the layout in time for the DDP 20th anniversary in 2016, so stay tuned. As for now, may the hits continue (just not quite so many now as I have a lot to do!)
Written on 2nd January 2015 by The Man in Black