Veteran musician Van Dyke Parks has risked causing outrage by insisting controversial world leaders Richard Nixon and Margaret Thatcher should have died sooner.
The songwriter/producer, who is best known for his groundbreaking work with Beach Boys star Brian Wilson in the 1960s, has previously told how he was devastated by the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
He is adamant Kennedy was a force for good in the world and insists shamed President Nixon - who was run out of office in the wake of the Watergate scandal - and former British Prime Minister Thatcher encouraged materialist thinking.
However, Parks has risked upsetting friends, family, and supporters of the political heavyweights by revealing he wishes they had not lived so long.
He tells NME magazine, "I mark this event (the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death) with the knowledge that we would live in a better world if the Kennedys had not been assassinated. It would be a more kindly world. It would be a less materialistic world. It would be a world not so riddled with material girls and greed. There would not be this celebration, this eroticism of wealth, had the Kennedys lived.
"So... I regret that John Kennedy was assassinated... I believe that a lot of people can die late in life and still die prematurely. A lot of people don't die soon enough - I would put in those ranks DICk Nixon (sic) and Margaret Thatcher."