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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Best of Billy

Wilbur “Bill” McCormick, a groomsman in our wedding and one of my husband’s lifelong best friends, died way too early on April 20 (my husband’s birthday), of a massive heart attack. He was talking in his kitchen with a basement contractor who had just arrived, mentioned he had walked his normal 4.5-mile walk that morning, and fell forward. Our doctor friends say this kind of “widowmaker” heart attack usually is caused by an occlusion of the left main artery.

My husband shared several fun interests with Wilbur — ping-pong, Indiana University basketball, and music and concerts. In the wee hours after Bill’s death, his children, their mother and Bill’s former wife Janet (to whom we introduced Bill), and Todd began to make a set list of music to be played at Bill’s visitation. I combined the lists, typed them up, and our nephew helped load the selections into our music streaming account.

Through the tears and the crowd at the visitation, and, yes, the laughter, I’m not sure the music could be heard. I think it should be; it is an excellent, varied, authentically Wilbur rock ‘n’ roll playlist. This summer, to help fill the void the physical world has lost with Bill’s passing, please enjoy what Todd and I are calling “The Best of Billy” (in no particular order):

Bob Dylan: Jokerman, I Shall Be Released, Tangled Up in Blue
Rolling Stones: Can’t Always Get What You Want, Wild Horses, Gimmie Shelter, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil
Bruce Springsteen: Candy’s Room, Sandy, Rosalita
The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset, Alcohol, Catch Me Now I’m Falling
Elton John: Rocket Man, Have Mercy on the Criminal, Honky Cat, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
The Romantics: What I like About You
David Bowie: Panic in Detroit, Time, Scary Monsters, Space Oddity.
Warren Zevon: Keep Me In Your Heart, Werewolves of London.
Queen: Under Pressure, Tommy
Neil Young: My, My, Hey, Hey; Down by the River, Ohio
John Hiatt: Tennessee Plates, Slow Turnin’, Perfectly Good Guitar
Al Stewart: Year of the Cat, Time Passages
The Beatles: Let it Be, Norwegian Wood, While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Led Zeppelin: Dancing Days
Steely Dan: My Old School
Arctic Monkeys: Do I Wanna Know
Paul McCartney: Jet, Admiral Halsey
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californication
George Harrison: Dark Horse, My Sweet Lord
Tom Petty: Free Fallin’, I Won’t Back Down, Refugee
Pink Floyd: Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Brain Damage
Robbie Robertson: Showdown at Big Sky, Somewhere Down the Crazy River
Jack White: Why Walk a Dog, 16 Saltines, Love Interruption
Dire Straits: Romeo Juliet, Water of Love, Communique
The Who: Eminence Front, Getting in Tune, Baba O’Riley
Jethro Tull: Locomotive Breath, Thick as a Brick, Crosseyed Mary
Cage the Elephant: Cigarette Daydreams, Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
Greenday: Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Time of Your Life
The Black Keys: Lonely Boy, Gold on the Ceiling
Cracker: Low
Gary Clark Jr: Don’t Owe You a Thing, Bright Lights
Modest Mouse: Float On
Houndmouth: Sedona
Gorillaz: Feel Good Inc., Clint Eastwood
Lindsey Stirling: Crystallize
Alabama Shakes: Future People
Walk the Moon: Shut Up and Dance
Hozier: Take Me to Church
Young the Giant: Cough Syrup
My Morning Jacket: One Big Holiday
John Prine: Flag Decal
Tom Jones: Delilah, It’s Not Unusual
Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song
Coldplay: Paradise
Temper Trap: Sweet Disposition
Portugal. The Man: So American
Weezer: Island In The Sun, The Sweater Song, Beverly Hills
Twenty One Pilots: Heathens
Sublime: Santeria and Wrong Way
America: Ventura Highway, American Pie
Passion Pit: Take a Walk.
Panic at the Disco: Nine in the Afternoon, Northern Downpour
Fitz and the Tantrums: 6 a.m., Money Grabber
Dirty Heads: Cabin by the Sea, Vacation
Spoon: The Underdog
Tom Jones: Delilah
Pearl Jam: The Fixer, Lightning Bolt
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Home, 40-Day Dream
Chiddy Bang: Opposite of Adults
MGMT: Kids
Johnny Cash: Folsom Prison Blues
Cake: Mustache Man
The Killers: Hot Fuss, Human, Smile Like You Mean It, When You Were Young, Mr. Bright Side,
Al Green: Let’s Stay Together
John Mellencamp: Small Town, Cherry Bomb
Santana: Smooth, Black Magic Woman
Fleetwood Mac: Landslide
ABBA: Dancing Queen
The Doors: Light My Fire, Roadhouse Blues
Lettuce: Madison Square, Mount Crushmore
Ezra Furman: Lousy Connection
The Grateful Dead: Touch of Grey
The White Stripes: We’re Going to be Friends
Grouplove: Tongue Tied
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Life by the Drop

(This is a double installment so I could include the full list. Wilbur was a connoisseur of rock ‘n’ roll and rock ‘n’ roll concerts; old music and new music. We think Wilbur would agree with the selections, and we know he would like for you to enjoy his music.)

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