Hiram Bullock was funky, jazzy and, according to those who should know, great.

On The Late Show with David Letterman this past week, Paul Shaffer paid the guitarist the highest compliment by linking his name to the "H" word. For Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix.

Shaffer and Bullock went way back. In 1982, when David Letterman launched his first night-owl show, Late Night, Shaffer hired Bullock to play with the "World's Most Dangerous Band." As an original member of the TV outfit, Bullock jammed with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sly Stone, even Andy Kaufman.

Bullock, long bedeviled by a drug problem, per the New York Times, left the band in 1984. But he remained a friend of the show and remained an in-demand guitarist, laying down tracks for Sting, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and many, many more. In 2001, he played with Spinal Tap at Carnegie Hall. Bullock also enjoyed a successful solo career.

Bullock, who'd been diagnosed with tongue cancer, the Times reported, died July 25 of an undetermined cause. He was 52. A memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday in New York City.

Other notable recent passings:

  • Paul Sorensen, 82, was bully Buddy Hinton's father on the Sally-sells-seashells-by-the-seashore episode of The Brady Bunch, aka "A Fistful of Reasons." The character actor amassed more than 150 other TV and film credits, including a recurring role on Dallas.
  • Charles H. Joffe, 78, was the Oscar-winning producer of Annie Hall. If you've seen a Woody Allen movie from Take the Money and Run on, then you've probably seen Joffe's and partner Jack Rollins' names on Allen's signature white-on-black title cards. The pair had a hand in nearly 40 years' worth of Allen movies, including the upcoming Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • Larry Haines, 89, was the one and only Stu Bergman, the good neighbor on Search for Tomorrow. Minus a couple of months at the launch of the daytime soap, Haines played the character from the show's 1951 beginning to its 1986 conclusion.
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