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R.I.P. of the day

R.I.P. of the day
August 07, 2008 02:44PM
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Robert Hazard, a songwriter and musician from Philadelphia who wrote the 1983 Cyndi Lauper hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," has died. He was 59.

Robert Hazard's music career spanned more than 30 years.

Hazard died Tuesday after a brief illness, his record label, Rykodisc, said in a statement. His wife, Susan, told The Philadelphia Inquirer her husband died unexpectedly after surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Hazard, born Robert Rimato, led the band Robert Hazard and the Heroes, a fixture in Philadelphia clubs through the mid-1980s. In his autobiography, he wrote that he got his big break in 1982 when music journalist Kurt Loder, who was in town to review a Rolling Stones concert, happened to stop into a bar where he was performing.

His song "Escalator of Life" became a hit soon after.

Recently, he has played country music with a band called The Hombres. His latest album, "Troubadour," was released in October.

In recent years, Hazard and his wife ran an antique shop near their home in Old Forge, New York.
Re: R.I.P. of the day
August 07, 2008 02:47PM
Wow. A new version of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was just released by Miley Cyrus. So he probably was set to get a new influx of royalty payments.

Re: R.I.P. of the day
August 07, 2008 02:52PM
He lived in Old Forge, NY??? That's in the boonies...up in the Adirondacks. Serious snowmobiling and beer-drinking country. We went kayaking up there last weekend, right in Old Forge. I wonder what chain of events led him there.
Re: R.I.P. of the day
August 07, 2008 03:59PM
I only heard Hazard's original version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" one time, but was struck by how different in tone it was from Lauper's - his original felt very world-weary and bitter in contrast to Lauper's celebratory take.

It sounded a lot more like the Brains' original version of "Money Changes Everything" also covered by Lauper, but not altered in tone so drastically.
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