Brandon Lee remembered 25 years later

April 1, 2018

 Jane Siberry's "It Can't Rain All the Time"

 

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, in one of cinema’s great tragedies.

 

“25 years ago, we lost a talented, beautiful soul,” tweeted Bruce Lee’s verified Twitter account, from which his daughter Shannon tweets on behalf of his legacy. The tweet was accompanied by brief video clips of Brandon, and Shannon’s commentary.

 

“My brother was a big, beautiful, bubbly, amazing human being with a giant laugh, a mischievous but joyful personality--and he was a true romantic at heart,” said Shannon. “He was poetic and beautiful, and one of the things he used to say all the time was that people should follow their heart. So we hope that you’ll join us in celebrating Brandon in a lot of different ways--and that you’ll follow your heart.”

 

Brandon Lee was 28 when he died in a freak accident on the set of The Crow, in what would surely have been his breakout movie performance, when a prop gun, which hadn’t been checked, was fired at Lee, discharging a dummy round that had been stuck in its barrel.

 

As most of Brandon’s scenes had been completed, The Crow, which still required measurable revision to make it work, was released in 1994, to much acclaim and eventual major cult status. The film was based on a 1989 superhero comic book by graphic artist James O’Barr that told the story of Eric Draven, a murdered rock star who comes back from the dead to avenge both his death and that of his fiancee, both at the hands of a savage gang.

 

The soundtrack, which was scored by Graeme Revell and won a BMI film music award, contained the poignant end-credit theme “It Can’t Rain All the Time,” which was sung by Jane Siberry, who co-wrote it with Revell. The title came from one of Draven’s most memorable lines, though Siberry changed it in the song to “It won’t rain all the time,” as the word “can’t,” she has said, “felt wrong.”

 

The song and her performance brought Siberry a new following among martial arts aficionados who were fans of Brandon and Bruce Lee and The Crow. The song was written after Brandon’s death, and as the film has a very spiritual character—as does much of Siberry’s work—she hoped to “connect” with him in some spiritual manner beforehand, hoping that he could perhaps use the song as “a vehicle for unsaid things.”

 

She did in fact experience the sensation of her arm tingling, which she interpreted as the hoped-for connection. Thanks to his immortal performance in The Crow, and his sister Shannon Lee and mother Linda Lee Caldwell’s efforts through the Bruce Lee Family Company, others have maintained their own connection to the legacy of Brandon Lee alongside that of his father.

 

 

 

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