His website is now a sort of shrine. He apparently died on 9/4, of causes that have not been revealed. He was a heavy drinker.
I have a sort of fondness for Hank. Hank is a Howard Stern creation. I'm not a Howard Stern fan, and never saw any of Hank's appearances on the show. I learned of his existance in 1998 when People Magazine thought it would be neat to run an on-line poll for 'Most Beautiful Person' to complement their annual 'Most Beautiful People' issue. They made the mistake of allowing write-ins. They were expecting people to vote for Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and so forth. Instead they got votes for people like Ric Flair, a retired professional wrestler; Faye Wong, a Hong Kong pop singer; and Hank. Howard Stern of course whipped up votes for Hank on the air, but in a few days the campaign for Hank was all over the net. I think I ran across it on BluesNews, and also got emailed about it by friends. It was a sort of meme, a virus of the mind. Three years ago probably more people on-line read Dr. Dobbs Journal than read People, and the urge to make People and their ideas of beauty look ridiculous was just irresistible.
Ultimately, Hank won, with 230,169 votes, beating Rick Flair with a meager 17,145, and poor Leonardo came in third with 14,471.
I once used this affair in a lecture about how to use the Internet in medical research, as an example of how not to use the net: polls conducted on the net are nearly useless, because of self-selection problems, and the deliberate naughtiness of netizens.
I also first heard the name of Faye Wong (5,531 votes) through this poll, and I'm glad I did. I bought a 'Best of' album of her stuff, and love it.
BTW, I originally posted this yesterday, only to discover afterward Ver-chan's post about her grandmother's death. It suddenly seemed inappropriate, and I deleted. Maybe now enough 'decent interval' has elapsed?
I've started reading alt.obituaries.
BTW, The Sequel: I haven't been updating a much lately because of a heavy work schedule, and, um, I installed Fallout 2 on my new PC. ^^;;