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Rock History Deaths

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A - B
Johnny Ace
Johnny Ace was a singer during the fifties who was done in by his own hand. Christmas eve of 1954 he was scheduled to perform at the City Auditorium in Houston Texas. At some point backstage he was dared into a game of Russian Roulette. He picked up a revolver, loaded a bullet into the chamber, spun the cylinder, pulled the trigger and blew his brains out. He was 25 years old.

Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen
Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen was the conga player for the group "War". In 1970 "War" chalked-up a top ten single with the hit "Spill The Wine" featuring Eric Burdon from the "Animals" on lead vocals. After releasing the double album set "The Black Man's Burden", Eric left the band. The band went on to release a string of hit singles that appealed to both rock and r & b FM radio formats. Some of their popular songs include "Slippin' Into Darkness","The Cicso Kid","Low Rider","Me and Baby Brother","Why Can't We Be Friends","All Day Music","Summer" and "The World Is A Ghetto". In concert they would stretch songs out into extended jams. On August 30th of 1988 "Papa Dee" suffered a massive heart attack while performing on stage which proved fatal.

Luther Allison
Luther Allison was a bluesman known for his slide guitar playing and soulful singing. He was the first blues act signed to Motown Records. He jammed on Chicago's West Side with blues legends Magic Sam, Otis Rush and Freddie King. After the 70's he moved to Paris,France where he became a European blues superstar. In 1994 he mounted a US comeback, recording several albums for Alligator Records and touring extensively. He won many awards including "Blues Entertainer of The Year". In July of 1997 he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and brain tumors. He died on August 12th, 1997 at the age of 57.

Duane Allman
Duane Allman is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, right along side the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. As a matter of fact, Duane was invited to play on Clapton's immortal classic "Layla" by "Derek and the Dominoes". Known as a master of the slide guitar, Duane and his brother Greg virtually defined southern rock. Duane was also a session guitarist at "Muscle Shoals" recording studios and did session work with artists such as Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs,and Wilson Pickett. Duane and Greg were raised by their mother in Daytona Beach, Florida and by 16 years old Duane was an accomplished guitarist. With brother Greg on keyboards and vocals they formed a series of short-lived bands thru out the sixties. In 1967 as "The Hourglass" they were signed by Liberty records and recorded two unmemorable albums which died a quick death. This was all to change however when Dickey Betts entered the picture. After a series of extensive jams "The Allman Brothers Band" was born. In 1969 they released "The Allman Brothers Band" and in 1970 "Idlewild South". Although popular in the South and garnering more and more FM airplay neither album established the band as a national act. This was all to change with the release of "Live at the Fillmore East" in 1971. A double album set featuring extended versions of "Whipping Post", "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and a blistering version of "Statesboro Blues" featuring Duane's stinging slide guitar riffs finds the "Allman Brothers" at their finest. A must for any serious guitar player "Live at the Fillmore East" remains a classic. However, The Allman Brothers good fortune was about to take a turn for the worse. On October 29th of 1971 after laying down some tracks for a new album, Duane took off on his motorcycle.A truck hauling Peaches pulled out in front of him and he crashed into it. Duane died after hours of emergency surgery at the age of 24. The Allman Brothers would never be the same without him. The album "Eat a Peach" was released shortly after his death. A tragic end to one of rock's greatest gutarists. UPDATE: Contrary to popular belief, the truck that pulled in front of Duane was actually hauling steel cable and rods. The working title of the album was actually "The Kind They Grow Down South". Butch Trucks suggested an alternative title from something that Duane had stated "I play a lick now and then, and whenever I'm in Georgia, I eat a peach for peace." The title was changed to Eat a Peach for Peace, then shortened. (special thanks to Brian Love for clearing that up that rock myth)

Hoyt Axton
Hoyt Axton was "folkie" guitar singer-songwriter best known for his ballads. Some of his best known works include "The Pusher","The No No Song","Joy To The World", "Never Been To Spain" and "Snowblind Friend". He dabbled in acting having starred in "Gremlins" and other films as well as television. His mother "Mae" Axton achieved fame as the writer of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel". He was left severely disabled due to a stroke and eventually packed it in on October 10th, 1999 at the age of 61.

John Belushi
What began as a skit on Saturday night live turned into one of the most popular movies of all time , million selling albums and provided a Halloween costume for years to come. In 1978 John Belushi had the blues, he formed a super tight band with original members of the MG's (the Stax recording studio house band) Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. The songs the "Blues Brothers" recorded breathed new life into the blues, with choreographed stage routines, a crack horn section and Belushi's energetic vocals. Talks were in the works about a sequel when he was found dead on March 5th, 1982 in a Hollywood Bungalow at the age of 33. He had a myriad of track-marks on his arms and was speed-balling (a mixture of cocaine and heroin). Kathy "Silverbag" Smith who allegedly administered the final lethal dose while Belushi was already unconscious was tried and convicted on a reduced manslaughter charge and served 6 months of an 18 month sentence.

The Big Bopper
See Buddy Holly

Mike Bloomfield
Mike Bloomfield was another white boy with the blues who played lead guitar for "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band" . Mike Bloomfield was considered the top guitarist in the industry until Eric Clapton came along . Bloomfield stayed with Butterfield for only two albums, afterwards he formed the short-lived "Electric Flag" with Al Kooper and Buddy Miles. Bloomfield is also best known for his lead guitar work on Bob Dylan's classic album "Highway 61 Revisited". He also did an album with Al Kooper and Steven Stills entitled "Super Sessions". Along with Butterfield he gradually faded from view . He died February 15th, 1981 at the age of 37 from a medical condition contributed to drug abuse. Marc Bolan
Mark Bolan was the frontman of the popular group T.REX who enjoyed their biggest success in the early seventies. In the late sixties the group was known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. In England the group commanded a fanatical following reminisent of Beatlemania but in the states they were relatively unknown. In 1971 Bolan shortened the name to T.REX, overhauled the group's sound and released "Electric Warrior". "Bang-a-gong(Get it on)" with it's reference to "cars and hubcap diamond-starred halos" was a top ten smash. In 1972 "The Slider" was released and T.REX became the darlings of glitter rock. In 1973 they released "Tank" and fell off the charts into rock-n-roll obscurity. Regarding his rock and roll lifestyle he once said "I was living in a twilight world of booze, drugs and kinky sex". Bolan's comeback attempt was cut short when on September 16th of 1977 he was killed in an auto accident. Apparently he had been arguing with his girlfriend who decided to get the last word in by crashing into a tree, gone at the age of 30.

Tommy Bolin
Tommy Bolin died in a Miami hotel room December 4th, 1976 at the age of 25 while on tour. Tommy Bolin was a multi dimensional guitarist adept in jazz, fusion and rock. Bolin fronted the group "Zephyr" whose records could be found in the cut-out bins. He joined "The James Gang" after Dominic Trojano left to join the Guess Who. In 1975 he joined "Deep Purple" after the departure of Richie Blackmore. He went solo and was steadily gaining in popularity with his second release "Private Eyes". He eventually developed a substance abuse problem which began to concern those close to him. He had just finished the first night of the tour opening for Jeff Beck in Miami and was hosting a small party in his hotel room. He consumed the usual booze coke and big H. Somwhere during the evening he entered the bathroom and someone injected him with heroin. Much of this is speculation but this seems to be the most pausable according to most accounts. When he passed out while talking on the phone his entourage called the hotel doctor who advised to take him to the hospital. Fearing bad press Tommy's people figured he'd sleep it off since thev'e seen him like this before. Bad call, he suffocated to death in his sleep. The Miami Herald reported he was found dead in the shower stall. This does not seem to be the case. Although he may have been placed in the shower in an attempt to revive him he was found in his bed. The Herald also falsely reported that this was his first fling with the big H but those close to him say he was snorting it for sometime. As for his frequency for injecting it remains unclear. 4 fresh puncture marks where found in his arm. A tragic end to a talented guitarist whose future was cut short. But we've heard all this before, haven't we?

Graham Bond
Graham Bond was an early purveyor of the swinging London scene in the mid sixties. He followed the typical blueprint of the English bands of that time: skiffle to blues to rock. He lived in an English mansion and claimed to have Satanic ties to Alexter Crowely who was a distant relative. His financial management was so bad every band he formed lost money. On May 8th of 1974 at the age of 36 he was found dead under the wheels of a stationary train.

John Bonham
John Bonham was the stalwart backbeat to Led Zeppelin. Many considered him the ultimate definition of a rock drummer. Also the ultimate rock drinker, he died in his own vomit after consuming 30 some-odd shots of Vodka at the age of 32 on September 25th, 1980. Led Zeppelin refused to go on without him and disbanded.

Sonny Bono
Born Salvatore Bono, "Sonny" Bono started out as a songwriter. He wrote "Needles and Pins" which became a big hit for "The Searchers" during the British rock invasion of the mid-sixties. He met up with "Cher" and recognized her talent as a singer. He formed the duo "Sonny and Cher" and in 1965 hit it big with the number one world wide smash "I Got You Babe", a song they would milk for the rest of their career. Although Sonny was a poor singer, Cher's strength as a singer and cool silky sexy-sheik persona coupled with Sonny's lovable mop-top image, they pulled it off. In 1967 they hit the charts again with "The Beat Goes On". By the end of the sixties there hits had dried-up. In the early seventies they hosted a variety show which was very successful. They would close the show by singing "I Got You Babe" to their daughter Chastity Bono. Cher eventually grew tired of Sonny's slave-driving demands and wanted out of the marriage. She finally wrangled a divorce out of Sonny and "went on with the show" but the gig fell apart a short time later. Cher went on to a successful music and film career while Sonny got involved in politics. He was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California and eventually congressman. On January 5th of 1998 while skiing in Heavenly , Nevada he crashed into a tree and was killed. Sonny Bono was 62 years old.

Roy Buchannan
Roy Buchannan was one of rock's great guitarists. He started out as a session player for various fifties groups and co-wrote "Suzie-Q" with Dale Hawkins. In the seventies he fronted a blues band and remained successful in the blues circuit. On August 13th of 1988 he was arrested for drunk-driving. The following morning he was found hanging inside his jail cell. Gone at the age of 48.

Tim Buckley/Jeff Scott Buckley
The first "family plot" entry into the rock-n-roll graveyard, father and son went out under dubious circumstances. Tim Buckley was a folk-rock singer of the sixties and seventies known for his haunting melodies. On June 29th of 1975 while partying at a friends house he snorted what he believed to be cocaine but was actually heroin and overdosed. He was 28 years old. His son Jeff Scott Buckley followed in his father's footsteps, however, a little too closely. Jeff's music ranged from folk to rock to funk and critics compared his voice to that of Van Morrison. In 1994 he released the album "Grace" which yeilded the alternative hit "Last Goodbye" which reached #19 on the Billboard charts. On May 29th of 1997, Jeff was in Memphis to record a new album when he disappeared while swimming in the Mississippi River. His body was found floating in the "Old Miss" six days later, dead at 30. UPDATE: Tim Buckley did indeed intentionally snort heroin. He was drunk and coming back from a gig and he rousted a buddy out of bed who gave him too much...when he got home he started lurching around the room so his wife plopped him down in the living room and put a pillow under his head. When she woke up he turned blue, much like the tiddy bowl man.

Cliff Burton
Cliff Burton was the bass player for Metallica. He fell victim to a "turn of an unfriendly card". On September 27th, 1987 while traveling thru Europe on their tour bus, their tour manager decided to stop the constant bickering over the sleeping arrangements by drawing cards. Cliff Burton drew high card , the Queen of Spades, and chose the "Master Suite". That very same day the bus slid off an icy road onto its side. While trying to climb out the window, the bus toppled over and crushed him to death. He was 25 years old. UPDATE: Cliff Burton did not try to climb out the window. He was found crushed underneath the bus. In fact the crane that lifted up the bus dropped it down back on him, so someone wanted to make sure he was dead, Sorry Cliff, you really got screwed

Paul Butterfield
Paul Butterfield was a white harmonica player from the south side of Chicago. Paul Butterfield was considered the premier harmonica player of his time. In 1965 "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band" was released and remains a classic to this day. Caught up in sixties flower-power, subsequent releases strayed from the blues format and lacked the power and intensity of their debut album. The band also appeared at Woodstock, and their song "Love March" is featured on the soundtrack album. His death on May 4th, 1987 at the age of 44 was contributed to alcohol and drug abuse.

Glen Buxton
Glen Buxton played lead guitar in Alice Cooper's band. He co-wrote a number of their popular tunes. "Alice Cooper" broke new ground as one of the first shock-rock groups. Their first two albums , "Easy Action" and "Pretties For You" generated little interest. On the album cover for "Easy Action" they were all dressed in skirts. Although mild by today's standards the name "Alice" (real name Vincent Furnier) caused quite a "stir". In 1971 they released their breakthough album "Love It To Death" which included the hit single "I'm Eighteen". The album boasted a wild looking cover with Alice sticking his thumb out thru the zipper like a penis. (Later releases had the thumb airbrushed out) Late that year they released perhaps their greatest album "Killer". This album spawned the hit "Be My Lover". It also had a tune entitled "Dead Babies". The album ended with a mock hanging , but in concert for the "Killer" tour , Alice would actually walk up the gallows and get hanged. It was a sight to behold. The master of shock rock was at his finest. In 1972 they released "School's Out". The theme of course , centered around school and it's trials and tribulations with a "West Side Story" rip-off of the "Sharks and The Jets" gang fight. The original album cover folded out to a school desk and came complete with a pair of panties around the record made of handi-wipe material. 1973 the group released "Billion Dollar Babies" which yielded "Elected" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy". Although he claimed not to do drugs , Alice was pounding down the Budweiser in record porportions. By 1974's "Muscle of Love" it was clear that something was wrong. The album came in a plain cardboard box ! No snakes, no wild mascara around the eyes, no babies, no nothing. The record failed to yield a single also !!!! This was the end of the original band. Alice's later releases lacked the biting guitar the original band created. It also marked the beginning of the end for Alice who would end up in a sanitarium. Glen evenually turned away from music and spent his last years as a farmer in Mason City , Iowa. Glen Buxton died of pneumonia on October 19th, 1997 at the age of 49.

David Byron
See Gary Thain

C - G

Toy & Tommy Caldwell
Toy Caldwell was the driving force behind "The Marshall-Tucker Band". Known for his blazing guitar licks on the Les Paul, Toy helped keep southern rock alive after the demise of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Toy's brother Tommy, was bass player for the group. They hailed from Spartanburg, South Carolina and in 1972 were signed by Phil Walden's Capricorn records. The band was named after a blind piano tuner named Marshall Tucker whose name the band stumbled upon by accident in the rehearsal hall one day. The group's debut album "The Marshall Tucker Band", released in 1973, became a staple of FM radio and spawned the classic's "Take The Highway","Can't You See" and "Ramblin", the album went gold shortly thereafter. In 1974 the band released "A New Life" and "Were We All Belong" . The latter was a two record set, half studio , half live. The live set should of been declared a fire hazard because once played the intensity was so hot it could burn down the house ! Toy Caldwell burns thru a blistering version of "Everyday (I Have The Blues)", yet to be equaled. In 1975 the band released "Searching For a Rainbow" which yielded the hit single "Fire On The Mountain". (Originally intended for Charlie Daniels "Fire On The Mountain" album). Their biggest song however was 1977's "Heard It In a Love Song" from "Carolina Dreams". By 1978 the constant touring, coupled along with substance abuse problems were taking their toll and the band began to unravel. Although they were determined to stay together, the "Grim Reaper of Rock" was about to deal them a crippling blow. On April 28th of 1980 , Tommy Caldwell passed away from injuries he received in a jeep accident a week earlier. He was 30 years old. The band tried to go on without him but couldn't cope with the void. By 1984 Toy Caldwell and two other band members called it quits. On February 25th, 1993 at the age of 45, Toy Caldwell suffered a fatal heart attack and died in his sleep. "The Marshall Tucker Band" with original singer "Doug Gray" continues to tour as a nostalgia act.

Randy California
Randy California drowned off the coast of Molokai, Hawaii, January 2nd, 1997 at the age of 45 when he was sucked into a riptide after he pushed his 12 year old son out of harms way. Randy was just 14 years old when his 34 year old stepfather suggested they form a group. In 1966 Randy went to New York to play rhythm guitar for a local group named "Jimmy James & the Blue Flames" whose lead guitarist happened to be none other then Jimi Hendrix. After Hendrix was carted off to London by Chas Chandler, Randy returned to L.A. but with a few more "guitar tricks" in his bag. In 1967 Ed and Randy formed "Spirit" and in 1968 their debut album was released. The single "Mechanical World", "Uncle Jack" and the jazzy "Fresh Garbage" put them on the charts. In 1969 they released "The Family that plays together" which yielded the #25 hit single "I've got a line on you". In October of 1969 "Clear Spirit" was released. The group's crowning acheivement though came with their concept album "Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus" released in 1970. "Nature's Way", "Mr. Skin","Animal Zoo" and "Nothing to Hide" all became staples of FM radio airplay. The original line-up broke-up shortly thereafter. "Spirit" continued to release records but never matched the success of their first four albums.

Eric Carr
Eric Carr answered an ad in the "New York Times" and wound up in the group "Kiss". The group was known for it's outrageous stage act complete with Gene Simmon's blood dripping foot-long tongue.The group was never seen in public without it's trademark make-up. They chalked-up some FM airplay with tunes like "Strutter" and their signature tune "I Want To Rock-n-Roll All Night (and party everyday)".In 1976 they released the classic two-album set "Kiss Alive". The group made somewhat of a comeback with the M-TV generation X'ers sans make-up. Eric Carr died of cancer on September 24th,1991 at the age of 41.

Johnny Cash
Known as the man in black Johnny Cash was born in Kingsland Arkansas February 26th , 1932.The son of a Southern Baptist sharecropper he began performing as early as age 12. In 1955 he began recording for Sam Phillips "Sun" records. Known as "Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two" (guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant) his first single was "Cry Cry Cry" which reached #14. The follow-up was "Folsom Prison Blues" which reached number #5. The following year he released his most enduring song that would establish him as a superstar. The million selling copy "I Walk The Line". He left Sun records in 1958 because Sam Phillips wouldn't let him record a gospel album. He signed with Columbia records where he would remain until the label dropped him in 1986. The sixties began his "wild-man" period where he ran rampant hopped-up on booze and uppers. He then met June Carter of the famous Carter Family who got him off the drugs(hhmmm....bummer) , although there would be relapses. She also wrote "Ring Of Fire" which became another big hit for Cash. I had the original 45rpm on red vinyl but I smashed it up when I turned 15 and got my first Alice Cooper album.The two were married in 1968 and released a series of duets together : "Jackson","If I Were a Carpenter" and Dylan's " It Ain't Me Babe". The highlight of his career was his two live albums, 1968's "At Folsom Prison" and 1969's "Johnny Cash: At San Quentin" which was Cash's best selling album staying number one on the charts for 4 weeks and contained the hit single "A Boy Named Sue" (#2). In June of 1969 ABC launched "The Johnny Cash Show" which lasted 2 years. At this point's Cash's popularity began to wane although he was still revered by country and rock alike. In 1985 Cash resurfaced with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings as "The Highwaymen". They recorded 4 albums together. In 1996 Tom Petty produced his "Unchained " album. By now health problems began to plague Cash though he continued to record. His last album is considered a masterpiece "American III: Solitary Man". In May of 2003 his wife of 35 years "June Carter Cash" cashed it in. Some say this zapped his will to live. On September 12th , 2003 Johnny Cash died in Nashville at the age of 71 due to complications from Diabetes. Johnny Cash remains a legend, a country and rock pioneer and a symbol of the undying American spirit. "The Man in Black" was buried in a black coffin.

Chas Chandler
Chas Chandler was the bass player for the Animals. In 1964 they had a number one hit with "House of the Rising Sun" with Eric Burdon on lead vocals. They had a handful of follow-up hits such as "Don't Bring Me Down","It's My life","Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and "See See Rider". In 1966 the original Animals broke-up and Chandler went on to become Jimi Hendrix's manager. He died of a heart attack at the age of 58 on July 17th, 1996.

Harry Chapin
Harry Chapin was a folk-rock balladeer best known for his song "Taxi". He enjoyed moderate success during the seventies. On July 16th of 1981 while on his way to a benefit concert in New York City on the Long Island expressway when he was involved in a traffic accident that proved fatal. He was driving a VW Beetle and rear-ended a tractor trailor and fried to death. Some say he had a heart attack others say he was alive and couldn't get the seat belt off and turned Crispy Critter. Harry Chapin was 38 years old.

John Cippolina
John Cippolina was lead guitarist for "The Quicksilver Messenger Service" , an original sixties acid-rock band from the San Francisco Bay area. Although they never were quite as popular as their contemporaries "The Grateful Dead" and "The Jefferson Airplane", "Quicksilver" were masters of the improvisational jam. The band frequently played the Fillmore and stretched songs upwards from 20 to 30 minutes while LSD'ed out Hippie Chicks danced in the aisles. John had been troubled with health problems from birth suffering mainly from asthma. He eventually succumbed to emphysema on May 29th, 1989 at the age of 45.

Gene Clark / Michael Clarke
Both Gene Clark and Michael Clarke were members of the group "The Byrds". Along with David Crosby and Roger McGuinn their version of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" released in 1965 signaled the end of surf music and the birth of folk-rock (although McGuinn was the only member of group to actually play on the single). They started the whole trend of covering Dylan's tunes. They had a couple of more hits such as "Eight Miles High","Turn Turn Turn","My Back Pages","So You Want To Be A Rock-n-Roll Star" and "Mr. Spaceman". By 1968 most of the original members had left. Gene Clark died on May 24th, 1991 at the age of 49 of natural causes. Michael Clarke went on to play drums for "Firefall" who enjoyed brief success in 1976 thru 1978. He died from a medical condition on December 19th, of 1993 also at the age of 49.

Steve Clark
Known as "the riff master", Steve Clarke shared lead guitarist duties with Phil Collen for "Def Leppard". In January 1983 "Pyromania" hit it big and established the band as superstars. However the band began losing it parts. The drummer lost his arm in an auto accident and was temporarily sidelined. Their follow up album "Hysteria" took four years in the making and featured now a one-armed drummer. For some reason Steve was a very unhappy rock star. He hit the juice hard and was found more then once face down in the pavement out cold. The group gave him some time off to regroup hoping he would snap out of it. After a night of heavy alcohol comsumption combined with prescription drugs Steve was found dead on the floor, On January 8th,1991 dead at 30.

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain was the creative force behind "Nirvana", one of the first and most popular Seattle-based alternative music groups that came to be known as "grunge rock". More importantly, the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. Kurt came from a broken home and soon found the drums as an outlet for his emotional frustrations. He soon switched to guitar, playing left handed formed a series of groups. Kurt was known for smashing his drummer's drum kit when they didn't live up to his expectations. In 1989 Nirvana's first release "Bleach" on the Sub-pop label garnered attention, but the labels failure to provide adequate distribution of the Cd caused Kurt and company to seek another label. They were eventually signed by Geffen records and began to work on their next album. In 1991 "Nevermind" stormed the charts and Kurt became an instant rock star as "Nevermind" sold over 50 million copies. Around this time he was seduced by "Courtney Love" and the two began a stormy romance. "Courtney" had her own apsirations of being a rock star with her group "Hole". Increased drug comsumption, mainly heroin, bitter arguments, the controversy over Courtney's interview in Vanity Fare where the interviewer deduced she was pregnant when she did heroin, all detracted from Kurt's ability to just be a member in a rock group and write songs. While Courtney wanted a Lexus, Kurt was content to drive a 1965 Dodge Dart. With the press constantly hounding them the two became rock and roll's soap opera. After awhile those close to the band realized that Courtney was calling the shots and band members began to refer to her as Yoko. Courtney convinced Kurt to demand more of a percentage of royalities for writing the material. This threatened to derail the band but they agreed to do a follow-up as Geffen had a lot of dollars riding on it. By this time Kurt was completely strung out on heroin and most realized that the follow-up was not going to match "Nevermind". According to those present at the studio, the sessions were constantly hampered by Courtney barging in and ranting and raving. Kurt wanted to call the album "I Hate Myself and Want To Die". Some say it was a joke, most don't. The Cd was eventually released as "In Utero" and deemed a lifeless follow-up. While in Italy Kurt was rushed to the hospital for overdosing on two bottles of champagne and a handful of the prescription drug "Rohypnol". The Cobain camp denied a suicide attempt. "Nirvana" completed an "unplugged" concert for M-TV which was quite successful and showcased Cobain's guitar skills and unique vocals. Recorded on November 18th 1993 it would be released posthumously. By late March of 1994 Kurt's drug habit was so out of control, fearing for his life an intervention was required. After a couple days in a California rehab Kurt jumped a six foot fence and headed back to Seattle . Courtney, in Los Angeles promoting the new "Hole" album "Live Through This" , hired private investigator Tom Grant to track down Kurt. Meanwhile Kurt bought a shotgun and a box of shells. He had his friend buy it "because the police were always confiscating his firearms and he needed it for protection" and didn't want it in his name. Grant searched for Kurt but to no avail. On the morning of April 8th a worker installing an alarm at Courtney and Kurt's Seattle estate noticed a body in the "Green Room". (The "green house" above the garage) Police confirmed it was the body of Kurt Cobain and that he had been dead for at least 3 days establishing the date of his death April 5th, 1994. According to the homicide unit the shotgun was placed in Cobains mouth and discharged and laid across his chest. But the tragedy does not end here, after investigators labeled it and open and shut case of suicide things began not to add up. First, the amount of heroin found in Kurts body was so great that if he injected himself he would not of been able to pull the trigger. Did someone get him drugs watch him OD and then fake a suicide, or did someone kill him and them inject him with drugs? The so called suicide note has been analyzed by handwriting experts and is said to be altered and forged in certain areas. More puzzling, the note is claimed to refer to Kurt wanting to leave Seattle and the music business behind and mentions nothing of him ending his life. And what about "El Duce" who claims Courtney offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt ? Before "El Duce"'s claims could be validated he was mysteriously killed by a moving train. What about Kurts canceled credit card that was used at a store to buy flowers two hours before his body was discovered on April 8th even though he had been dead since April 5th ? There are also allegations that Kurt was comtemplating divorce and had an unsigned will which supposively excluded Courtney, were she would lose out on millions. Also the 4 fingerprints found on the shotgun were illegible as if someone attempted to wipe them off. All of this adds up to rock's greatest mystery. Was Kurt Cobain murdered or did he commit suicide ?
Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran was a seminal figure in rock-n-roll and wrote many classics such as "Summertime Blues", "20 flight rock", "C'mon Everybody", and "Cut Across Shorty". Eddie picked-up the guitar at an early age and by 15 was an accomplished guitarist. He played jazz and the current music of the time but his favorite artist was Chet Atkins. By 1956 he was recording his own songs and in four years had 15 hits. On April 17th of 1960 while traveling to the London airport he was killed in an auto accident. His current song on the charts was "Three Steps to Heaven". Eddie Cochran was only 21 years old at the time of his death.
Albert Collins
Albert Collins was known as "The Master of the Telecaster". (Telecaster is a Guitar manufactured by Fender). A Bluesman from way back Albert had a unique style which incorporated a D-minor open tuning and a capo up around the seventh fret. He could blow your eardrums out with the screaming thrilling notes he banged out of that thing. He was also featured in the movie "Adventures in Baby-sitting". He died in Las Vegas on November 24th, 1993 at the age of 61.
Allen Collins
Allen Collins was one of the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and survived the plane crash that killed two other band members. He went on to form the short-lived Rossington-Collins Band with the other remaining members of the group. Allen composed the music to the seventie's rock anthem "Freebird". After a car crash in 1986 confined him to a wheel-chair, his health gradually deteriorated and he died from pneumonia on January 23rd, 1990 at the age of 37.
Brian Connolly
Brian Connolly was lead singer for the British rock group "Sweet" who enjoyed moderate success during the mid to late seventies. Their first hit was the FM bubble-gumish "Little Willie" released in 1973, followed by "Ballroom Blitz" in 1975. "Fox on the run" also hit in 1976. They overhauled their sound and came out with the #8 world-wide smash "Love is Like Oxygen" in 1978. This was their musical peak and the group eventually fell from popularity. Brian was known to hang out with Keith Moon and the two did quite alot of partying together. After years of over indulgence in the "rock-n-roll lifestyle". The liver gave out and after a series of heart attacks he passed away at the age of 52.

Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke started out as a gospel singer with "The Soul Stirrers". He went solo after being kicked-out and turned to mainstream pop. Sam wrote and recorded classics such as: "Twisting the night away ", "Another Saturday Night", "You Send Me", "Wonderful World", "Only Sixteen" and "Chain Gang". On December 11th of 1964 he was shot dead by a motel owner who claimed he was trying to break into her room while dressed in only boxer shorts. He was 33 years old.

Johnny Copeland
Johnny "The Texas Twister" Copeland was a long-time blues guitar player who recorded his first songs in the 1950's. His career was re-vitalized in 1981 when he signed with Rounder Records and released the explosive "Copeland Special". 1986 he recorded the triple threat classic "Showdown" with Robert Cray and Albert Collins. He closed the 1993 Chicago Blues Festival and brought down the house. By the mid-nineties the old ticker was beginning to go. After a succession of open-heart sugeries he received a heart transplant on New Years Day 1997. He did a few more gigs and in July made a stop in the hospital to repair a leaky heart valve when the "Grim Reaper of Rock" came to call. He died on the operating table July 3rd, 1997 at the age of 60.

Jim Croce
Jim Croce was a talented singer-songwriter folk guitar player. Jim hailed from Philadelphia PA and showed an interest in music at an early age. He married his high school sweetheart in 1963 and together they formed a duo which was unsuccessful. He became a master of the acoustic guitar and played alot for spare change and at college partys. After he graduated from college he became a disc jockey for a short time before deciding to pursue music as a full time career. To supplement his income he took a job as a trucker. It was his experiences as a truck driver that would provide the lyrical fuel for his later songs. By 1970 Jim had hit rock bottom with his music career going nowhere. In addition to this, he had signed a very bad record deal and was contemplating giving up music. The turning point in his life came when his wife told him she was pregnant. He got down to business and in one week wrote most of the material for his first album. "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" was released to rave reviews and Jim began the cycle of constant touring. "Life and Times" released in 1973 spawned the lounge-act classic "Bad Bad Leroy Brown". Although by now he was a big success he received very little income from his record sales. (His wife would eventually win control of his music after his death). Vowing to quit touring Croce hit the road for one last time, it was a fateful decision that would cost him his life. Jim Croce died September 20th, 1973 when his tour plane crashed into a tree upon take-off. His "I've Got a Name" album was released posthumously and contained the hit song of the same name. "Time in a Bottle" from his first album was released as a single after his death and hit number one. Jim Croce was 30 years old.
Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin was born as Walden Robert Cassotto on May 14th 1936 in The Bronx, New York. During his childhood he contracted rheumatic fever resulting in damage to his heart. As a teenager Darin taught himself to play guitar, drums and piano but it was his on stage presence behind the mic were he excelled the most. In 1958 at the age of 22 Bobby Darin reportively walked into a recording studio and in twenty minutes wrote "Splish-Splash" which became a big hit in 1958 and established him as a teenage idol. In 1959 he scored his only number one hit with the cool sauve jazzy "Mack the Knife". His other big hit was "Dream Lover". He became a top attraction in Las Vegas and paled around with Wayne Newton. As a matter of fact, "Danke Scheone" was going to be his follow-up to "Mack the Knife" but he gave his arrangement of the song to Wayne Newton. Bobby Darin was also shocked to find out that his sister was really his mother, some say he never fully recovered from this. Always having a bad ticker it finally caught up with him. On December 20th of 1973 he underwent heart surgery to repair damaged valves and died on the operating table at the age of 37. His body was donated to "medical science".
Rick Danko
Rick Danko was a canadian-born musician who sang, played Bass and acoustic guitar for the band. He sang lead on such rock classics as "The Weight" and "Stagefright"'. Although popular with the rock critics. A big hit with fellow musicians but never the record buying public, "The Band"'s albums sold moderately.The band's first album "Music from Big Pink" contained the song classics "Chest Fever" and "The Weight". Bob Dylan painted the album cover. The next album was simply entitled "The Band" and contained the classics "Rag Mama Rag", "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". The latter becoming a big hit in 1971 for Joan Baez. In 1972 they released the 2 record live set "Rock of Ages" which is considered by most their strongest recording. Internal tensions within the band began to mount and subsequent releases sold poorly. In 1976 they recorded their swan song "The Last Waltz" which featured a myriad of guest artists including Bob Dylan and then broke-up for good. "The Band" was also famous for backing Bob Dylan and the bootlegged "Basement Tapes". (which since has been released on CD). Danko fell into the role of the declining rock star. He formed a series of bands, did a couple of solo projects, toured the classic rock circuit and then died in his sleep on December 10th, 1999 at the age of 56.

Cyril Davies
Cyril Davies was a seminal figure in British Blues. In the early sixties he formed "Cyril Davies and the All-Stars" where he played the blues harp. The band became a "training ground" for quite a number of British musicians who went on to bigger and better things. He died of Leukemia on January 7th , 1964 at the age of 31.

Rusty Day
Rusty Day was a singer from the detroit area and in 1969 he was asked to join the The Amboy Dukes led by Ted Nugent. Coming off the highly successful album "Journey to the center of the mind" , the follow-up "Migration" with Day at vocals was considered a disappointment." The next album "Marriage on the rocks / Rock bottom" was a critical dud but got some airplay. I thought it was good after two hits of orange sunshine but thats me. After that Day got the boot, Nugent took over the band and stripped it down and released "Survival of the fittest in 1970. Which personally I thought was there best effort till 75's Ted's solo album on Epic.In late 69 Day teamed up with ex "Vanilla Fudge'er's Carmen Appice and Tim Bogert. They then added Jim Mc Carthy who suggested Day. They got ther name "Cactus" from a drive in theatre located in Tucson Arizona. The first Cactus album was released in 70 to good reviews. With a combination of boogie, blues and good old rock and roll. The band had a good rep and was opening for some major shows. The second album was a little mellow, maybe they were coked up. After Mc Carthy left in 72 they gave Day the boot. Although Cactus released a live abum, Appice and Bogert teamed up with Jeff Beck and Cactus crumbled. In 1975 Day moved to Orlando put back together Cactus and did the Florida band circuit. On June 3rd, 1982 both Day and his son were killed in a drug deal gone bad.

John Denver
Born Henry John Deutschendorf, John Denver took his name from the city that would eventually become his home; "Denver, Colorado". In 1967 while Denver was part of "The Mitchell Trio" he wrote "Leaving On a Jet Plane" which became a number one hit for "Peter, Paul & Mary" in 1969. After the demise of "The Mitchell Trio" he signed with RCA records and by the end of 1970 released three solo albums: "Rhymes and Reasons", "Take Me To Tommorow",and "Whose Garden This Was". Each album produced a bigger flop then the previous and failed to establish him as a recording artist. In March of 1971 RCA released "Poems,Prayers and Promises" which included a song added at the last minute that would set the course of his musical career. "Take Me Home, Country Roads" reached #2 on the Billboard charts (The album went gold shortly thereafter) and became known as his signature tune. In late 1972 he hit again with "Rocky Mountain High" which reached #4. In 1975 he was voted "Country Music Entertainer of the Year". In 1977 he starred with George Burns in "Oh God". His other popular songs included : "Annie's Song","Calypso","Thank God I'm a Country Boy" ,"Fly Away","Grandma's Feather Bed","Back Home Again" and "Sunshine On My Shoulders". As the 80's cranked on his marriage ended in divorce and RCA dropped him. He took an interest in flying and perhaps he should of found a safer hobby. On October 12th of 1997 he was flying an experimental "kit-built" fiberglass single-engine plane which crashed into Monterray Bay killing him instantly. At the time of his death Denver had amassed a total of 14 gold records, 8 of which were ranked platinum. The album "John Denver's Greatest Hits" is still one of the largest selling records in the history of RCA records. John Denver was 53 years old.

Willie Dixon
Aside from Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon was perhaps the greatest blues songwriter ever known. Schooled in the Delta Blues, Willie Dixon wrote a bunch of blues standards that have been covered by such artists as Johnny Winter, Cream , Led Zeppelin , Jeff Beck, The Doors , Allman Brothers , Steppenwolf and a host of others. He also was a session musician playing the stand-up "dog house" bass and recorded with the likes of Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and Johnny Winter. He released the classic blues album on Columbia entitled "I Am The Blues". He wrote such classics as "Built For Comfort" , "Hoochie Koochie Man" , "Spoonful", "I Ain't Superstitous", "You Shook Me", "I Can't Quit You Baby", "Backdoor Man", "Little Red Rooster", "The Same Thing" and "Wang Dang Doodle". He died in poverty of natural causes at the age of 76 on January 29th , 1992.

Lonnie Donegan
Lonnie Donegan was England's rockabilly version of Elvis. Donegan's roots were buried in American folk, country and blues tunes from the 20's and 30's. His reworking of Leadbelly's (Huddie Ledbetter) "Rock Island Line" caused a sensation with the teenage populus of England and gave birth to a style of music known as "skiffle". "Skiffle" music was rudimentary, all that was needed was an acoustic guitar,snare drum, jugs, washboard and broom stick bass and the knowledge of two or three chords. "Rock Island Line" spent 22 weeks on the British charts and broke into the top 20 in America. Soon teenagers all over England were forming "Skiffle" groups, including John Lennon and Pete Townsend. Lonnie Donegan would soon fall from popularity but was revered by English musicans. In 2000 Donegan received the "Member of the Order of the British Empire" award. After a series of heart attacks he passed away on November 3rd, 2002 at the age of 71.

Ian Dury
Ian Dury was a punk-rocker from England with a distinctive cockney vocal style. Signed to "Stiff Records" as "Ian Dury and the Blockheads" they released "New Boots & Panties" in 1978 which yielded the punk classic "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll". He wasn't your typical punker having been afflicted with polio and walked with a cane. At 35 he also was a little older then your typical punker. Nevertheless, "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll"'s success gave him the money to buy some of each. The follow-up album contained his biggest single "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick". He gradually faded from the charts although he still remained active in England. He succumbed to colon and liver cancer on March 27th, 2000 at the age of 57.

"Mama" Cass Elliot
The fat one in The Mamas and Papa's , Mama Cass was known for her rich voice and outgoing personality. Rock legend has it that she could never hit the high notes until she was whacked on the head with a lead pipe while tripping on acid in the Virgin Islands. In 1966 the group released their debut album which featured their biggest hits, "Monday, Monday","California Dreamin" and "Go Were You Wanna Go". Unfortunately none of the band members could keep their hands off of each other. Drugs,booze and free-for-all fests eventually destroyed the band. After the "Mama's and Papa's" broke-up she embarked on a sucessful solo career. In the early seventies she recorded an album with Dave Mason which bombed. She then had a hit single with a remake of the 1932 song "Dream a Little Dream for Me". While performing in England she died in London July 29th, 1974 at the age of 32 after supposivedly choking on a ham sandwich. Family members insist the "ham sandwich" theory is hogwash. They maintain this was assumed by the London authorities because a half-eaten ham sandwich was found on the nightstand. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be heart failure brought on by bouts of obesity and rapid weight loss.
John Entwistle
John Entwistle was born on October 9th, 1944. Known as "The Ox", John Entwistle was one of rock's greatest bass players. Usually stationary and exhibiting little flash on stage he let his fingers do the "rocking". He met up with school chums Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend in 1964 and formed "The Detours". When they discovered another band with the same name they changed their name to "The Who". Keith "Moon the Loon" completed the lineup when he smashed up the Who's previous drummers drum kit.When management came along he had their name changed to "The High Number's" and adopted a"mod" image. "The High Number's" recorded two songs and tanked. Management was sacked and the original name "The Who" was reinstated. "The Who" then took control of their own musical direction and were signed by Decca Records. In 1965 they released the single "I Can't Explain" which cracked the top forty. This song is still covered today and remains a classic. They released a string of albums which sold moderately in the US. Another popular single released during this period was the teenage rock-anthem "My Generation" which included the classic line "hope I die before I get old". In 1967 "The Who" released "I Can See For Miles" which was a top ten hit in the states. Around this time they set a rock precedent by smashing up their equipment at the end of their set. They performed a high-powered set at the Monterray Pop Festival but still superstardom eluded them. In 1968 they appeared on "The Smothers Brother's" variety show and true to form smashed up their equipment. Keith Moon capped off the show by blowing up his drum kit. (causing Townsend permanent hearing damage). They even grabbed Tommy Smother's acoustic guitar and smashed it up handing it back to him in little pieces. "The Who's" fortunes were soon to change. Townsend began work on new project that would again set a new precedent in rock music . In 1969 "The Who" released the two record set "Tommy", the first rock opera. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece "Tommy" followed the form of the traditional opera complete with an "Overture" and "Underture". This album produced "Pinball Wizard" , "I'm Free", and "Were Not Gonna Take It". In August of 1969 "The Who" appeared at Woodstock making it on to both the "Woodstock" movie and the accompanying 3 record soundtrack. By the end of the 60's "The Who" had finally acheived the superstardom they were long overdue. In 1970 they released the hard rocking "Live at Leeds" with a 14 minute version of "My Generation" infused with parts of "Tommy" and a thundering version of "Magic Bus". They also reworked an old single called "Substitute" and a few covers, most notetably "Summertime Blues". By now "The Who" had stopped destroying their equipment, a lot of "Gibson SG's" were quite relieved. In early 1971 they released the single 'Join Together" followed by the album "Who's Next". Considered by most rock critics as there finest album , "Who's Next" yeilded "Baba O' Reily","Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Behind Blue Eyes". Entwistle sang lead on "My Wife". Also released in 1971 was a collection of their older singles grouped into a package called "Meaty,Beaty Big and Bouncy. In 1973 they released another two record set rock opera "Quadrophenia". Not quite the impact as "Tommy", yet "Quadrophenia" produced another handful of Who classics, "Love Reign Over Me","The Real Me","5:15" and "Bell Boy". In 1974 a collection of outtakes were released as "Odd's and Sod's" which contained "Long Live Rock" and "The Naked Eye". In 1975 a full length feature film of "Tommy" was released. Directed by Ken Russell and starring Ann Margaret and Oliver Reed it also included appearences by Elton John, Eric clapton, and Tina Turner as "The Acid Queen". Also in 1975 "The Who by Number's" was released , this is generally considered a lackluster album but did contain "Slip Kids" and the FM hit single "Squeeze Box". In 1976 MCA released "The Who's Greatest" which contained the song "The Relay". By now Moon's alcoholism and bizarre behavior was starting to affect the band and they embarked on a period of inactivity after the "By Number's" tour. In 1978 "Who Are You" was released and was more true to "Who" rocking form with the title track "Who Are You","Trick Of The Light" and "Sister Disco". The Who's fortunes were about to take a nose drive. On September 7th, 1978 Keith Moon died in his sleep from a mixture of booze and hemvarine, a prescription drug meant to curb his alcoholism. (See Keith Moon for further information) "The Who" would never be the same and the future of "The Who" was in limbo. Townsend was devestated and moon's death sent him into a downward spiral of heavy drinking. In the interim a documentary film of the Who resulted in the two record soundtrack "The Kids Are Alright" released in 1979. After passing out frequently for the next couple of years Townsend woke-up one morning and decided to put out another album. They recruited "Kenny Jones" for drummer. No one in the band liked Kenny's drumming but still they released "Face Dances" in 1981 and "It's Hard" in 1983. The record's had some bright spots, "You Better You Bet","Another Tricky Day","Athena" and "Emmenence Front", but the "Who" magic was gone. The Who embarked on a farewell tour , released an uneven live album "Who's Last" and then called it quits. Entwistle released a number of solo albums over the years, most notably 1971's "Smash Your Head Against The Wall" and 1973's "Rigormortis Set's In". He released solo efforts well into the 90's. The "Who" however could never call it quits and resurfaced in 1988-89 with a reunion tour featuring the rock opera "Tommy". In 1996 they embarked on a tour which featured "Quadrophenia". Again in 2002 another reunion tour was planned. By now John was suffering from a heart condition. His hearing by this time was so impaired he required two hearing aids to hear normal conversation. He was staying at "The Hard Rock Hotel" in Las Vegas scheduled to perform the following night when he was found dead in his hotel room on June 27th, 2002 at the age of 57. Another end to one of rocks greatest legends. The remaining members of "The Who", Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend went on without him. "John would of wanted it that way"
Peter Farndon
See James Honeyman-Scott

Mickey Finn
Mickey Finn was the bongo player for T.REX fronted by Marc Bolan. He took Steve Took's place in 1970. From 1970 to 1975 T.REX enjoyed their biggest success. After T.REX's popularity began to wane Finn left the group. Bolan once stated "He can't sing, but he looks superb". Suffering from kidney and liver problems he died in the hospital on January 11th, 2003 at the age of 55.

Tom Fogerty
Tom Fogerty was the rhythm guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival. He took back seat to his brother John Fogerty who was the bands creative force, writing all the material, handling all vocals, and providing all the lead guitar work. Tom took a beating with the critics too, who usually gave all the credit to John. Tom quit Creedence in 1971 and later on released a solo album and then faded into rock-n-roll obscurity. A much desired Creedence reunion never materialized and Tom passed away September 22nd of 1990 at the age of 49 due to complications from AIDS aquired during a blood transfusion.

Bobby Fuller
Bobby Fuller is best known for two things: the hit single "I Fought the Law" and the bizarre way in which he met his demise. In 1966 "The Bobby Fuller Four" reached the top ten with "I Fought the Law" (written by Sonny Curtis,lead guitarist for "Buddy Holly and the Crickets"). In July of 1966 at the age of 22, he was found dead in his car outside a Los Angeles apartment complex. His body had been doused with gasoline and an autopsy revealed gasoline in his lungs. To this day his death is surrounded by mystery. The coroner ruled it a suicide, some sources say auto accident, while friends maintain he was murdered by organized crime.

Cassie Gaines
Steve Gaines
See Ronnie Van Zant

Rory Gallager
Rory Gallager was Ireland's greatest blues guitarist. He picked up the guitar at 15 and a formed a power trio called "Taste". Although revered by fellow musicians 'Taste" failed to sell many records and broke-up in 1970. Rory mainly gigged around London with frequent tours into Hamburg Germany. He recorded a number of albums, usually recorded live and released in the states on the Polydor label with little promotion. He does a manicial version of "Bullfrog Blues". He never quite hit it big in the states and lived the life of a journeyman guitarist, usually as an opening act. Still, he was a respected blues musician and gave his beat-up Sratocaster a good thrashing. He died June 14th,1995 from complications following a liver transplant. He was 47 years old.

Jerry Garcia
A rock-n-roll original, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead commanded a loyal cult-like following of "Deadheads" from generation to generation and no one could quite figure out why. The Dead were one of the top concert attractions throughout the nineties up until Jerry Garcia's death on August 9th, 1995. The Grateful Dead were one of the first acid-rock bands of the sixties flower-power generation and it seemed they would go on forever. They released their first album in 1967 simply entitled "The Grateful Dead" and followed that with "Anthem of the Sun" and "Aoxomoxoa". In 1970 they embarked on what was to be their most productive year, with the release of "Live Dead","American Beauty", & "Workingman's Dead", most of which became staples of FM radio airplay and their most widely identified tunes. They muddled thruout the rest of the seventies with a few decent live albums and mediocre studio albums. In the mid-eighties Jerry lapsed into a coma which almost proved fatal. After surviving this close brush with death, the "Dead" saw this as a rebirth and in 1987 released "In The Dark". With the release of the single "Touch of Grey" and accompanying video on M-TV the Dead were back on the charts and popular as ever. Jerry managed to survive thru LSD experimentation, Marijuana use, cocaine and other "fringe" benefits of the rock-n-roll lifestyle, but it was his use of heroin that contributed to his death at the age of 53. Ironically, their last studio release was entitled "Built to Last".
Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye had just returned to the charts with "Sexual Healing" when he got into an argument with his father who shot him dead on April 1st of 1984 at the age of 45. Marvin Gaye was a product of "Motown" and scored a number of hits typical of the pre-formulated "Motown Sound" of the early to mid-sixties. In 1968 he hit it big with "I heard it thru the grapevine" which was unlike anything he had previously recorded. His breakthough album though came in 1971 when he released "What's Going On". Mostly composed by Gaye as a "homage to God", "What's Going On" was an international smash with hit singles "What's Going On","Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues". Marvin hit again in 1973 with "Let's Get It On", after that his career took a nose dive until "Sexual Healing" revitalized his career.

Lowell George
Lowell George was a singer-songwriter guitarist for the moderately successful band "Little Feat". He also did a stint with Frank Zappa but got thrown out after writing the song "Willin". In 1978 "Little Feat" enjoyed their biggest success with the release of "Waiting For Columbus" , a two-record live set. Comprised mostly of previous album cuts, the songs were performed in a renewed vigor and sounded better then the original studio versions. On July 29th of 1979 he suffered a drug-induced heart attack. He was friends with Jackson Browne who wrote a song about him after his death called "Of Missing Persons". Lowell was 34 years old.

Andy Gibb
Andy Gibb was the younger brother of Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb, better known as "The Bee Gees". In 1977 "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" became a #1 hit and established him as a teenage heart throb. He fell victim to drug and drink which took a toll on his health. He contracted Myocarditis, a viral infection which affects the heart muscle and died in his doctors office on March 10th , 1988 at the age of 30.

Maurice Gibb
Maurice Gibb was born December 22nd, 1949 on the "Isle of Man" in England and was the twin brother of Robin Gibb. Along with older brother Barry Gibb they started preforming as early as 1955. In 1958 the whole tribe moved to Brisbane, Austrailia where the boys were regular's in the Australian pop scene and hosted a TV show. Their big break came in 1967 (now known as "The Bee Gee's" for brother's Gibb) when they hit number one with "Spics and Specks". Robert Stigwood picked them up and they relocated to England were they recorded their 1st album entitled (very creatively) as "The BeeGee's 1st " which yiedled "New York Mining Disaster 1941 ", "To Love Somebody", and "Holiday". From then on up until 1969 they released a string of melodic ballad-type top 40 hit singles featuring mainly Barry on lead vocals with Robin occassionly tweaking a tune. Some of their hits during this period included "I've just gotta get a message to you","I started a joke","Massachusetts and "Words". Then in 1969 the BeeGee's released a two record-set entitled "Odessa". The album was made out of red velvet, and yielded the dismal "First of May". The album was in the cutout bins for 5 years before I bought it for two bucks. After this Robin temporarily leaves the group and the other two bro's release "Cucumber Castle" which ends the "BeeGee's 60's hit-making era. In 1970 the BeeGee's bounced back with "Lonely Days'" and in 1971 with the megahit "How can you mend a broken heart". In 1973 they released "Life in a tin can" which kills them out. The boys relocate to Miami and kick-back to get a sun tan and to figure out what went wrong as the rest of the U.S. jams on Alice Cooper, Zeppelin and "The Doobie Brothers". In 1975 the "BeeGee's" found themselves on top again with their comeback album "Maincourse" with the hits "Jive Talkin',"Nights on Broadway" and "Fanny Be Tender with my Love". Around this time more "dance singles" were being released and the 70's nightclub scene was in full swing" (Get Down tonight..K.C. and the Sunshine Band"?) Stigwood then asked the boys for 4 songs for a movie soundtrack. The resulting movie 1977's "Saturday Night Fever" becomes a global phenomenon selling over 30 million copies and three BeeGee hits: "Staying alive",""How deep is your love" and "Night Fever". The BeeGee's rode the top of the disco wave, unfortunately they suffered the most from the anti-disco backlash, and were forever labeled as a "Disco" puke band. However they were brilliant songwriters and a legitamate talent. They continued to release albums with mixed results. On January 12, 2003 Maurice Gibb was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital suffering from a "strangulated hernia" were he died after emergency surgery at the age of 53. An investigation is pending into what exactly went wrong at the hospital.
Keith Godchaux
Ron "Pigpen" Mc Kernan
Brent Mydland
These guys all had one thing in common, they were all keyboard players for the Grateful Dead. Apparently a tough assignment. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan , one of the original members died from cirrhosis of the liver March 8th, 1973 at the age of 27. Keith Godchaux died in a car crash on July 23rd, 1980 at the age of 32 after leaving the band. (Deadheads in the know maintain he and his wife donna was asked to leave). Brent Mydland was found dead on the floor of his home July 26st,1990 at the age of 38 from a "speedball" overdose. UPDATE: Deadheads have been up in arms about certain inaccuracies in my write-up. Here's the juicy tid-bits worth noting: The Godchaux's were indeed ask to leave. Donna had a good voice but was constantly off key. Keith would pass out on the keyboards after over consuming southern comfort. Brent's keyboard bench was 10 years old. It smashed into a a hundred peices when someone else tried to use it after his death.
Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman was a singer-songwriter folk guitar player best known for his song "The City of New Orleans" which he wrote when he was following Edwin Muskie around during the 1972 Democratic presidental campaign. Goodman wrote a number of songs most of which showcased his unique sense of humor. He wrote the country standard "You Never Even Call Me By My Name". He also hung around Jimmy Buffett who recorded a number of Goodman penned tunes, namely "Banana Republics","Door Number Three","This Hotel Room" and "Where's the Party". Diagnosed with Leukemia since the late sixties he eventually passed away from the illness on September 20th,1984 at the age of 36.

Jim Gordon
UPDATE: Jim Gordon has been removed from due to recent reports that he is still alive. All you ers adjust your information accordingly ! Sorry Jim !

Ric Grech
Ric Grech was a member of the British group "Family". His biggest claim to fame was when he joined the much-hyped so-called super group "Blind Faith" as bass player. "Blind Faith" was made-up of Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker from "Cream" and Stevie Winwood of "Traffic". The band started together as an informal jam session and played small clubs around Northern Europe. They launched a seven week tour of America debuting at Madison Square Garden July 12th, 1969 in front of 20,000 people. The tour was marred by riots and mayhem. Clapton became chummy with their opening act "Delaney and Bonnie" spending more time with them than the members of "Blind Faith". Clapton left "Blind Faith" shortly after the tour and then recruited "Delaney and Bonnie" band members for his solo album. (Clapton also guested on Delaney and Bonnie's live album entitled "Delaney and Bonnie on Tour with Eric Clapton". Delaney and Bonnie then scored a minor FM hit "Never ending love for you" and then tanked). Back to "Blind Faith".By late August 1969 the "Blind Faith" album went gold but the group was soon defunct. The original album cover featured a topless teenager holding a jet, which was pulled and replaced with a photo of the band. As Clapton put it "We were nudged into a recording studio, nudged out on the road and I nudged out". Little was heard from Grech since. He died on March 17th of 1990 from a drug overdose at the age of 44.

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H - K

Bill Haley
Bill Haley is credited with the first rock-n-roll record. On April 12th 1954, "Bill Haley and his Comets" recorded "Rock Around the Clock". The song did not become a hit until a year later when it was featured in the movie "Blackboard Jungle". He followed this up with "See Ya Later Alligator" and "Shake,Rattle and Roll". Gradually the group fell from popularity and in later years found itself as a nostalgia act. Bill Haley died February 9th, 1981 at the age of 55.

Pete Ham
Pete Ham was a member of the group "Badfinger". Paul McCartney gave them a song to use for the soundtrack to "The Magic Christian" which featured Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. The song "Come and Get It" became a hit. They had a few more hit singles, "No Matter What" and "Baby Blue" before breaking-up. He also wrote the song "Without You" that became a number one hit for Nilsson. Pete committed suicide on April 24rd of 1975 at the age of 27.

George Harrison
Known as the quiet Beatle, George Harrison received his first guitar at the age of 10. (Which is now on display at the rock and roll hall of fame) He practiced till his fingers bled and was a natural guitar player. George Harrison teamed up with John Lennon and Paul McCartney at the age of 15. After the legendary Hamburg tours in 1960 and now known as "The Beatles" the boys honed themselves into a top act .By the end of 1963 "The Beatles" were the most popular group in England. By February1964 they had conquered America owning the top five hit singles on the pop charts. George was considered the most accomplished guitar player of the group and played most of the leads, although John tweaked a string or two. George sang occassional lead vocal and contributed to the Beatles trademark harmonies. By the time "The Beatles" were writing mostly all of the material for their albums George usually contributed one or two tracks. Whether this was on purpose or he was just not as productive as Lennon and McCartney has been debated. Some of his self-penned songs include "Taxman","If I Needed Someone","While My Guitar Gently Weeps","Something", Within Without You","For You Blue","I Me Mine","Think For Yourself","Love You To", "Long,Long,Long,","Savory Truffle","Don't Bother Me","I Need You","You Like Me Too Much","Here Comes The Sun" (composed while walking thru Eric Claptons garden after the rain),"Northern Song", "Old Brown Shoe","Blue Jay Way", "Not Guilty" (which was left off the white album). Around late 65-66 after the influx of LSD he got into the sitar and eastern religion. He studied sitar under the tutalage of Ravi Shankar. The first sitar tinged Harrsion composition was "Love You To" and appeared on the Revolver album. Although I think "Norwegian Wood" on Rubber Soul had a sitar melody. (Up until Sgt. Pepper's the English and American releases had a different line-up of songs on each record). In the summer of love (1967) the Beatles, Mick Jagger , Dovovan and the other popular freaks of the times visited the Maharishi in India to study T.M. By 1968 the others had pretty much given up on the venture but Harrison remained devout. George stayed pretty much out of the limelight but acquirred many fellow musician friends. In December of 1968 Harrison released a solo album called "Wonderwall Music" which was a non rock-n-roll experimental album, but it was listenable provided one had consumed the proper amount of LSD. After the official breakup of the Beatles in 1970 George began work on a solo album. Most of the songs were compositions John and Paul axed from potential Beatle albums. The studio line-up included a tour-de-force of musicians including Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo and the whole Delaney and Bonnie Leon Russell tribe. Produced by Phil Spector incorporating his famous wall of sound "All Things Must Pass" was released in November 1970 as a 3 record set and contained such masterpeices as "My Sweet Lord","What Is Life","If Not For You","Isn't It A Pity", "All Things Must Pass", "Beware Of Darkness","Wah Wah","Apple Scruffs" and more. "My Sweet Lord" was a number one hit. The third record was entitled "Apple Jam" and contained extended jam sessions featuring Eric Clapton. The album also included a poster of Harrison with hair as long as "Cousin It" (see the Adams Family reruns) surrounded by gnomes. Out of all the solo albums released by the former members of the Beatles "All Things Must Pass" ranks as one of, if not, the greatest. In 1971 he put together one of the first benefit concerts, "The Concert for Bangladesh". Again this featured a tour-de-force of musicians comprised mostly of the "All Things Must Pass" sessions, plus Bob Dylan & Eric Clapton . A couple of the highlights included Leon Russell's version of "Jumping Jack Flash/Youngblood" were Leon jumps on top of his grand piano and wails on the Les Paul guitar, a Bob Dylan nasal blast solo medley, an Eric Clapton tune and Billy Preston's "That's The Way God Planned It" and Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy" (where he forgets the words) . Released in December 1971 "The Concert For Bangladesh" produced a documentary film , another three record album and the studio recorded "Bangladesh" which was released as a single. Although one whole side on "The Concert For Bangladesh" is Ravi Shankar on sitar and his Tabla buddies, a couple hits of orange sunshine made it listenable. (I made it through on some 4-way window pane but my right eye was red for a year) After that Harrison basically slowly retreated from the public eye and recorded less and less. His 1973 "Living in the Material world" was dissappointing but made the top 5 anyways. Through out the seventies and eighties he released records with mixed results. After Lennon's death he released a tribute song to Lennon in 1981 entitled "All Those Years Ago". In 87-88 Harrison then teamed up with Jeff Lynne (of ELO) who helped Harrison produce and record the extraordinary album "Cloud Nine". This was to be Harrison's finest release since "All Things Must Pass" and produced the hit single "I've Got My Mind Set On You". Around the same time he teamed up with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan,Roy Oribson, and Jeff Lynne and recorded an album under the name of "The Traveling Wilburys".The single "Handle With Care" released from the album made the top ten.George was on the charts and M-TV and pretty much back at the top of his game at this point. Talks were under way of a tour when Orbison suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 52. This devestated Harrison and he again retreated into a reclusive life style. In 1995 George got together with the remaining Beatles who put vocals and tracking behind an old John Lennon demo that Yoko handed over. Released on the Beatles anthology series "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love" were the last new recordings the Beatles released. On December 30th, 1999 he was then stabbed in the chest by a deranged fan who broke into his home. Early into the new century George Harrison revealed that he had be suffering from throat cancer. He underwent surgery and seemed to have beat it. Shortly afterward he was discovered to have lung cancer. The cancer eventually spread to his brain and developed a brain tumor. He underwent extensive treatment but to no avail. He died on November 29th, 2001 at the age of 58, leaving Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as the last remaining Beatles. It is rumored that George Harrison recorded a secret album before his death.
Dan Hartman
Dan Hartman was a struggling musician until he won a spot as bass player in Edgar Winter's new band, which also featured Ronnie Montrose on guitar and Chuck Ruff on drums. The combination worked and in 1972 the Edgar Winter Group released "They Only Come Out At Night". Originally slated as a B-side , the synthesizer entrenched "Frankenstein" became a huge hit. They followed this up with the Hartman-penned tune "Free Ride" which also became a hit. Montrose then left to form his own band and was replaced by Rick Derringer who had played with both Johnny and Edgar Winter on previous albums. Johnny Winter also covered some of Hartman's compositions. Most notably, "Can't You Feel It" on Winter's "Still Alive and Well" in 1973, and "Rollin' Across The Country" on 1974's "Saints and Sinners". Expectations were high for the next record and "Shock Treatment" released in 1974 fizzled-out. With the magic gone the group broke up. Hartman embarked on an unsuccessful solo career while Edgar got on some flipped-out jazz binge and released "Jasmine Nightdreams". Neither would taste the success again of their first release. Hartman did have a hit in 1985 with "I Can Dream About You". Although he did the song, the video would feature a black hip-hop dance troupe. He spent the remainder of his career doing session work for various artists. Dan Hartman died of cancer on March 22nd, 1994 at the age of 44. UPDATE: Dan Hartman died of AIDS, not cancer

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was born "James Marshall Hendrix" November 27th, 1942. His father was black and his mother a full blooded Cherokee Indian. Considered by most as the greatest rock guitarist ever and most influential , Jimi Hendrix took the world by storm with his dazzling guitar pyrotechnics, use of feedback and LSD induced lyrics. After a stint in the Army cut short by injury Jimi decided to make music a full time career. It wasn't too long before Hendrix was backing the likes of "Little Richard", "The Isley Brothers" and "Sam Cooke". By 1966 Jimi was performing on his own at the "Cafe Wha?" as "Jimmy James and the Blue Flames" when he was spotted by Chas Chandler formerly of the "Animals". Chandler immediatley recognized Jimi's talent and whisked him off to England with promises of making him a star. Chandler teamed Jimi up with two english musicians Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. After a series of high powered jams "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" was born. Jimi's versatility as a guitarist was unlike any before him. He could play with his teeth, behind his back, between his legs. Armed with just a 50 watt Fender twin Reverb, a fuzz box, and ear shattering volume Jimi soon took the English club circuit by storm. All the top English groups came to see him, even Eric Clapton was blown away. Clapton once stated : "After seeing Jimi perform I felt like packing up my guitar and never playing again'. Jimi was also a master of a relatively new effects pedal called the "Wah-Wah Pedal" and played it better then anyone before or after him to this day. Although the Beatles were considered the first to use feedback during the opening notes of "I Feel Fine" , Jimi used feedback as a full frontal assault with precise control and deafening volume. Also he was the fastest guitarist on leads anyone had ever seen. He released 'Hey Joe" in December 1966 and then released a full lp only available in England. There are a few film clips that exist from his London club performances that illustrate just how great he was. Although by now the hottest act in England he was still relatively unknown in the states. In August of 1967 Reprise released "Are You Experienced", Although different from the English release, it contained 13 mind-blowing tracks and is considered one of the greatest rock albums ever. Containing classics like "Purple Haze","Fire","Foxey Lady","Hey Joe","The Wind Cries Mary" and "Are You Experienced". At Paul McCartney's insistance he was inivited to play at the Monteray pop festival organized by "Papa" John Phillips. (See Papa John Phillips for a detailed account of Jimi's legandary performance) Mickey Dolenz of the Monkee's then recruited Hendrix for their opening act. The teeny boppers boo'ed Hendrix and he soon dropped out of the tour. However the "Are You Experienced" album was selling like hotcakes. Jimi's second album "Axis:Bold as Love" was released in January 1968 to a receptive Hendrix buying public. Although not as "heavy" as the first it is still a classic containing the widely covered song "Little Wing" and "If Six Was Nine". (Which was featured on the soundtrack to the film "Easy Rider") . Hendrix then began pumping money into building a new recording studio which was to be called "Electric Ladyland". Hendrix then began work on his third album. By now Jimi was developing new ground in the studios experimenting with new sounds and effects. Hendrix toured and worked on the new record. Hendrix was spending a lot of time in the studio and the results were to become Hendrix's crowning achievement. Released in October of 1968 "Electric Ladyland" was a two record acid trip on vinyl. The lyrics , the guitar work and effects, and the quality of the songs were astounding. Jimi's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" blew every teenagers mind in America, including Dylans. There were two versions of Voodoo Chile, one a slow bluesy saxophone entrenched version and a total freaked out "delta blues on acid" version called "Voodoo Chile (Slight return). "Electric Ladyland" was probably the most "Wah-wah" pedal entrenced Hendrix album released. There was also a song called "Rainy Day" that started out slow and then hit hard with the wah wah pedal. This song was divided into two parts. The first was on record one. The second with the first song on side 4 and was called "Still Raining Still Dreaming". The record also contained another Hendrix hit song "Crosstown Traffic". There's a lot on this record not mentioned but it hits on most areas of Hendrix's vast talent. By now Hendrix was a bonified superstar and considered the greatest guitarest to ever strap on a Stratocaster. (Jimmy was left handed and usually played a white Fender Sratocaster strung upside down). By now Jimi was feeling the pressures of super stardom, dealing with managers, contractual obligations and getting burn't out from the touring. Noel Redding wasn't happy with his limited role in the band and tensions began to mount. On July 1st, 1969 the original experience broke up. Mitch Mitchell for the most part stayed on. In 1969 Reprise released "Smash Hits" which contained four songs that were released in England but never released in the states "Can You See Me","Remember", "Red House" and "Stone Free". (Red House was one of Jimi's favorite blues tunes and he played it at most of his concerts). Jimi then began spending a lot of time jamming at "The Record Plant" recording studio in New York. In August of 1969 Jimi was scheduled to perform at Woodstock. He would be closing the show. He shacked up somewhere near the Woodstock site in upstate New York and began a series of jams with mostly unknown musicians. however Mitch Mitchell would still be on drums and Billy Cox on Bass. Jimi introduced the group as "Gypsy's, Sun and Rainbows" and then launched into his set, a little uneven with the new musicians but the music was all Jimi Hendrix and he pulled it off igniting the crowd. Jimi was the highest paid performer at Woodstock receiving $12,000. Woodstock was an historic event, the apex of the 60's movement with overtones of "brotherhood, peace and love". Jimi's Woodstock performance would resurface in various incarnations for years to come. First, Jimi was in the Woodstock documentary film released in 1970. His version of the star spangled banner is continually played to this day. The Woodstock album (a 3 record set) which was released in 1970 contained a stripped down edited version of part of his show. In 72 still trying to cash in on the Woodstock tapes , Woodstock II was released which contained another favorite Hendrix concert tune "Here My Train a cumin". In the 1994 a digitally remastered version of "Hendrix at Woodstock" was released as a 25th anniversary edition. Again the sequence of the songs were rearranged but contained most of the material from the concert. As if that wasn't enough the original movie "Woodstock" was also remastered and released in dolby digital surround sound and contained added footage of Hendrix's performance. Then around 1998 a 2CD set of the entire Woodstock set was released in original "song set order". Ok, back to 1969. With Woodstock behind him Jimi retreated into the studio and continued to jam with tape machines constantly rolling. Rumor has it that Jimi was also being pressured by "The Black Panthers" to create music more geared to black audiences, but Jimi's fan base was predominantly white. Whatever the case may be he was under contract to release an album and was way overdue. Along with Billy Cox, he recruited Buddy Miles on drums and formed "Band of Gypsy's". New Year's Eve 1969 they played the Fillmore East. In March of 1970 "Hendrix - Band of Gypsys" was released. It contained such gems as "Who Knows" and "Machine Gun". Cox and Miles both had stints on the vocals. The sound had more of a soulful syncopation to it and differed from the previous Experience albums. Still it had the trademark Hendrix feedback and sold well. With most of his problems behind him Hendrix viewed 1970 as a new start. He again spent alot of time in the studio jamming and working on another 2 record set that was to be entitled "First Rays of the New Rising Sun". Another "Hendrix album" was released from the Monteray tapes. "Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix - two great experiences together". One side featured Otis Redding, the other Jimi Hendrix. By now Hendrix was racking up debt and began concentrating on the new album. Still countless hours of studio time were being eaten up by Hendrix, all night jam sessions and hundreds of reels of tape. At a private party he debuted a finished song called "Freedom" which was a strong back-in-form Hendrix tune. By summer 1970 the album was nearly complete and Hendrix had a few more tunes to wrap up and a little polishing to do. He flew to England to play the "Isle of Wight" festival on August 30th, 1970. The performance was also filmed but it was to be Jimi's last. There are many different accounts of Jimi's last days , this is my account from my research. Jimi was anxious to get back to the states. He had been staying at one of of his girlfriends flat in london. On the night of September 17th he left his girlfriends flat and called the states to discuss his ideas for the upcoming album cover. He came back and ate some of her sleeping pills, vesperax. According to accounts he ate a total of 9 pills and went to sleep. When the girl woke up in the morning she noticed some vomit around Jimi's mouth and she immediatley called for help. But it was too late, Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitar player ever was dead. The date was September 18th, 1970.Jimi was 27. The world was stunned. The establishment press viewed this as another rock star drug overdose. Contrary to what people want to believe Hendrix was not into heavy drugs and never to known to do heroin. He did smoke pot and experimented with LSD during the flower-power era. Recently a report had surfaced that a witness saw Jimi sitting up in the ambulance breathing oxygen. This has never been substaniated. LIFE AFTER HENDRIX - Jimi's stamp on rock and roll seems to be eternal. Even after Jimi's death the record moguls were determined to cash in on Jimi's legacy. With Jimi no longer in control of his music the duties were left to Alan Douglas to stretch whatever unreleased Hendrix material existed. They chopped up Hendrix's 2-record set he was working on and cut it down to one album. March of 1971 Reprise released what was hyped as Hendrix's last album, "The Cry Of Love". It contained "Freedom" and "Straight Ahead " and most of the best material from the sessions. The album cover sucked though, I don't think Jimi would of approved. Reprise wanted to ekk out another album from the sessions. In October of 1971 the record company released "Rainbow Bridge" which contained "Dolly Dagger" and a studio version of "Star Spangled Banner". Some of the material was weak but it was still Hendrix. In February of 1972 the live album "Hendrix In The West" was released. This was a decent album, first it contained a blistering version of "Johnny B. Goode" and a 13 minute version of "Red House" which I consider his finest version of that song. Then they ran to the outake pile and in 1972 released "War Heroes". I believe most of this stuff came from sessions recorded in England. It did contain an excellent song called "Highway Chile". It also contained "Stepping Stone" a song that would resurface later in diferent versions. In June of 1973 a documentary movie of Hendrix was released with an accompaning 2 record set. This looked like the end of the Hendrix material. 1974 the release of "Loose Ends", a collection of outtakes. Later on miles of recorded reels of tape were discovered by Alan Douglas and he began to piece together an album. 8 songs where selected and in March of 1975 "Crash Landing" was released. He came up with a few gems "Come Down Hard On Me","Somewhere over the Rainbow" and "Crash Landing", the rest were extended jams and different versions of previously released songs. Delving into the newly discovered tapes material was chosen for "Midnight Lightning" released in November 1975. The material was weak and was be to the last Hendrix release for awhile. In July 1978 "The Essential Jimi Hendrix volume one" was released as part of an anthology package and in April of 1979 "The Essential Jimi Hendrix - volume two" was released. Again mostly peviously released material this album did contain one gem worth buying the album for. It came with a EP record of a 7 minute blow-up of Hendrix doing a version of "Gloria". Probably recorded during the early london sessions , Hendrix went into orbit on this one, wailing feedback, jammimg and clowning around, worth the price of admission. During the 80's once CD's became popular a lot of the older material was being digitally remastered and were selling again. Realizing the amount of money to be made the Hendrix Family sued for rights to Jimi's music. I'm not sure when this started or ended but they eventually won the rights to Jimi's music. Again Alan Douglas was called on to put out a new CD.Released as "Kiss The Sky" in October 84 the CD came with the standard packaged Hendrix hits plus a few gems. First of all there was the version of "Killing Floor" Jimi recorded at monteray which was Jimi just wailing, why it was never released before is beyond me. Also a different version of "Stepping Stone" recorded with the "Band of Gypsy's", a live version of "I don't live today" and an unedited version of Jimi's studio version of "Red House". Also "Are You Experienced" was made into a video and frequently shown on M-TV exposing Hendrix to a whole new generation of rockers. Finally in February of 1986 the entire "Jimi Plays Monteray" concert was released. Since every Hendrix note ever played was recorded the hunt was continually on for releasable material. Again Alan Douglas reached into his bag of tricks and in May of 1987 released "Jimi Hendrix Live at Winterland" , an excellent CD it contains the only known live version of "Manic Depression". Another gem was the 1989 release Jimi Hendrix RADIO ONE recorded for the "Radio One" and "Top Gear" British radio show and has alot of unreleased Hendrix tunes running the gauntlet from blues,rock and scorching instrumentals. This captures Hendrix raw and uninhibited having a good time and playing like only he does to a small but receptive radio station VIP members. The next Jimi Hendrix endeavor was to capture Jimi's adeptness in the blues. After extensive research enough material was discovered to create a "blues" CD. Some recordings were found in Denmark. There was an old reel to reel tape discovered that a photographer had of Jimi doing an acoustic version of "Here My Train a Cumin'. a lot of the material were flawed but digitally glitches and unwanted noises were eliminated. On April 8th, 1994 "Jimi Hendrix - Blues" was released. Probably one of the finer releases of the posthumously Hendrix era this sucker wailed. If you want to see just how good a blues guitarist Hendrix was this is a must have. There are also a couple of tunes from the "Electric Sky Church" , another informal group Hendrix named.. To capitalize on the success of the 1994 releases of "Jimi at Woodstock" and "Blues", on June 7th , 1995 "Voodoo Soup" was released. Hendrix Family Productions rebounded in 1997. They decided to compile Hendrix's last album together the way he intended it and on April 22nd, 1997 released "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" This was Jimi , the chopping of his last works into two albums resulted in two mediocre albums. The "Rising Sun CD" put together in it's intended order recaptures the magic and has much more power then "The Cry of Love" and "Rainbow Bridge". (The two records management released that was all supposed to be on "First Ray's"). Captializing on the success of "First Rays of the New Rising sun" on October 7th, 1997 "South Saturn Delta" was released. It contained a song called "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" is a gem. Released in England I don't think it was ever available in the states. Again a couple of new tunes unearthed as well as some previous material. Last but not least "Live at the BBC " was released June 2nd 1998 and captures more of the Hendrix magic. Some of the remastered CD's contain bonus tracks such as "Smash Hits" which contains "51st Anniversary", the flip side of the 1966 English release of "Hey Joe". A great song never available in the states till now. IN CONCLUSION. I've tried to encompass most of the quality releases that were pressed after Hendrix's death. There are many more compilations out there,especially in the UK. There's probably some songs I've yet to hear. There is also a lot of good stuff on the internet never before available. For example I found an excellent version of "Roomful of Mirrors" with Chris Wood and Dave Mason of Traffic that goes on for about 10 minutes. Also some live stuff recorded in Atlanta. There are also many bootlegs, some of dubious quality. I have one of Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Jim Morrison. Of course Morrison was so drunk he could only shout out obscenitys into the mic. Another gem is "I woke up this morning and found myself dead'. Let's see what someone can unearth on Hendrix next, you've think by now they exhausted the supply, after all he's been dead for 32 years.
Bob "The Bear" Hite
Known as "The Bear" for his 300 pound plus frame, Bob "The Bear" Hite shared vocal duties with Alan Wilson of "Canned Heat". Bob and Alan Wilson started the band in 1965. Both avid blues collectors their contrasting styles made "Canned Heat" a double-edged sword. Bob churning out the gruff gravel voiced blues rockers and Alan's falsetto churning out harmonica-laced delicate blues. After the death of Wilson, Bob tried to keep the band together but posthumous Wilson releases failed to sell. Thru out the 70's "The Bear" kept various incarnations of the band together and toured the blues circuit to make a buck. By the early 80's Bob was a broken and bitter man and was heavily involved in drugs. On April 5th of 1981 after doing a gig in Venice Beach, California he suffered a drug and alcohol induced heart attack and died at the age of 36.

Randy Jo Hobbs
Randy Jo Hobbs was a bass player for Edgar Winter, Montrose and for the most part, Johnny Winter. He appears on all of Johnny Winter's albums from 1971's "Johnny Winter And....Live" thru 1976's "Johnny Winter Captured Live". He acquirred a drug habit that he could not break. Down and out , he was found dead in a Dayton, Ohio motel room from a drug overdose at the age of 45 on August 5th, 1993.

Buddy Holley
The Big Bopper
Richie Valens
Perhaps the most tragic rock-n-roll plane crash of all time. Buddy Holley, 22, The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) 28, and Richie Valens, 17, all perished when they boarded a plane in Clear Lake Iowa and in a blinding snow storm crashed shortly after take-off on February 3rd, 1959. It is also the most widely debated plane crash as to the exact details of the circumstances of how all three ended up on the plane. Needing money Buddy reluctantly signed on for the "Winter Dance Party Tour". Traveling by bus the trip was marred with frequent mechanical breakdowns and a heater that didn't work. After what was to be their final concert in Clear Lake Iowa, a plane was chartered to the next gig. Buddy wanted to get his laundry done and claimed a seat on the plane. Legend has it that Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to a persistent Buddy Holly. Waylon jokingly told Holly, "I hope you crash", Something that has haunted Waylon ever since "the day the music died". Richie Valens fate was decided by a coin toss. Agruing over the remaining seat with Holly band member Tommy Allsup they flipped a coin. Valens called "heads"! The coin came up heads and Valen's took the ill-fated last seat in the plane. It has also been claimed that Allsup was not on the tour and that Jennings was involved in the coin toss. However pictures collected from the winter tour show Allsup present in the band. The Big Bopper camp claims that "Big Bopper" was sufering from the flu and needed to see a doctor and because of this Waylon gave his seat to the bopper. And on and on it goes with varying accounts from site to site, book to book, rock and roll historian to rock and roll historian. One thing is for sure, the plane took off in a blinding snowstorm and crashed shortly after takeoff into a cornfield and came to rest on a barbed wire fence. The cause of the crash : The pilot was relatively inexperienced and new instruments had recently been installed in the control panel. With no clear visibility the pilot would need to rely on the gauges to properly pilot the plane. After the crash the plane was hauled in for investigation. No evidence of mechanical failure was found. The final conclusion was determined to be pilot error. After analyzing the gauge positions on the instrument panel it was determined that the pilot misread the altimeter gauge, thinking he was actually ascending he was actually descending and crashed. The reference to the plane being christened "The American Pie", immortalized in the Don McClean song, is also claimed to be false. Records show the aircraft was unamed.

James Honeyman-Scott
Peter Farndon
The Grim Reaper of Rock got a two for one special on "The Pretenders". Fronted by Chrissy Hynde the band burst on the music scene in 1980. Their debut album really rocked and "Brass In Pocket" became a hit. They followed this up with "Pretenders II" and then the singles "Talk Of The Town","My City Was Gone" and "Back On The Chain Gang". By the time of "Middle of the Road" Hynde and the drummer Martin Chambers were parents together and two of the band members were dead. Lead guitar player James Honeyman-Scott was found dead from a drug overdose on June 16th, 1982 at the age of 25. Bassist Peter Farndon followed him ten months later on April 14th, 1983 at the age of 30.

John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker was born outside Clarksdale Mississippi on August 22nd, 1917 in the heart of the delta. The son of a sharecropper he discovered the delta blues at an early age. He learned guitar from his stepfather Will Moore who played along the likes of Charlie Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He left home at 14 and made his way up to Memphis Tennesee working odd jobs and honing his technique. He eventually landed a factory job in Detroit and played in clubs at night. T-bone Walker gave him his first electric guitar. In 1948 he recorded "Boogie Chillen' which sold over a million copies. This song was to become the blueprint for most of his later recordings. Some of his better known songs were "Boom Boom","one bourbon,one scotch,one beer","I'm in the mood","crawling king snake" and "dimples". Hooker invented what was to be coined as the "Boogie-woogie riff". This riff can be most identified with ZZ Top's "La Grange" and Canned Heat's "Hockey Boogie". He was revered by rock musicians who covered his tunes. George Thorogood, The Allman Brothers, The Animals, The Doors and a host of other groups all had a hooker tune in their bag. Led Zeppelin would even borrow phrases and some "hooks" from the hook. In 1970 John Lee Hooker recorded a 2 record set with Canned Heat called "Hooker N Heat". Most of the tunes were the Hook alone plugged into a Silvertone amp and a piece of plywood to do his stomping with Canned Heat providing ocassional backing and Al Wilson's harmonica. In 1989 during the Steel Wheels tour Hooker was invited to perform in the pay per view broadcast of the Stones concert held in Atlantic City which also featured Eric Clapton and Axl Rose. Hooker was 72 years old and the Stones quite didn't know what to expect. As "The Hook" hit the stage Ron Wood leaned over and told him "just play anything", but before he could finish "The Hook" launched into "Boogie Chillen" setting the boogie tempo for the band to follow. The hook pulled out all the stops not missing a beat and showcased his famous index finger strum which he raked up and down the strings. The Hook also had a bit part in the 1980 movie "The Blues Brothers". On June 21st, 2001 John Lee Hooker died in his sleep at the age of 83, signaling the end of one of the last remaining blues legends.

Shannon Hoon
Shannon Hoon was a talented singer songwriter who fronted the band Blind Melon. Shannon epitomized the wreckless carefree attitude of the Generation X'ers. Mad, confused, ambitionless with no direction they wanted to make a statement. The only thing was no one could figure out what to complain about. Shannon and his generation took the excess's of the 60's,70's and 80's, rolled them up into one big joint and smoked it. While in his teens Shannon was asked to join a band and he took to it like a fish to water. He had a unique voice and was a natural on stage. He soon left his home town of Lafayette , Indiana and headed for LA. He soon hooked up with what was to become "Blind Melon". He was befriended by Axl Rose who invited him to sing back-up on a GNR tune. On the strength of a demo the band was signed by Capitol records. After two singles failed to sell Capitol was ready to drop the band but released "No Rain" because it was a concert favorite. With the bee suit theme video it became one of the most popular videos on M-TV and the album went gold. During the shoot Shannon reportly was on LSD and walked around naked half the time. Shannon was a wild man and dove into the LA style consuming about every drug he could get his hands on. As Shannon's drug use escalated it soon became apparrent that he had developed a severe substance abuse problem. At a concert on halloween night while on LSD he went over the edge by urinating on the audience. He was subsequently arrested. Realizing he had a problem he did a stint in re-hab but relapsed shortly afterward. Again he did rehab and was straight for about 3 months but when "Blind Melon" performed at Woodstock in 1994 he took LSD and gave the performance of a lifetime. The birth of his daughter mellowed him out for a while but when out on the road he began using heroin and cocaine again. While on route to New Orleans he engaged in an all night cocaine binge. The band then checked into their hotel rooms. Shortly afterward Shannon left his hotel room. What happened next remains a mystery. Shannon was found dead in the roadies tour bus, dead from a cocaine overdose on October 21st, 1995 at the age of 28. The CD "Soup" was released posthumously after his death and dedicated to his daughter. During his short life Shannon journaled all his travels on video thru a fish eye lens. Like the rest of his contemporaries he burned out too fast.

Douglas Hopkins
Douglas Hopkins was a songwriter with the group "The Gin Blossoms". Their CD "New Miserable Experience" was a smash hit with tunes like "Hey Jealousy","Found Out About You" ,"Until I Fall Away" and "Allison Road". After Hopkins committed suicide on December 5th , 1993 at the age of 32, they released a lifeless follow-up and then broke-up citing a lack of interest.

Nicky Hopkins
Nicky Hopkins was a popular session pianist and sometimes group-member for a variety of bands including "The Rolling Stones". Thru out the late-sixties and seventies it seemed that everytime you picked up an album cover and read the credits, Nicky Hopkins was listed as the Piano player. In 1968 he joined "The Jeff Beck Group" (Which included Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood) and played on "Truth" and "Beck-ola". He also did a brief stint with the latter version of "Quicksilver Messenger Service". He died September 9th of 1994 at the age of 50 due to a medical illness.

Howlin' Wolf
"Howlin' Wolf" was born "Chester Arthur Burnett" on June 10th, 1910 in West Point, Mississippi. He is considered one of the greatest blues vocalist of all time. In addition to this he was an accomplished harp player who learned from "Sonny Boy Williamson". He had a low gritty voice that would curl your hair and was known for his trademark "howl" which he inflected on his recordings. In 1951 he recorded two of his own compositions for Chess Records entitled "Moanin' At Midnight" and "How Many More Years". In 1954 he relocated from Memphis to Chicago and teamed-up with songwriter bass player Willie Dixon were the two recorded both Dixon's and Wolf's most memorable tunes. He wrote a number of blues standards such as "Sitting on Top of the World", "Smokestack Lightin'", "The Red Rooster","Who's Been Talkin" and "Forty-four". Like many of the Delta Blues singers he had ties to the greats: Willie Brown,Charlie Patton, and the immortal Robert Johnson. Wolf stood 6'3" and was an imposing figure behind the microphone who performed as if in a hypnotic trance. Underneath his gruff exterior was a charming personality with a quality that just made people like him. Brian Jones was a big fan and brought him on "Shindig" were he performed "How Many More Years" in true-wolf form. In 1970 he cut an album entitled "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" were he recorded all of his great songs with some of England's finest musicians including Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Steve Winwood. He toured all the way up to his death from a kidney ailment on January 10th, 1976 at the age of 65. In 1997 "The Howlin' Wolf Blues Society" of West Point Mississippi erected a mammoth tombstone with a lifesize marble statue of the Wolf over his grave.

Michael Hutchence
"INXS" lead-singer Michael Hutchence commited suicide by hanging himself inside his hotel room at the Ritz Carlton in Sydney Austrailia on the morning of November 22nd, 1997 while the rest of the group waited for him at a rehearsal studio where they were preparing for the group's 20th-anniversary tour. In 1987 the group released the album "Kick", which spawned four hit-singles ; "Need You Tonight","Never Tear Us Apart","New Sensation" and "Devil Inside". By the nineties record sales had fallen off but they still remained popular in Austrailia were the group had originated from. Michael Hutchence was 37 years old.

Al Jackson
Al Jackson was the ultimate "Soul" drummer of Stax recording studios in the sixties and early seventies playing behind Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Al Green and a host of others. On October 1st of 1975 while walking to the Stax recording studios in Memphis, he was shot and killed by a would-be robber. He was 39 years old .

Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson is the undisputed "King of the Delta Blues". Ask any worthy rock musician about Robert Johnson and they could go on for hours. Mick, Keith, Eric Clapton and Dickey Betts are all huge Robert Johnson fans. Some say he made a pact with the devil while "standing at the crossroads". Whatever the folklore may be, his impact on blues and rock music is immeasurable. Much research has been conducted on his life with conflicting accounts but this much is known. Robert Johnson was born the son of a sharecropper in Hazelhurst , Mississippi on May 8th, 1911. He frequented the "jook joints" on the Mississippi Delta were he would watch Son House, Charlie Patton and Willie Brown do their thing. He would often grab one of the guitars and try to play it before being run off. One day he showed-up at the "jook joint" with a guitar and played the "Terraplane Blues" and blew the roof off the place. From then on he rode the "blinds" (train), traveling from city to city playing were ever he could for pocket money. He hooked-up with Johnny Shines and Calvin Frazier and took Highway 51 to Chicago were they went to play the blues . His slide guitar playing still remains as some of the most haunting today and is standard learning material for any serious acoustic slide guitar player. The songs Robert Johnson recorded on a wire recorder in a Dallas hotel room are all considered classics.Here is a complete list of every Robert Johnson song he wrote and recorded: "Kind Hearted Woman Blues","Dust My Broom","Sweet Home Chicago","Rambling On My Mind","When You've Got a Good Friend","Come On Into My Kitchen","Terraplane Blues","Phonograph Blues","32-20 Blues","The're Red Hot","Dead Shrimp Blues","Crossroad Blues","Walking Blues","Last Fair Deal Gone Down","Preaching Blues","If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day","Stones In My Passway","I'm a Steady Rolling Man","From Four Till Late", "Hellhound On My Trail","Little Queen of Spades","Drunken-hearted Man","Stop Breakin' Down", "Traveling Riverside Blues","Honeymoon Blues","Love In Vain", "Milkcow Calf Blues", "Malted Milk" and "Me and the Devil". Aside from the music, there are only two photographs of Robert Johnson that are known to exist. He had a reputation as a ladies man which eventually would lead to his untimely demise. Son House told him never to drink from an open bottle but he didn't listen, because a jealous husband spiked his booze with poison at a gig one night. According to interviews with "Honeyboy" Edwards who was present that night, there was more then one out to get Johnson. Everytime Johnson said he felt ill others in on the conspiracy encouraged him to take another drink. After he collapsed "Honeyboy" Edwards and a couple of others carried him to a friend's couch. He hung on for three days before finally passing away on August 16th, 1938 at the age of 27. (the official death certificate lists his age at 26, while others maintain he was 29). His legend lives on to this day.

Billy Jones
Billy Jones was one third of the three guitar army known as the "Outlaws". In 1975 they released their debut album. In 1976 they followed up with "Lady In Waiting" and "Hurry Sundown" in 1977. Henry Paul then left to form "Grey Ghost". The band released "Bringing It Back Alive" in 1978 and then started a downhill slide with changing personnel. Some of their popular tunes included "There Goes Another Love Song", "Green Grass and High Tides (A 10 minute "Freebird" style rock-out)","Hurry Sundown", "Ghost Riders in the Sky","Take It Any Way You Want It" and "Breaker Breaker". In February of 1995 he commited suicide at the age of 45. See also Frank O'Keefe

Brian Jones
Known as the "Beautiful Stone", and the most wasteful, Brian Jones was found drowned in his pool July 3rd 1969 shortly after being kicked out of the Stones. The Stones held a memorial concert July 5th at Hyde park were they also introduced his replacement, 20 year-old Mick Taylor whom they picked-up from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. It was Brian who is credited with starting the group (along with Ian Stewart who they kicked-out for looking too normal) and giving the group it's name. (after the Muddy Waters tune "Rollin' Stone"). Brian assumed early leadership of the group until Mick and Keith's songwriting began to dominant. Although he couldn't write songs he provided Sitar,Marimba, Dulcimer, slide guitar and other instumentation to the Stones recordings. In 1967 things began to fall apart for Brian. Keith stole his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg while in Tangiers and he was repeatively busted for drugs. In 1968 as the Stones came out of the pyschedelic era Brian did not. His use of hallucinogenics increased and he started missing gigs and recording sessions, when he did show up he was in no condition to play. When the Stones decided to go back on tour in 1969 they had no choice but to kick him out of the band. A month later he was dead. His cause of death was listed as "Death By Misadventure". New reports have surfaced that Brian Jones was actually murdered by a handyman doing painting around the house, long suspected he confessed on his deathbed. This seems to be plausable because Brian's autopsy revealed minor traces of alcohol and no drugs in his system. Brian Jones was 27 years old at the time of his death.

Janis Joplin
Janis was perhaps the greatest female rock-n-roll singer of all time. She hailed from Port Arthur Texas , a loner in high school she immersed herself in music. She had a hard-gritty voice and was well-versed in the blues, emulating Black female blues artists such as Big Mama Thornton. In 1965 she headed for San Fransico and was singing in coffee shops when she was recruited By "Big Brother and the Holding Company" who were shopping for a lead singer. Her first album on Mainstream Records simply entitled "Big Brother and the Holding Company" tanked. She later signed with Columbia and began work on her breakthrough album "Cheap Thrills". She made appearances at the "Monterray Rock Festival" and "Woodstock". Her "Cheap Thrills" album which contained studio cuts and songs recorded live at the Fillmore with "Big Brother and the Holding Company" remains a rock classic. She could pound down the "Southern Comfort" and established a "tough girl" image even though those closest to her claimed she was actually quite shy and insecure of herself. Convinced by management that she needed a stronger backing group and should go solo she abandoned "Big Brother" and formed a new band for her next album "I Got Them Ole Kosmic Blues Again Mama". The album was a departure from the psychedelic attack of "Big Brother". A bit of a dissapointment to many Joplin fans who felt she should of remained with "Big Brother". In 1970, with yet another overhaul of her back-up band Janis began work on her next album. The album was nearly complete with just the cut "Buried Alive In The Blues" needing her vocals. Sadly, she would never complete the song. On October 4th of 1970 she was found dead in Hollywood's Landmark Hotel, the victim of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27 years old. Her last album "Pearl" was released posthumously and yeilded her biggest hit single "Me and Bobby McGee".

Terry Kath
Terry Kath was the original guitarist for "Chicago Transit Authority" who later shortened their name to just "Chicago". "Chicago" burst upon the music scene in late 1969 with a double album set which included "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is","Beginnings" and a beefed-up version of "I'm A Man". Thru-out the 70's they released a slew of FM radio hits such as "25 or 6 to 4","Make Me Smile","Color My World", "Saturday In The Park","Old Days","If You Leave Me Now","Brand New Love Affair","Harry Truman", "Feeling Stronger Everyday","Just You and Me", "Baby What a Big Suprise","Another Rainy Day In New York City", "Wishing You Were Here", "Call On Me" and "I've Been Searching So Long", and the list goes on !. Terry was known to carry firearms and on January 28th, 1978 he picked up his gun held it to his head and said "See, it isn't loaded" and pulled the trigger. End of story. He was 32 years old.

Wells Kelly
Wells Kelly was the drummer for the group "Orleans" who in 1975 hit with "Dance with Me" and "Let There Be Music". In 1976 they released "Waking and Dreaming" which yielded "Still The One". He went on to play in "Meatloaf"'s band. On October 29th of 1984 he choked to death at the age of 35.

Johnny Kidd
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were known for their hit song "Shakin' All Over" , which has been covered by a number of bands including "The Guess Who" and "The Who". He died in a car accident on September 7th of 1966 at the age of 27.

Dean Kilpatrick
See Ronnie Van Zandt

Freddie King
Freddie King was one of Eric Clapton's blues guitar heroes. He learned a lot of his licks by listening to old Freddie King albums . He even recorded an album with him. On December 28th of 1976 after a Christmas concert, Freddie King suffered a massive heart attack and died backstage at the age of 43. He also had been suffering from bleeding ulcers and high-blood pressure.

Alexis Korner
Alexis Korner was known as "The Father of Britsh Blues". His band "Blues Incorporated" was another "breeding ground" for a number of budding British musicians. A neophyte Mick Jagger got his start with "Blues Incorporated". It was Alexis who said "this guy is going to be big some day" when Mick could barely carry a tune. Alexis died of cancer on New Years day, 1984 at the age of 56.

Cub Koda
Cub Koda was lead guitar player for the boogie-rock band "Brownsville Station" best known for their 1973 hit "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and his trademark world war II round japanese style eyeglasses. Along with Henry "H-bomb" Wreck on drums and Michael Lutz on bass they played Detroit-style loud and proud in-your-face rock and roll. Usually an opening act "Brownsville Station" never really hit it big. After the group disbanded in 1979 Cub remained active and produced and guest-rocked on a number of groups. He played guitar and the harmonica intro on the "Blackfoot" song "train train". He was born October 1st, 1948 and died June 1st , 2000 at the age of 51 due to complications from kidney disease.

Paul Kossoff
Paul Kossoff was the original guitar player for Free, whose "Al1 Right Now" remains a rock standard. By 1972 Kossoff had accquired a bad drug habit and frequently was unable to perform. After the final break-up of Free in July of 1973, Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke formed "Bad Company" and Kossoff formed "Backstreet Crawler". While "Bad Company" grew into a highly successful band, "Backstreet Crawler" was crawling. On March 19th 1976 at the age of 26 , Kossoff's hard-living caught up with him, while on a plane enroute from L.A. to New York he suffered a drug induced heart attack which proved fatal.

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The Small Faces" were formed in 1965 by Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott. The two met when Ronnie tried to steal a P.A. system for Marriott's group "The Pioneers". They were called "The Small Faces" because no band member stood over 5 foot 6 inches tall and they were "faces". A term refering to a mid-sixties London fashion statement of a mod flashy style of dress and attitude. The group initially was formed of Steve Marriott on guitar, Ronnie Lane on bass, Jimmy Winston on keyboards and Kenny Jones on drums. After there first single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" Jimmy Winston left the band and was replaced by Ian McLagan. The band was soon signed to Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label and enjoyed a string of top ten U.K. singles over the next few years. There only success in America was the 1967 psychedelic single "Itchycoo Park" which reached number 16 on the Billboard charts. "Itchycoo Park" was the first recording to feature a studio technique called "phase shifting". By 1968 "The Small Faces" had outgrown their "mod-image" and released the concept album. "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake". On February 1st, 1969 Marriott announced his departure from the group and went on to form "Humble Pie" and "The Small Faces" found themselves floundering. Also their record label "Immediate" had folded. (They were eventually signed by Warner Brothers) The remaining "Small Faces" hooked up with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood who had recently become available after the demise of "The Jeff Beck Group" and after a series of jams and were now known as "The Faces". In 1970 "The Faces" released their first album entitled "First Step" or more appropriately entitled "First Flop". In 1971 they released "Long Player" which didn't fare much better. In late 1971 they released "A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse" which yielded the #17 rocker "Stay with Me" and garnered the band national attention in the USA. Through all this hoopla various members of "The Faces"were backing Rod Stewart on his solo albums. "The Rod Stewart Album" 1969,"Gasoline Alley"1970 and "Every Picture Tells a Story" in 1971 (which established Stewart as a national act and contained his biggest hit "Maggie May") and "Never a Dull Moment" in 1972. In 1973 "The Faces" (with Rod still in tow) released "Ooh La La" which contained "Cindy Incidentally" which charted at #48. For the most part of "The Faces" tenure they seemed to work in the lucrative shadow of Rod Stewart's career. In 1973 Ronnie Lane struck out on his own and started a traveling rock circus complete with jugglers, fire eaters. He then recorded 4 albums with "Slim Chance". By 1976 with Ron Wood joining "The Stones" the "Faces" began to disintegrate. Meanwhile Ronnie cut an album called "Rough Mix" in 1977 with Pete Townsend of "The Who". In the late 70's Ronnie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and he began a couragous fight against the disease. (His Mother had also died from the disease). He tried various treatments to halt the disease from snake venom injections to hyperbaric oxygen treatments. He was instrumental in the formation of (A.R.M.S.) (Action Research Multiple Sclerosis). In 1983 he appeared at the A.R.M.S. concert fund raiser which included Ronnie Wood,Charlie Watts,Jeff Beck,Jimmy Page,Steve Winwood and others. In 1984 he moved to Houston then Austin. In 1985 he breifly returned to England for a "Faces" reunion following a Rod Stewart concert. While in Texas he became envolved with various music endeavors with mixed results.By the early nineties the disease had worsened and Ronnie began to show signs of severe incapacitation.. In 1994 Ronnie move to Trinidad Colorado with his third wife Susan Gallegas. He fought to the bitter end finally succumbing to the disease on June 4th, 1997 at the age of 51. In the end, Ronnie proved to be an example for us all, he never gave up his love for music or his zest for life.
Nicolette Larson
Nicolette Larson hailed from Helena Montana. She once sang back-up for Hoyt Axton and Commander Cody. She got her big break when she recorded Neil Young's "Lotta Love" which she found on a demo tape on the floor of Neil's car. She married famous session drummer Russell Kunkel. She recorded with a number of artists during her career. She also played the part of a nightclub singer in the movie "Twins". She died due to complications of cerebral edema on December 16th, 1997 at the age of 45.

John Lennon
John Lennon was a brilliant songwriter and true genius and perhaps, the greatest influence on rock-n-roll. As a member of the "biggest" rock-n-roll band ever , "The Beatles", he used rock-n-roll as a political and philosophical tool. By 1960 "The Beatles" had been performing together for 4 years. Their legendary gigs in Hamburg, Germany honed them into a tight act. By 1962 Brian Epstein had signed-on as manager after seeing them perform in Liverpool ‘s "Cavern Club". He cleaned them up and got them an audition with Decca (The recently released Decca audition tapes yield a weak collection of songs which were picked-out by Epstein for the band to perform) were the group bombed. When George Martin heard them at EMI he wasn't overly impressed with the material but "sensed there was something there" and they were signed to a contract with Martin to act as producer. The first Lennon-McCartney penned tune released was "Love Me Do" which reached number 17 on the British Charts. By this time Ringo Starr had replaced Pete Best on drums. As soon as George Martin heard their follow-up "Please Please Me" he knew it was a number one. "Please Please Me" shot to the top of the charts and Martin realized he had a hit group on his hands and rushed to put an album out. By the end of 1963 "The Beatles" were the top group in England and "Beatlemania" was in full swing. Everywhere they went they were mobbed by hundreds of screaming hysterical fans. Back in the States EMI's sister company "Capitol" had not released one single by "The Beatles" ! Claiming the group didn't "fit their market" Capitol leased the masters to Vee-Jay records who pressed them with little results. "She Loves You" was released on Swan Records. Without any promotion at all Disc Jockeys all over the country began to spin Beatle records. When Martin presented "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to Capitol there was no way they could turn it down. Released with "I Saw Her Standing There" as the B-side it was a instant smash hit. In February of 1964 "The Beatles" played "The Ed Sullivan Show" ushering-in what was to be termed as "The British Invasion". By March of 1964 "The Beatles" held the number 1 thru 5 chart postions while "Beatlemania" exploded thru-out the U.S. The motion picture "A Hard Day's Night" followed and soon teenagers all over the country were picking up the guitar in hopes to emulate "The Beatles". Even Roger McGuinn of "The Byrds" switched to a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar similar to George Harrisons after viewing the movie. 1965 saw the release of "Help" and the Beatles's good-time music was prolific as ever. By 1966 LSD and marijuana had entered the picture and with the release of "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" their days as lovable mop-tops were over. It was the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, psychedelia. In late 1966 the Beatles entered the Abbey Road studios to begin work on their next album. "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" released during the 1967 "Summer of Love" was hailed a masterpiece which would forever change the course of rock-n-roll. It also changed the way people listened to music. It was not uncommon in those days to drop a hit of acid and put on "Sgt Pepper's" and really get into it. "Sgt Pepper's" is considered by most rock critics as the greatest rock album ever. Brian Wilson was said to have suffered a nervous breakdown because of this album, fearing he could not match up to it. (Brian has not written a hit single since) Shortly after this period Brian Epstein died from an accidental drug overdose and "The Beatles" decided to manage themselves. A cataclysmic mistake that would eventually sink the band. The first post Epstein project was the film "The Magical Mystery Tour". The idea was to rent a bus, fill-it with actors and circus freaks, travel the countryside and film whatever happens. The problem was nothing happened. The album soundtrack did well but the film was a commercial disaster. The next Beatles film was one of the last remnants of Brian's management. He had sealed a deal to create a Beatles cartoon movie, with "The Beatles" to provide voice-overs and songs for the soundtrack. "Yellow Submarine" , complete with "Blue Meanies" and "Apple-bonkers" with it's pop-art overtones was released to critical acclaim. By mid 1968 the "Summer of Love"had been replaced by "Revolution" and anti-establishment "change the world" decrees. Rock had grown-up and was getting mean. The Beatles then released the infamous "White Album". A double album set , "The White Album" was a hodgepodge collection of uneven individual and group efforts, but still remains a favorite to most Beatle listeners. The familiar Capitol records label was now replaced with the "Apple" label. With the ever-increasing presence of Yoko Ono coupled with the pressures of Beatlemania tensions within the band began to mount. In early 1969 the group began work on a new film which would depict "The Beatles" process of writing and recording an album. The project broke down halfway thru and was shelved indefinitely leaving a wake of miles of recorded tape. Talks were in the works about disbanding when they decided to "get back in the recording studio and make an album like we used to". The resulting "Abbey Road " released in 1969 was one the Beatles greatest albums. Phil Spector was then called in to salvage an album out of the previous shelved tape. Released in early 1970, "Let It Be" marked the end of the Beatles. In May of 1970 they made it official, "The Beatles", the greatest musical group in recorded history were no more. Each member of the band embarked on a solo career. In 1970 Lennon released his first solo album. Known as the "primal scream" album it was panned by the critics. In 1971 he released "Imagine" which contained his most popular song of the same name. In 1972 both John and Yoko took up residence in New York City and became involved in radical left wing politics. "Tricky Dick" (Richard Nixon) had tried to keep Lennon out but to no avail. In 1973 "Mind Games" was released and was also panned. Around this time Yoko gave John the boot, claiming they (mainly John) needed some time away from each other. Lennon headed for L.A. and teamed up with Harry Nilsson were the two began drinking heavily. (See Nilsson) Lennon then decided to record an album of cover versions of 50's classics. The sessions broke down into drunken debauchery with the masters carted-off. A pieced version of the sessions was eventually released as "Rock-n-roll". Yoko eventually took John back and in 1975 things began to look-up. Lennon was granted a green card, his son Sean was born and "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" from "Walls and Bridges" hit number one. Honoring a commitment to Elton John, he appeared on stage during one of Elton's concerts at Madison Square Garden in 1975. They performed "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" and "I Saw Her Standing There". This was to be the last time John Lennon was to perform live in concert. Lennon then retired from rock-n-roll to become a house husband , setting up shop in the Dakota Building in New York City. Rock waned on without him but by 1979 the Lennon creativity had returned and he begun writing new material. Lennon also felt the time was right for Yoko after comparing her vocal technique to that of the B-52's. In late 1979 Lennon entered the studio to begin work on his comeback album. Things in the studio were different this time around, drugs and drink had been replaced with health foods. The album was to alternate songs of John and Yoko's. Released in 1980 "Double Fantasy" was hailed as Lennon's finest solo effort to date. With the single "Just Like Starting Over" climbing the charts the album peaked at number one and talks were in the works for an accompanying tour. This bliss was to be short-lived however. On December 8th of 1980 while returning to the Dakota from the recording studio, Lennon was shot in the back by Mark David Chapman.. Any hopes of a much desired Beatles reunion ended of the steps of the Dakota. John Lennon was 40 years old at the time of his death , his assassination is one of the greatest tragedies in the history of rock music.
Ty Longley
What can you say about Great White's gig at a Rhode Island club ? They really burned down the house.Yep they really were on fire that night. What a set ! They were cookin. The guitarist Ty Longley was smokin' ! Literally ! Yeah , they really know how to light up a crowd. A 99 rocker shish-ka-bob . The Grim Reaper showed-up afterwards with some Heinz 57. And what great seats, front row coffin. A record for most fans bar-b-qued at a rock concert. Great White came into prominence In 1989 with the cover version of Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten Twice Shy". The CD entitled the same did well and cranked out some fine rockers. After fading from view this bunker buster of a band reunited for a club circuit tour. On February 20th, 2003 while playing at "The Station" in West Warwick Rhode Island, Ty Longley perished along with 99 flam bayed fans when the pyrotechnics ignited the entire club. Great White has vowed to re-group though. Their next release is entitled "All My Fans Are Crispy Critters".

Frankie Lymon
Frankie Lymon was just thirteen when he hit it big with "Why do fools fall in love". The song hit #1 in 1956 and remains a 50's rock standard to this day. When the hits dried-up so did Frankie. A heroin addict since the late fifties he died from a drug overdose February 28th, 1968 at the age of 25.

Phil Lynott
Phil Lynott was a black irishman who fronted the band Thin Lizzy. In 1976 after a couple of mediocre albums they hit with "Jailbreak" which contained "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak". The band was soon kaput and after years of heroin abuse Phil's health began to deteriorate. He died of acute liver failure on January 4th, 1986 at the age of 35.
Richard Manuel
Richard Manuel provided piano,drums,harmonica and vocals for "The Band". "The Band" toured as Bob Dylan's back-up band in 1966. Loved by the critics their records sold only moderately. They are known for the classic songs "The Weight","The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down","Rag Mama Rag","Chest Fever" and "Up On Cripple Creek". On March 4th of 1986 he took his own life at the age of 42.

Bob Marley
Bob Marley was the undisputed messiah of Reggae music. With his lyrics of oppression and longing for freedom, combined with harmonious melodies, Bob Marley was popular with the mainstream rock music audiences as well as reggae. In the middle of his world wide tour in 1980 he collapsed onstage and was discovered to have cancer. He died at the "Cedars of Lebanon" hospital in Miami on May 11th of 1981 at the age of 36.

Steve Marriott
Steve Marriott was an original scene making "face" and was in the band the "Small Faces", who in 1967 had a top twenty psychedelic single with "Itchycoo Park". (" Small Faces" because no band member was taller than 5'6'') Steve Marriott went on to form "Humble Pie" with guitarist Peter Frampton. Their 1971 double album release "Rockin at the Fillmore" is considered one of the great live rock albums. When Frampton left in 72 they released "Smokin" and then disbanded. In the early nineties , after both careers were rock bottom, Marriott and Frampton decided to reform "Humble Pie". Steve told a friend of his: "the only way were not going to get together again is over my dead body". He didn't know how right he was, on the night of April 20th, 1991 he fell asleep while smoking a cigarette and his house caught on fire and he died from smoke inhalation. He was 43 years old.

Linda McCartney
Born Linda Louise Eastman September 21st 1941, Linda grew-up in Scarsdale New York, part of a wealthy family whose father, Lee Eastman, was a prominent show-business lawyer. Contrary to popular belief her family was not part of the Eastman-Kodak Empire. In the mid-sixties she started taking pictures of rock groups and eventually became a staff photographer for "Rolling Stone" magazine. Her photographs are considered some of the best in the business and she has had books published depicting her most memorable work. In 1967, she met Paul McCartney at a party in London were the two eventually married on March 11th,1969 as hundreds of sobbing girls packed the sidewalk. McCartney's first solo album released in 1970 contained two songs about her entitled "The Lovely Linda" and "Maybe I'm Amazed". By the time of "Ram" released in 1971, Paul had her playing keyboards and singing back-up vocals. The critics bashed her limited musicianship and nasal vocal blasts. In 1972 the McCartney's added Denny Laine and became "Wings". Their first effort "Wings - Wildlife" really blew and it appeared that "Marital Bliss" was mellowing out Paul a little too much. They bounced back in 1973 with the release of "Band On the Run" which spawned three hit singles: "Band On the Run","Helen Wheels" and "Jet". That same year they were nominated for an Academy award for the theme song they wrote for "Live and Let Die". By 1975's "Venus And Mars" Linda's musicianship and background vocals had substantially improved and the band was honed to a tight unit. In 1976 Paul took the "old lady" (something Mick Jagger would never do) and the rest of the band on the road to back up the release of "Speed of Sound". The "Wings Over America" tour was a huge success and was eventually released as a three-record live set. Things began to slow down for the "Wings" machine and after 1977's single "Mull of Kintyre" the band slowly dissolved. She went on to write vegetarian cookbooks, market her own line of vegetarian foods and become a player as an animal rights activist while Paul resumed his solo career. In 1990 they put together a top-notch band and embarked on a world wide tour. The tour was punctuated by the fact that Paul had worked a number of Beatle tunes into the act, namely "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Another huge success , the tour spawned the live CD "Tripping the Live Fantastic". Paul and Linda avoided the jet set preferring to quietly bring up their children. In 1995 Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer (Paul's mother had died of breast cancer when he was 14) and by March of 1997 it had spread to her liver. On April 17th of 1998 at the age of 56 she succumbed to the Illness and passed away.

Jimmy McCulloch
Jimmy McCulloch was just a teenager when he was recruited by Pete Townsend to play guitar on the Townsend produced song "Something in the Air" by Thunderclap Newman. Things didn't work out on tour and he left to join "Stone The Crows". He played with Paul McCartney and Wings from 1975 to 1978. He died Septetmber 27th, 1979 of a heart attack at the age of 27.

Robbie McIntosh
Robbie McIntosh was the drummer for the Scottish group "Average White Band". On September 23rd, 1974 , at the height of the bands success, they were attending a party at a Hollywood mansion when he snorted what he believed to be cocaine, but was actually heroin. They rushed him to the hospital but it was too late. He died a short time later. He was 23 years old. The band released one more album "Cut the Cake" and then faded from view.

Ron "Pigpen" McKernan
See Godchaux, Mydland

Jonathan Melvoin
Jonathan was the keyboard player for the Smashing Pumpkins. On the night of July 11th, 1996 at the age of 34 he died from an overdose of REDRUM heroin while touring in New York City. The drummer Jimmy Chamberlain who also indulged, narrowly escaped death (The "Grim Reaper of Rock" was stuck in New York City rush hour traffic) only to be kicked out of the band at the height of their success.

Harold Melvin
"Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes" were a popular group out of the "Philedelphia Soul" stable of "Gamble & Huff". They hit it big with "The Love I Lost" which was an across the board hit in 1974 and featured Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. It was Harolds "brainchild" to move Teddy from drums to the lead vocal spot. They followed up with a few more hits "Bad Luck" and "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and helped put Disco on the map before "Saturday Night Fever" came along and gave Disco a bad name. Their hits dried-up after Teddy Pendergrass left to pursue a solo career. They say Harold ran a tight ship and kept the band together until health problems forced him out of the band in the early nineties. He died March 24th, 1997 at the age of 57.

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was the lead singer for the glam-rock group Queen who enjoyed their biggest success in the 70's and early 80's. Queen stole the show at 1990's Knebworth Festival. It was to be the highlight of his career. He died of AIDS on November 24th, 1991 at the age of 45.

Keith Moon
Keith Moon got his job by bashing the heck out of the current (soon to be ex) Who's drummers drum kit. Among rock drummers Moon is considered by many as one of the best. He especially stood out for his "across the board" drum rolls and powerful delivery. He lived the life of the rock drummer exhibiting obsessive-compulsive behavior and outlandish antics. Fleeing from a barroom brawl he got behind the wheel of his Rolls Royce and accidently ran over and killed his own personal driver. He later would drive the Rolls into a swimming pool. During the Who's instrument destruction period Moon blew up his drum kit on The Smother's Brothers Show. He had a special diamond ring made that would slash thru drapes and upholstery. Band members referred to him as "Moon The Loon". The Moon provided flawless drumming for The Who's recordings. During the 70's Moon's drumming began to fall off attributed to his alcoholism and burn the candle at both ends lifestyle. Talks were in the works of sacking the Moon (sack the Moon ??????????) after the "Who Are You" album. The album cover was a premonition. Moon was placed on a chair which read "not to be taken away". Unfortunately he was. He died September 7th, 1978 at the age of 32 from a mixture of booze and hemvarine, an anti-depressant drug.
Jim Morrison
Considered by many as rock's greatest poet, Jim Morrison embodied the dark side of rock-n-roll with his haunting lyrics and "Lizard King" persona. "The Doors" were born in 1965 on Venice Beach California when Jim recited the words to "Moonlight Drive" to keyboardist Ray Manzerek. Jim was attending UCLA as a film student and soon formed a band with Manaerek on keyboards, Robbie Kreiger on guitar and John Densmore on drums. Aside from studio bassists, "The Doors" could never find a full time bassist to fit thier mold. Bass was provided by the foot pedals on Ray's keyboards. In 1966 they hit the L.A. club circuit and soon commanded a loyal following of fans. Signed by Electra Records they began work on their debut album which they recorded in seven days. An edited version of "Light my Fire" reached number one in the summer of 1967 and still remains as one of rock's greatest songs. The band performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" were Morrison refused to changed the lyric "Girl We Couldn't Get Much Higher" to "Girl We Couldn't Get Much Better". Their second release "Strange Days" was another masterpeice containing the ten minute long song "When The Music's Over". By now Jim's antics and strong stance to step over the boundries of "The Establishment" soon got him into trouble. In 1968 they released "Waiting for The Sun", although considered by most rock critics as not as strong as thier first two efforts it did yield the hit "Hello, I Love You". By the time of 1969's "The Soft Parade" Jim's behaviour was out of control along with an increasing consumption of alcohol. Jim was a great performer who took himself and the audience to the limit until a 1969 Miami cock-flashing incident ended their career as a live band. Jim was tried and convicted of "indecent exposure" in 1970. Whether he "whipped it out" or not is still highly debated. Their are those who insist he did and those who insist he did not. "The Door's" tried to put the debaucle behind them and bounced back in 1970 with "Morrison Hotel" which contained the rocker "Roadhouse Blues". Jim's drinking by this time was out of control. Shortly after the release of the critically acclaimed "L.A. Woman" in 1971 , with it's single "Love Her Madly" climbing up the charts, Jim's pattern of self-destructive behavior finally caught up with him, he was found dead in a bathtub in Paris France on July 3rd, 1971. Known as a heavy drinker, it was rumored that someone gave him heroin while on a drinking binge. Jim Morrison was 27 years old.
Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) was a blues legend who helped define the electric guitar as the instrument of choice during the 50's. His songs "Nineteen Years Old","Mannish Boy", "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and "Catfish Blues" are blues classics. He influenced many a rock musician including Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter and the Stones. In the 70's Johnny Winter brought him back by recording two records with him. Mick Jagger also featured him on a couple of sets. He died of a heart attack on April 30th, 1983 at the age of 68.

Billy Murcia
See Johnny Thunders

Brent Mydland
See Godcheux, McKernan

Go to Index

N - R

Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson was the good-looking all-American kid on Ozzy & Harriet and had a handful of major hits in the late fifties and early sixties such as "Hello Mary Lou", "It's Late", "Poor Little Fool", and "Travelin' Man". In 1972 he hit the top twenty with "Garden Party". On December 31st, 1985 while on tour his plane Rick Nelson's plane went down due to a fire started in a faulty heating unit. The rumors of a fire caused by freebasing coke were entirely incorrect, yet still persist. The fire began in the rear of the plane, the fumes quickly spread thruout the plane causing the crash. Ricky Nelson was 45 years old.

Nico (Christa Paffgen) was lead singer for "The Velvet Underground" which also featured Lou Reed. They hung around Andy Warhol who also did the banana peel cover for their debut album. She "split" the band shortly thereafter. Her other claim to fame was that she blew Jim Morrison in an elevator. Both her and her daughter were hooked on heroin. She crashed her bicycle and died from a cerebral hemorrhage on July 18th of 1988 at the age of 44.

Harry Nilsson
Known simply as "Nilsson", Harry Nilsson was a singer-songwriter of the late sixties and early seventies. He released two albums for RCA which generated little interest until "Everybody's Talkin" was used for the movie soundtrack of "Midnight Cowboy". Around the same period, "Three Dog Night" covered his song "One" and it became a big hit. In 1971 he released "Nilsson Schmilsson" and his version of Badfinger's "Without You" became his first and only #1 hit. In 1972 Nilsson released "Son of Schmilsson" which yeilded "Spaceman" as a ho-hum follow-up. He hung around John Lennon after Yoko gave him the boot and the two became the notorious drunks of the L.A. Strip. Rock legend has it that one time they both entered the L.A. Troubador drunk and wearing Tampons taped on their heads. When the staff attempted to throw them out, Lennon turned to one of the waitresses and said "Do you know who I am" ? The waitress replied, "Yeah, your some asshole with a Kotex on his head". Nilsson spent the remainder of his career in various music and film endeavors with mixed results. He was diagnosed with diabetes in the early 90's and began battling with RCA over a Nilsson CD compilation entitled "Goldmine" which he had hoped would provide for his wife and six children. On January 15th of 1994, two days after finishing a song for the "Goldmine" compilation he suffered a second massive heart attack which proved fatal. He was 52 years old.

Notorious B.I.G.
Early Sunday morning on March 9th, 1997 Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down on the streets of Los Angeles at the age of 24. His gangster style demise sparked the whole notion of an East-coast West-coast gangster rap war. Soon after his death Howard Stern conducted a "rap summit" with representatives from both sides. The general consensus was that these were isolated incidents and not retaliation for Tupac Shakur and did not support the theory of an East-coast West-coast gangsta-rap war.

Bradley Nowell
The lead singer and guitarist of the punk-pop group "Sublime" was found dead from a heroin overdose in a San Francisco hotel room May 25th, 1996. He was 28 years old. As fate would have it, "Sublime" released after Bradley's death was a huge success.

Laura Nyro
Laura Nyro was a singer-songwriter whose songs became big hits when covered by other artists. Some of her most popular songs included "Eli's Coming", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Wedding Bell Blues","And When I Die" and "Stoney End". Most of her songs were written in the late sixties and she remained relatively inactive for the remainder of her career. She died April 8th, 1997 from cancer at the age of 49.

Berry Oakley
Berry Oakley was the bass player for the Allman Brothers. In a freakish occurrence Berry Oakley was killed in the exact manner as Duane , only a year later. He was killed while riding a motorcycle , in the same intersection , on November 10th, 1972 . This left Gregg an emotional wreck and eventually a burnt-out shell. This was evident during his liaison with Cher where she would find him passed-out in a bowl of spaghetti. Berry Oakley was 24 years old.
Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs was a folk music pioneer and along with Bob Dylan wrote some compelling anti-war songs which helped fuel the whole antiwar , anti-establishment movement of the sixties. Legend has it that once Phil showed up at Bob Dylan's doorstep, broke, desolate and hungry for food. Bob turned him away , still mad at him for some remarks Phil made concerning some of Dylan's tunes. On April 7th, 1976 he committed suicide by hanging himself. He was 35 years old.

Frank O'Keefe
Frank O'Keefe was one of the original members of the Tampa-based group "The Outlaws". Frank was a talented bassist as well as a guitar player and songwriter. The group formed in 1967 and by the end of 1968 recorded two unreleased albums. The master tapes were deliberately destroyed and what was pressed were either dumped or pawned-off. Afterwards a series of personnel changes ensued. The line-up that was to become known as "The Three Guitar Army" was solidified in 1972 with the addition of Billy Jones and Henry Paul. The "Outlaws" big break came in 1974 when they were spotted in a club by Clive Davis (formerly of columbia records) who signed them to his newly formed label "Arista Records". Their debut album was released in 1975 and "There Goes Another Love Song" and "Green Grass and High Tides" became staples of FM radio airplay. The album went to number one in California. In 1976 they released "Lady in Waiting". This was to be the last album with Frank O'Keefe. In July of 1976 Frank fell into an empty swimming pool and broke his neck. Although not paralyzed his injury left him debilitated to the point where he could no longer play the bass guitar without risking permanent paralyisis leaving him to rely on prescription pain killers. In order to make ends meet Frank worked as a painting contractor and dabbled in photography. as well as staying active in music and songwriting. On the morning of February 26th, 1995 Frank was found by his roommate dead on the floor. His death was attributed to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Frank O'Keefe was 44 years old.

Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison was known for his high-falsetto voice, dressing in black and his trademark sunglasses. In the late fifties and early sixties he scored a handful of hits : "Obby-Dooby", "Crying", "Only the Lonely", "Dream Baby", and "Candyman" to name a few. His musical peak came in 1964 when he hit #1 with "Pretty Woman". His life was marred with a series of tragedies, most notably the death of his son. In the mid-eighties he was coaxed out of retirement by George Harrison who put together "The Traveling Wilberries" with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. "Handle with Care" revitalized his career. He had just completed a TV special and plans were in the works for a tour when he died of a heart attack. It may be worth noting that Orbison, poised for the biggest resurgence of his career, fell victim to horrible tragedy throughout his life. His boys died in a housefire while he was on the road, several other terrible things happened, and just when a long spell of mediocre career years were over, he dies of a massive heart attack while visiting his mother. After all the heck he'd been thru, his mother watched her son die! (special thanks to Dave McNaire) Roy Orbison died on December 7th of 1988 at the age of 52.
Benjamin Orr
Benjamin Orr (born Benjamin Orzechowski) was bass player for the highly successful "New Wave" group "The Cars". The band finally gelled in Boston and along with Ric Ocasek "The Cars" ran up string up a slew of hits from 1978-1985. The band was known for their punk-new wave get ups and made good fodder for M-TV videos. Their debut album for electra records spawned three fm hits : Just What I needed, Your All I Got Tonight and My Best Friend Girls Friend. They followed this up with "Candy-o" and limped along thru the 80's with mediocare albums but still yeilded FM hits. Their swan song was the album "Heartbeat City" with yielded the popular MTV video "You Might Think". Orr also sang lead to a couple of cars tunes, most notably "Drive" which became one of 1984's "Heartbeat City"'s biggest hits. After the break up of the cars Orr gigged around with a few bands and was still active in the music business until cancer was discovered in his Pancreas which proved inoperable. He played right up to the moment he checked out on October 3rd, 2000 at the age of 53

John Panozzo
John Panozzo was the drummer and original founding member of the group "Styx", who enjoyed brief superstardom in the late seventies with songs like "Grand Illusion, "Lady","Come Sail Away", "Renegade" and a slew of others. He developed an alcohol problem which kept him from touring with the band during the nineties. His condition gradually worsened and he passed away July 16th,1996 at the age of 47.

Felix Pappalardi
Felix Pappalardi was a producer as well as an accomplished bass player. He produced Cream's "Disraeli Gears" and "Wheels of Fire" and provided various instrumentation to their recordings. After the break-up of Cream he went on to produce "The Vagrants" which included guitarist "Leslie West". Impressed by West's guitar work he convinced West to form a band with him called "Mountain". Mountain's fourth gig was at Woodstock were they played to a receptive crowd. In 1970 their debut album "Mountain Climbing" was released and yeilded the rock classic "Mississippi Queen". By 1972 Pappalardi's hearing had become impaired and he left the band. "Mountain" disbanded but would resurface in various incarnations over the years. Later on Felix joined a japanese group called "Creation". In 1982 Felix became involved in a 10 month extra marital affair with a 27 year old named "Valerie Merians". On April 17th , 1983 while returning home late one evening his long time wife and collaborator "Gail Collins" shot him in the neck during a jealous rage with a 38 caliber derringer Pappalardi had bought her for protection. While he lay dying on the bedroom floor she called her lawyer and then the police. It wasn't until the police arrived when medical attention was summoned. By that time Felix was dead. Gail Collins was convicted of "criminally negligent homicide" and was sentenced to four years in prison. When she got out she disappered from view and is presumed dead. Felix Pappalardi was 43 years old at the time of his death.
Gram Parsons
Gram Parsons was a pioneer of country rock. His group the "Flying Burritto Brothers" were one of the first to feature a steel guitar as part of a rock-n-roll band. The Eagles and Poco were modeled after his type of music. At one time Gram was a member of the Byrds. He went solo and recorded two albums before he died in a motel room on September 19th, 1973 at the age of 26. The coroner found traces of a variety of drugs in his body. Somewhere enroute to LA, his coffin was stolen and set ablaze under a tree.

John 'Jaco' Pastorius
John 'Jaco' Pastorius was a brilliant bass player best known for his work with the jazz-fusion group "Weather Report". His downfall was the demon alcohol, which had an "Edgar Allen Poe" like effect on him. When "Jaco" was on the juice he became uncontrollably violent, verbally abusive and exhibited erratic behavior. On September 21st of 1987 he was beaten to death by a bouncer while being thrown out of a Ft. Lauderdale nightclub. He was 35 years old.

Lawrence Payton
Lawrence Payton was a member of "The Four Tops" who arranged and sang much of the harmonizing melodies behind lead singer Levi Stubbs. He remained active with the band until health problems forced him out. He died of liver cancer in June of 1997 at the age of 59.

Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins was an original 50's "Rockabilly" artist whose country-fused-with-blues songs left a lasting impression on rock. On December 19th of 1955 Perkins cut the classic "Blue Suede Shoes" in Sam Phillips legendary "Sun Studios" in Memphis, Tennessee. He was on his way to becoming a superstar when he was critically injured in an auto accident. (His brother was killed in the accident). While he was recovering Elvis Presley's cover version of "Blue Suede Shoes" became a bigger hit than Carl's version. He went on to write and record a number of classic tunes but never seemed to get the recognition he deserved. His songs became a vehicle for Ringo Starr's customary one lead vocal track per Beatles album formula. The Beatles covered Perkin's "Honey Don't","Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby" and "Matchbox" with Ringo at the lead vocal helm. In 1996 his autobiography "Go Cat Go!" was released. After a series of strokes he passed away on January 19th, 1998 at the age of 65.

Lonesome Dave Peverett
Lonesome Dave Peverett got his first claim to fame as a member of the moderately successful English boogie band "Savoy Brown" playing guitar alongside founding member Kim Simmonds. In late 1969 Kim Simmonds axed the entire band. "Lonesome Dave", Tone Stevens and Roger Earle went on to form "Foghat" along with Rod "The Bottle" Price with Peverett handling the lead vocals. There first few albums sold moderately. The album cover of there second album featured a picture of a "rock" and a "roll", henceforce titled "Rock and Roll". In 1974 "Energized" was released and sold well but failed to establish the band as a national act. "Rock and Roll Outlaws" released in late 1974 with newly acquired producer "Nick Jameson" didn't fare better then "Energized" The Band bounced back in 1975 with there breakthrough album "Fool For The City". "Fool For T1he City", and "Slowride" were FM top 40 radio hits. In 1976 "Night Shift" was released. In 1977 the band released the hard-charging power punching "Foghat Live" which peaked at #33 on the charts and would be the height of the bands popularity. After 1978's "Stone Blue and 79's "Boogie Motel" there popularity waned. By the 1980's their audience had tired of the boogie format and had moved on to pop-synth hair bands. They released a couple of more albums and in 1985 after 16 years on the road they called it quits. They regrouped a few times in the 90's and did the rock 70's act nostalgia circuit. He died from kidney cancer February 7th, 2000 at the age of 56.

Kristen Pfaff
Kristen Pfaff was a bass player with the Minneapolis group "Janitor Joe" when she was spotted at a L.A. night club by Courtney Love and guitarist Eric Erlandson who quickly recruited her for their band "Hole". She soon was enticed into using heroin with the rest of her musical peers. After awhile Kristen became disenchanted with the drug-crazed Seattle music scene and entered a re-hab to clean herself up. Still reeling from the loss of Kurt Cobain, after the completion of "Live Through This" she announced she was leaving the group. She contacted her old bandmates and made plans to rejoin her old group "Janitor Joe". On June 14th she began packing to leave Seattle and "Hole" for good. She was said to have remained clean which makes her death another rock mystery as she was found dead in her bathtub due to a heroin overdose on June 16th, 1994 on the day of her scheduled departure. She was 24 years old.

"Papa" John Phillips
Known for his trademark Russian Kossack fur hat, John Phillips was a talented musician and songwriter and played an important role in the development and maturation of Rock-n-Roll. He started out as a folk guitar player/singer for the Journeyman. When the folk scene dried-up after Dylan went electric he went shopping for a new act. With Michelle Phillips (his wife) , Denny Doherty & Cass Elliot they formed the "Mama's and the Papa's". The group spent most of 1965 honing their act and consuming a gallon bottle of LSD-25 on the island of St. Croix. With no money, no record deal and future in question "Papa" John and Michelle found themselves wandering the streets of New York. The New York cold must of revived some LSD deadened brain cells cause he wrote the song that would set the course of his career : "California Dreamin" . Lou Adler smelled "solid gold" when they auditioned for ABC/Dunhill back in Los Angeles. Their debut album "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears" was released in 1966 and spawned two major hits : "California Dreamin" and "Monday Monday". It was downhill from there. As with most multi-gendered rock groups everyone got screwed figuratively and literally. Drug use, alcohol consumption, money issues, cheating and busted-up relationships taxi'ed the bands limits and they broke-up in 1968. A couple of their other well known tunes were "I Saw Her Again Last Night" and "Creeque Alley". However "Papa" John's contributions to rock music went well beyond the "Mama's and Pappa's". In 1967 he organized one of the most historic events in the history of rock and roll, The Monterey Pop Festival. Held during the infamous "Summer Of Love" , a flower-power stoned-out LSD induced crowd grooved to the likes of Janis Joplin, Canned Heat, Otis Redding, The Who, Simon & Garfunkel and the other big acts of the era. Oh yes, and one other guy that Paul McCartney suggested, "The Jimi Hendrix Experience". It was the experience's American debut and Jimi pulled-out all the stops. Rock forelore has it that he ate a handful of acid just before he took the stage. Introduced by Brian Jones of the Stones, Hendrix blasted into a version of "Killing Floor" and took off like a fireball. No one had ever heard or seen anything like him before. He played with his teeth, behind his back, thru his legs, one arm, the microphone stand with deafening volume and sustained feedback. He ripped thru a couple of originals and some blues standards with unprecedented guitar techniques. While playing his version of "Wild Thing" in what was to be his grand finale of the show he lit his guitar on fire and then smashed it up and left the whole audience completely stunned and freaked-out. Acid rock was born that night and rock and roll and the world would never be the same. Lucky someone was straight enough to capture the entire event on 35mm film. It was the highlight of Otis Redding's career. A couple of months later Otis was killed in a plane crash leaving behind "Monterey" as his legacy. Phillips also wrote "San Francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)" for Scott McKenzie, "Me and My Uncle" covered by the Grateful Dead and his last number one hit "Kokomo" for The Beach Boys in the 1980's. (As well as the Beach Boys first number one since "Good Vibrations" in 1966). By the late 70's "Papa" John had bottomed out and had become a full blown Heroin addict. A 1980 drug arrest landed him in rehab and he cleaned-up. Like all good rock-stars in their twilight years he received a new liver in 1992. After that he was involved in a variety of projects with mixed results. He died of heart failure on March 18th, 2001 at the age of 65.

Cozy Powell
Cozy Powell was a British rock drummer who made the rounds and played in a number of successful bands including Rainbow and Whitesnake. His motto was to live life to it's fullest, and live life he did until he had a head-on collision with the "Grim Reaper Of Rock" who sent him to his grave on April 5th, 1998 at the age of 50.

Elvis Presley
"Elvis Aaron Presley" was born January 8th,1935 in Tupelo Mississippi. He had a twin brother named "Jessie" who was still-born at birth. The "King" would sometimes talk to him in pensive moments. The "King" made rock-n-roll a household word. The "King" was discovered by Sam Phillips of "Sun Recording Studios" in Memphis. While songs like "That's All right Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" from the "Sun Sessions" put him on the map it was his onstage persona coupled with his wild gyrations that made fans swoon at his feet. The "Kings" music was a hybrid of black blues and country music that would later be coined as "rockabilly". The "King" was managed by Colonel "Tom Parker", a former circus sideshow barker with an eye for a quick buck. Legend has it that he told the "King"..."Son , right now you got a million dollars worth of talent, sign with me and you'll have a million dollars". "The Colonel" managed the "King" till the day he died , finely crafting his career which aside from overseeing record contracts included movies, merchandising and concert appearances. In 1956 Sam Phillips sold Elvis's contract to RCA for $50,000. The hits kept coming but lacked the rawness and energy of the earlier Sun Sessions. Within a year Elvis was rock's first Superstar Mega-teen Idol. In 1958 Elvis was drafted into the Army and served two years. When he got out he immersed himself into B-movie roles and the accompanying music was generally poor but he still was a top draw. As the sixties waned on America turned to the Beatles and the Stones, and "The King"'s movies saw increasingly smaller audiences. "The King" went back to his roots and concentrated on the music. In December of 1968 The "Elvis Christmas Special" aired which revitalized his career. He followed this with the release of "In The Ghetto" which reached #3 in 1969, "Suspicious Minds" #1, 1970 (His last number 1) and "Burning Love" in 1972. He took over Las Vegas and filmed two documentaries "Elvis On Tour" and "Elvis: Now". The "King" kept up a frantic touring schedule and gave everything he had to his fans,and eventually his life. On the morning of August 16th 1977, the "King" was found dead on the bathroom floor at "Graceland" by his girlfriend "Ginger Alden". After years of alleged prescription drug abuse the King was gone at the age of 42. His doctor was subsequently tried for manslaughter but was later acquitted. There are those today who believe the "King" is alive and well and living at Graceland.
Jeff Porcaro
Jeff Porcaro was a popular session drummer and member of the group "Toto" whose hits included "Hold The Line","Rosanna" and "Africa". His death is among the most freaky in the graveyard. He died from "pecticide poisoning" at the age of 38 on August 5th, 1992 while mowing the lawn. UPDATE: Procaro died from acute cocaine toxicity, the lawn story was a cover up. Thanks Dave

Carl Radle
Carl Radle was a distinguished bass player who hailed from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and worked with some of rock's finest. In 1969 as a member of "Delaney & Bonnie" he was introduced to Eric Clapton who played lead for them on the "Delaney and Bonnie On Tour" album. After the tour, Radle and the rest of the "Delaney and Bonnie" band hooked-up with Leon Russell who recruited them for Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishman" tour. The resulting double album live-set and accompanying motion picture is a rock classic and perhaps the pinnacle of Joe Cocker's career (Which reportedly left Cocker broke and in ill-health). After the MD&E tour most of the entourage backed Clapton on his solo album, which featured the Clapton classics' "After Midnight" and "Let It Rain". After Clapton's solo effort he plucked Radle, Jim Gordon and Bobby Whitlock out of the ensemble and formed "Derek and the Dominoes". Released in November of 1970 "Layla and other Assorted Love Songs" eventually became hailed as a rock classic. The "Layla" recording sessions are rock legend. Duane Allman was invited to sit in and the sessions escalated into three-day long marathon jam sessions fueled by "huge bags of dope". Tom Dowd, the producer of all this could barely keep up. Forced into a break by the call of nature, he was on the toilet when Clapton and Allman broke into "Key To the Highway" and Tom had to scream on the top of his lungs to get the tape machine started (which accounts for the fade-in beginning). Somewhere amidst all of this, Carl and the rest of the gang backed George Harrison on the Phil Spector produced classic "All Things Must Pass", Dave Mason's "Alone Together" and "Leon Russell and the Shelter People". In 1971 Carl played bass for George Harrison's "The Concert for Bangladesh", a Tour-de-force of rock legends including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton,Leon Russell,Ringo Starr,Billy Preston and a host of others. After Clapton's "Rainbow" comeback concert in 1973, he recruited Radle again for the "461 Ocean Boulevard" sessions. Carl would remain with Clapton for the next six years. After 1979's "Backless" tour Clapton fired the whole band. Carl would never be the same. He literally drank and drugged himself to death. On May 30th of 1980 he passed away from kidney failure in Tulsa Oklahoma at the age of 38.

Joey Ramone
Joey Ramone was a "punk rock" pioneer and the substance of which the phrase was coined. Born Jeff Hyman in Queens New York he took up the drums at an early age. By 1973 he was playing drums in a band called "Sniper". It wasn't too long after that when he and neighborhood chums formed "The Ramones" , taken after Paul McCartney's early stage name of "Ramon". The boys, fed up with 70's rock decided to create there own distinctive style of music that would later come to be known as "punk rock". The "Ramones" sound punctuated by wailing three chord guitar thrash, driving bass lines and Joey's vocals struck a chord with the burgeoning youth underground of the New York area. When management came along they quickly moved Joey out front to lead vocals and replaced him on drums with Thomas Erdelyi who became "Tommy Ramone". With their black leather jackets, white t-shirts, shades, faded-out jeans and Joey's bean-pole frame barking out the vocals hunched over a microphone the "Ramones" were a force to be reckoned with. They took up residence and the famed CBGB's and by 1975 were whipping the crowds into a frenzy. Hated by radio with little or no airplay the Ramones never "cashed-in" on their punk rock fame. 1977's "Rocket to Russia" and the single "I want to be sedated" was the highlight of their recording career. They appeared in the movie "Rock-n-roll high school" and released a song of the same name. By 1980 "new wave" had taken over as the new sound and the punk scene dried-up, but the "Ramones" never sold-out and tried to forge ahead. Internal tensions between group members finally killed the band.Joey was a frequent guest on the "king of all media" Howard Stern's show were band members during heated arguments would take shots at each other, claiming Joey had two sets of teeth and was one half of a siamese twin. But Joey was the creative force of the "Ramones" and his simplistic lyrical genius left an indelible stamp on rock and roll history. Diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1993, Joey finally succumbed to his illness and passed away on Easter Sunday, 2001 at the age of 49.

Otis Redding
Otis Redding defined "SOUL" , with the MG's (Memphis group) he recorded some of the best 60's soul music ever. He also was a solid performer. He appeared at 1967's "summer of love" Monterey Pop Festival and won over a predominantly white audience with his blazing performance. Shortly thereafter he was killed in a plane crash on December 10th, 1967 at the age of 26. His biggest single ever , "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" was released after his death.

Keith Relf
Keith Relf was lead singer for the Yardbirds during the mid sixties. The most curious oddity about him was he only had one lung. After the Yardbirds broke-up in 1967 he founded two more bands , "Illusion" and then "Renaissance". On May 14th of 1976, he decided to play the electric guitar thru a 220 watt Marshall amp while taking a bubble bath and was promptly electrocuted and burnt to a crisp. He was 33 years old. UPDATE : Relatives claim he was actually shocked in a basement converted to a studio by an "unearthed" (unground) amp and his general state of poor health caused it to be fatal.

Randy Rhoades
Randy Rhoades was a talented heavy metal guitarist who helped put Ozzy Osbourne back on the charts in the early 1980's. In 1982 while on tour, the band was staying at a farmhouse in Orlando and the pilot and Randy took the plane up and was "buzzing" the tour bus when he clipped into some trees and crashed killing Randy and the pilot. Ozzy later released "The Randy Rhoades Tribute Album". The Oz man regrouped and rocked on into his own TV show.

Minny Ripperton
Minny Ripperton was the lead singer for the late sixties acid rock group "Rotary Connection ". She went solo had and a hit in 1975 "Loving You" co-wrote by Stevie Wonder, she died of cancer July 12th, 1979 at the age of 30.

Fenton Robinson
Fenton Robinson is best known for writing the blues classic "Somebody Loan Me a Dime". The song has been recorded by a number of blues artists most notably Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman. He giged around the Chicago clubs and jammed with many a musician. He wrote a number of songs for other artists also. His guitar-style is reminiscent of T-Bone Walker's. He died November 25th , 1997 of cancer at the age of 62.

Mick Ronson
Mick Ronson was best known for his lead guitar work with David Bowie, most notably "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars". Bowie and Ronson also argued frequently and after 1973's "Aladdin Sane" tour Bowie unexpectedly axed the entire band. Ronson released a solo album "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" which sold poorly. He did some session work and then gradully faded from view. He died of cancer at the age of 47 on April 30th, 1993.

David Ruffin
David Ruffin was lead singer for the Temptations up until 1968 when he was replaced by Dennis Whitfield. He acquired a taste for crack which he could not break. He was found dead in the front seat of his car after a $14,000 crack binge on June 1st, 1991 at the age of 50.

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S - Z

Bon Scott
Bon Scott was the original singer for AC/DC. On February 19th of 1980 after an all-night drinking binge he passed-out in the back seat of a car and froze to death at the age of 33. Strangely enough, their current song on the charts was "Highway To Hell". UPDATE : Bon Scott choked on his own vomit in the back of a Volkswagon Beetle.

Tupac Shakur
Tupac had just completed a movie and was trying to break-out of the gansta-rap mold when he was gunned down in gangland style in Las Vegas on September 13th, 1996 at the age of 25. It seemed Tupac was a marked-man having survived a previous shooting attempt on his life.

Bobby Sheehan
Bobby Sheehan was bass player for "Blues Traveler" best known for the beastly beltings of big boy harmonica player "John Popper". After the band acheived success Sheehan moved to New Orleans were he "accidently" killed himself on a mixture of heroin, cocaine and valium, although there are those that claim his sleep apnia condition played a part. The band continued on without him but broke-up a short time later.

Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein was a brilliant songwriter who wrote many hit songs for various artists. He also was a writer of childrens' books and at one time a cartoon artist for Playboy. He wrote "The Unicorn" for the Irish Rovers, "A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash, "Numbers" for Bobby Bare and "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone" for Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show. Most of the songs that Dr. Hook and Bobby Bare recorded were composed by Shel Silverstein. In 1972 he released "Freakin' At The Freakers Ball", a collection of well-versed oddball songs with "Frank Zappa" like themes, such as "I Got Stoned And I Missed It","Sahra Cynthia Syliva Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out", "Stacy Brown Got Two","Polly In A Porny","Don't Give A Dose To The One You Love The Most" and "Masochistic Baby". He also wrote "Silvia's Mother" and "Queen Of The Silver Dollar". Thru-out the 80's and 90's he spent most of his time in Key West, were he died from a heart attack on May 10th, 1999 at the age of 66.

Hillel Slovak
Hillel Slovak was a brilliant guitar player who played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Peppers burst upon the music scene with a force reminisent of Jimi Hendrix in the 60's. Formed cicra 1984 the Pepper's stage show was a sight to behold. They took Rock-n-roll to new heights sometimes playing in their underwear or just a tube sock around their cock. Their high-energy thrash rap rock whipped the audience into a mosh frenzy and they were seminal figure's in what was deemed to be alternative music. The boys dabbled with the big H and it eventually sunk it's evil meat hooks into them to the point were it affected the band. By 1988 Hillel was strung out and both him and Anthony vowed to exorcise the demon. However the big H is a seductive mistress. After coming off a grueling tour the band took a break and retreated to their domiciles. Hillel was found dead in his hotel room of a heroin overdose. Ironically the Peppers biggest chart successes came after this death. Hillel was born in Haifi Israel on April 13th, 1962 and died June 27th, 1988 at the age of 26.

Skip Spence
Skip Spence was a multi-instrumentalist best known for the drums. He played with "Jefferson Airplane" on their debut album "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off" and the classic "Surrealistic Pillow". He left to form the short-lived "Moby Grape" which record execs purposely formed with the intent on becoming the next supergroup. He became the American acid-casuality version of Syd Barrett. Some of his best known feats include chopping down a friends door with an axe while high on acid. It was slowly downhill to the bottom from there and eventually wound up a homeless paranoid nut case. His only solo album "Oar" released in the late sixties is considered a "Cult Classic" among other musicians. He died from lung cancer on April 16th, 1999 at the age of 52.

Layne Staley
Layne Staley was born August 22nd in Kirkland ,Washington, 1967. In 1987 while still in high school he formed "Alice In Chains". Staley was an excellent vocalist with a distinct sound and the band built a loyal following. Signed to Columbia records in 1989 they released their debut CD "Facelift" in 1990 which yielded "Man in a Box". The CD eventually went gold. In 1992 "Alice In Chains" released "Dirt" which went triple platinum. There sound was considered a cross between "Grunge and Heavy Metal" . Like many of the muscians of the early 90's Seattle "grunge" movement he dabbled in Heroin eventually becoming addicted. As Layne slowly spiraled downward into the depths of heroin addiction the bands output diminished . Aside from releasing an EP entitled "Jar Of Files" in 1994 and a 1996 appearance on M-TV's unplugged that was pretty much it for the band's recording career. In a 1996 Rolling Stone interview Layne stated : "When I tried drugs, they were f*cking great, and they worked for me for years, and now they're turning against me ? and now I'm walking through hell, and this sucks". Such is the fate of every heroin addict. Eventually your going to pay for that high, most of the time with your life. On April 19th of 2002 Staley was found dead in his apartment of a suspected heroin overdose. The coroner estimated that Staley was dead for two weeks, placing his date of death on April 5th, the same date of Kurt Cobains death. Layne Staley was 34 years old.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart was a founding member of the group "The Rolling Stones". Andrew Loog Oldham kicked him out for "looking too normal". He became the Stones road manager and played piano on a number of the groups records as well as on tour. He died of a heart attack at the age of 47 on December 12th, 1985.

Screaming Lord Sutch
"Screaming Lord Sutch" was a rock and roll kook from England who had ties to the great musicians of the time and was known for his outrageous stage show. In 1970 he released "Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends" with Noel Redding, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, and Jeff Beck. Conned by the record shop owner who I think just wanted to clean out his inventory I bought the album. After one listen I tied an M-80 to it and flung it. Damn ! It is probably worth some money as a collector's item by now. At any rate. Sutch then got into oddball politics which I guess weren't to successful cause he hung himself on June 16th, 1999 at the age of 58.

Joe Tex
Joe Tex was a journeyman "soul singer" thru-out the sixties who hit in 1972 with the single "I Gotcha". He eventually became a muslim and converted his last name to Hassiez. He died in 1982 of a heart attack at the age of 49.

Gary Thain
David Byron
David Byron was lead singer and Gary Thain bass player for "Uriah Heep" (named after a Charles Dickens character in "Tales of Two Cities") , who enjoyed their biggest success in the early seventies. In 1972 "Uriah Heep" released "Demons and Wizards" which contained the hit "Easy Livin" and "The Wizard". In 1973 they released "Sweet Freedom" which yielded the hit-single "Stealin". Thain was almost electrocuted on stage in 1972 and became despondent over the group's indifference toward the accident. Fame turned him into a uncontrollable wild man and after the heroin affected him to the point were he could no longer contribute to the band he got the boot. A shortwhile later he died from a heroin overdose on March 19th 1976 at the age of 27. David Bryon was the lead singer frontman whose dynamic vocals gave "Uriah Heep" their distinctive sound. By the end of the seventies he was so lost in the bottle he got the boot too. Afterwards he was replaced with a myriad of singers with mixed results. By late 1984 he was given 6 months to live due to liver disease. On February 28th, 1985 his brother found him dead on the floor, dead at 38.

Johnny Thunders
Billy Murcia
Johnny Thunders and Billy Murcia were members of the early seventies "glitter rock" group "The New York Dolls". The group dared to go were no band had gone before, they wore heavy make-up and dressed in drag ! Their "I Love Trash" got some airplay but it was their wild stage show and sexually explicit performances that put them on the charts. On November 6th of 1972 while on tour in London, Billy Murcia died in his sleep after mixing alcohol and barbiturates at the age of 22. Long after the band was defunct, Johnny Thunders met the "Grim Reaper of Rock" in New Orleans on April 23rd of 1991, a victim of bad heroin. He was 38 years old.

Steve Took
Steve Took was Marc Bolan's right hand man providing percussion for "T. Rex" who enjoyed brief superstardom in the early 70's. Steve Took had just gotten a healthy royalty check, which meant he could by drugs. He took a large amount of mushrooms and morphine, then passed out in bed. He woke up later and started munching on a bowl of cherries, then passed out again with his mouth full. Then he choked to death on October 27th of 1980 at the age of 31.

Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh was a reggae musician who once played with Bob Marley and the Wailers. In the mid-seventies he went solo and released "Legalize It". The album cover showed him sucking on a pipe in a huge field of Marijuana. He also did a duet with Mick Jagger on his album "Bush Doctor". His reggae version of "Johnny B. Goode" from "Peter Tosh Live" was a minor hit. He was shot to death during a botched home invasion robbery attempt on September 11th, 1987. Peter Tosh was 42 years old.

Rob Tyner
Fred "Sonic" Smith
Rob Tyner and Fred "Sonic" Smith were members of the group "MC5" (Motor City Five). The "MC5" were radical rock-n-roll revolutionaries who took left-wing politics and the whole anti-establishment movement of the late-sixties very seriously. These guys were so radical that they even went after their own record company ! Legend has it that the entire band all had their penis's casted in plaster by their hard-core groupie sect. In 1969 their debut album "Kick Out the Jams" was released on Electra records. Recorded live on October 30-31st 1968 at Detroit's "Grand Ballroom", "Kick Out The Jams" was a searing pre-punk high energy extravaganza. The album's liner notes were written by John Sinclair, leader of the "White Panther Party". (Which was later reissued minus the notes along with the deletion of the opening verse "Kick Out The Jams, Mother ers"). After only one album they got the boot from Electra records after they spray-painted the corporate offices. They finally got re-signed and in 1970 released "Back In the USA" which was a monumental flop. The band broke-up shortly thereafter. On September 19th of 1991, Rob Tyner suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 46. Fred "Sonic" Smith went on to marry Patti Smith and remained active in Detroit's local music scene. Fred "Sonic Smith" died November 4 of congestive heart failure after collapsing at home days earlier. He was 45 years old.

Richie Valens
See Buddy Holly, The Bug Bopper

Dino Valenti
Originally slated to be the bands lead singer Dino Valenti joined Quicksilver Messenger Service after he got out of jail in the late sixties. Abandoning the loose-knit jam format that was the groups trademark, he took the band to a new direction with songs like "What About Me" and "Fresh Air". The new line-up didn't last long and the band was kaput by 1972. He is also known for composing the Youngbloods hit song "Get Together" under the pseudonym "Chester Powers". He died November 16th, 1995 at the age of 51.

Ronnie Van Zant
Steve Gaines
Cassie Gaines
Dean Kilpatrick
Lynyrd Skynyrd had just played three dates on their opening tour when on October 20th of 1977 the "Freebird" went down. As if a premonition ,the album cover from their latest release "Street Survivors", showed both Ronnie and Steve with flames wrapping around their head. The original album cover was shortly pulled thereafter. The cause of the plane crash: the pilot had miscalculated the amount of fuel ! When Lynyrd Skynyrd regrouped with brother Johnnie on vocals, "Freebird" was played as an instrumental homage to Ronnie, with his cowboy hat hanging on the microphone stand. Ronnie Van Zant was 29 years old.

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a white Texas guitar slinger with a hot blues trigger. When it came to the Blues, Stevie kicked ass , with lightning quick leads like no one before him. No one could cover a Hendrix tune like Stevie either ! He mastered the Wah-wah pedal and because of this, he probably was the closest to Hendrix any guitar player has ever come. On August 27th of 1990 after performing a concert he boarded a Helicopter, (originally intended for Eric Clapton), and shortly after take-off crashed into the side of a mountain, dead at 35.

Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine
Henry Vestine was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland on Christmas day 1944. In 1966 he joined "Canned Heat" as their lead guitarist. Newly christened as "The Sunflower", Vestine's guitar prowess incorporated acid-charged blues riffs punctuated by fuzzed distortion with a touch of feedback. On the back cover of the near extinct "Living the Blues" album released in 1969, he looks like a candidate for the Syd Barrett acid-causality award. "The Sunflower" was known to "buzz a bit" on the lead guitar, most notably on the 40 minute long "Refried Hockey Boogie" were he takes-off into orbit and does not come back down. Contrary to popular belief he did not perform at "Woodstock". In early 1969 after a performance at the Fillmore he abruptly quit the band and was replaced by Harvey Mandel. (Woodstock was only Mandel's third gig with the band) Eventually he rejoined a late incarnation of the band with "Fito" de la Parra long after the deaths of Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and Bob "The Bear" Hite. After completing a tour of France he was found dead in a Paris hotel room on October 20th of 1997. He was 52 years old.

Sid Vicious
Perhaps the most controversial musician of the punk movement (If you can really call him a musician, because it has been debated if he actually knew how to play the bass guitar), Sid Vicious embodied the snarling obnoxious persona of the 70's punk rock movement. After he teamed-up with his American sidekick Nancy he became addicted to heroin. Usually too messed up to actually contribute musically, Sid was known for pissing on the floor, carving himself up with razor blades, spitting blood out of his mouth and walking thru plate glass windows. When he woke up and found Nancy dead he was charged with murder. He died February 2nd, 1979 at age 21 from a heroin overdose while awaiting trial. A movie was made called "Sid and Nancy" which chronicled his short but tragic life.

Gene Vincent
In 1956 "Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps" recorded and released "Be-Bop-A-Lula" which went on to sell over 200,000 copies and eventually became a fifties rock-n-roll classic and established Gene as a teenage idol. His follow-ups sold fair but by the late 1950's his star was fading in the States. He toured London (were he was still a huge draw) with Eddie Cochran. In April of 1960 on the way to the London Airport he was almost killed in an auto accident. Eddie Cochran who was also in the car was in fact killed. Although he survived, his limp (previously caused by an earlier motorcycle accident) was more noticable then ever. Still he rocked on but by 1963 "The Beatles" had taken over the music scene and long-haired groups had replaced the 50's rocker. By 1965 both his career and health had bottomed-out. In 1967 he hit the road and resumed his wild rock-n-roll lifestyle. On October 4th of 1971 after performing at the "Wookey Hollow Club" in Livepool England his health completely gave out on him. Suffering from a bleeding ulcer he returned to California were he passed away on October 12th,1971 at the of 36.

Junior Walker
Junior Walker was saxophone player for the group "Junior Walker and the All-Stars" who enjoyed a string of hits in the mid to late sixties with "Shotgun" and "What Does It Take (To win your love?). He also played sax for Foriegner's hit song "Urgent". He died of cancer in December 1995 at the age of 53.

Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Johnny "Guitar" Watson was a moderately successful blues plucker who made his first recording in 1953. In 1957 he wrote and recorded "The Gangster of Love" which became his signature tune. He got the funk-fever and in 1977 he released "A Real Mother For Ya". The album cover featured him in complete "Superfly" regalia sporting a long mink coat, platform shoes and a purple brim surrounded by three women. One white, one black and one oriental. After a 13 year hiatus he released "Bow Wow" in 1993. On May 17th of 1997 while performing onstage at the "Yokohoma Blues Cafe" in Japan he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 61.

Junior Wells
Junior Wells was a harmonica player from the south side of Chicago. Considered one of the best, he jammed with all the blues greats. He also enjoyed a lengthy recording career of his own. He died of cancer on January 15th, 1998 at the age of 63.

Danny Whitten
Dannt Whitten was a guitarist recruited for Neil Young's album "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere". Neil had just quit "Buffalo Springfield" and embarked on solo albums. The group was entitled "Neil young and Crazy Horse" which yielded some of Neils most famous tunes. As he has often been known to do Neil drifted off to different projects. In 1972 Neil recruited Danny Whitten to play on his upcoming album. But when Whitten showed up he was unable to perform due to being under the influence of heroin. Neil dismissed him and gave him bus fare for home. Whitten used the money to buy heroin and died from an heroin overdose. "The Needle and the Damage done" is said to be inspired by Whittens death. Danny Whitten died on November 11th, 1972 at the age of 29.

Leon Wilkeson
Known as "The Mad Hatter" for his trademark hats, Leon Wilkeson joined the Jacksonville-based group Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1971 as bass player. In 1972 he took a leave of absence only to rejoin the band six months later. Released in 1973 , "Pronounced" , featuring the rock-anthem "FreeBird" climbed the charts. 1974's "Sweet Home Alabama" established the band as superstars. Leon survived the October 20th, 1977 plane crash that killed band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines. Leon joined the later reincarnation of the band and remained active with the group. While taking a break from touring in a Ponte Verda Beach hotel outside Jacksonville he died in his sleep of natural causes on July 27th 2001, at the age of 49.

Wendy O Williams
Wendy O Williams was rocks wildest woman. As the lead singer for the punk group "Plasmatics" in the late seventies she was one tough chick. She sported a wild Mohawk and wore outrageous stage attire which featured her boobs sticking out. Her stage act included chain-sawing Cadillacs. Definitely not one you would bring home for dinner to meet the folks. Despondent over her failed career , she committed suicide on April 6th, 1998 at the age of 48.

Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson
Alan Wilson was the driving force behind blues turned acid-rockers "Canned Heat". In addition to being an accomplished guitarist, Al was an accomplished harmonica player. Al wrote most of their songs including "Going up the Country". The group also raised quite a fuss while performing at the Monterray Rock Festival and Woodstock. Alan was also instrumental in the rediscovery of "Son House" and actually re-taught Son how to play his old songs. In fact Al played on "Son House"'s comeback album in 1965. In 1968 along with Frank Cook, Bob Hite, Henry Vestine, and Larry Taylor as "Canned Heat" they released their debut album which contained mostly blues standards and rollicking versions of "Bullfrog Blues" and "Rollin and Tumblin". Frank Cook left to join "Pacific, Gas and Electric" and was replaced by Adolfo De La Parra. Later that year they got the boogie fever and put out "Boogie With Canned Heat", which featured "On The Road Again" and the 11 minute mindblower "Fried Hockey Boogie". For this album they all sported nicknames on the backcover: Bob "The Bear" Hite", Al "Blind Owl" Wilson, "Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, Larry "The Mole" Taylor and "Fito' De La Parra.Then came the ultimate fusion of "blues on LSD" with the double set "Living The Blues" released in 69. This album contained their biggest hit "Going Up The Country". It also had the 40 minute boogie blow-out "Refried Hockey Boogie" that took up an entire record. Put that in your pipe and smoke it ! They closed out the 60's with "Hallelujah" which yielded "Same All Over" and "Time Was". In 1970 they released a greatest hits package entitled "The Canned Heat Cookbook". Their last studio album with the "Blind Owl" was "Future Blues" which charted the hit single "Let's Work Together". One of Al's last projects was to record an album with John Lee Hooker which was entitled "Hooker and Heat". On September 3rd of 1970, Al was fished out from the bottom of his pool, dead at 27. His death was ruled a suicide. "Canned Heat" forged on but with minimal success. UPDATE - The "Blind Owl" was found dead in sleeping bag behind Bob "The Bear" Hite's house, a victim of an overdose of heroin. The exact details remains shrouded in mystery. UPDATE TWO : Again there are more disputes about Alan Wilson's death. He was found dead in a sleeping bag in Topanga Canyon, not behind "The Bears" pad. He died from mixing seconal and alcohol. Will someone set the record straight here? Jessszz..the guys turning over in his grave. Where's "Fito" or the "Mole" ? They'll know the real deal !!!!!!

Dennis Wilson
The only member of the Beach Boys who actually knew how to surf was found drowned underneath his sailboat on December 23rd, 1983 at the age of 39. Dennis Wilson was the standard definition of the California surfer, the one who got all the girls. His life was a trail of broken marriages, substance abuse, alcoholism and erratic behavior. At one point he was kicked out of the band because of drug and alcohol problems. Dennis Wilson was buried at sea. UPDATE: it was actually a friends sailboat. Wilson was basically penniless and homeless at the time. His death is considered by many as a suicide.Thanks again Dave.

Carl Wilson
Carl Wilson passed away after a brief bout with lung cancer on February 7th, 1998 at the age of 51. By the age of 15 Carl was an accomplished guitar player. With his Chuck Berry infused riffs he assumed the role of lead guitarist with "The Beach Boys". He was instrumental in keeping the group together during rough times and often served as arbitrator for group members who were in dispute. He sang lead to the song "God Only Knows" and contributed vocal parts to the Beach boys trademark harmonies.

Kurt Winter
Kurt Winter played lead guitar in the Canandian-based band "The Guess Who" after Randy Bachman departed. The band had already racked-up a slew of hits and was coming off the classic "American Woman" when Winter hooked-up. Winters first effort with the band was the album "Share The Land" which featured two of his compositions: "Bus Rider" and "Hand Me Down World". In June of 71 they released "So Long Bannatyne" which yielded "Rain Dance". "Rockin" released in 1972 did not chart a hit single although "Guns, Guns, Guns" provided a "bit of a bash". They bounced back in May of 1972 with "Live at the Paramount" which really kicked some ass. Their other popular record was 1974's "Road Food" which had two hit singles: "Star Baby" and "Clap For The Wolfman". After "Road Food" Kurt left the band. Suffering from bleeding ulcers he died of liver failure on December 15th, 1997 at the age of 51.

Chris Wood
Chris Wood was an original member of the psychedelic group "Traffic" which featured Steve Winwood. Chris Wood's flute and sax playing helped give the group their distinctive sound. His contributions to the group are best exemplified in his sax and flute solo work on "John Barleycorn Must Die" released in 1970 and "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys" released in 1971. He died in his London apartment on July 12th of 1983 due to a prolonged medical illness at the age of 39.

Douglas Allen Woody
Hailing from the great state of Tennessee and inspired by Paul McCartney, Allen Woody picked up the bass guitar at age 14. His father weaned him on blues,country and rock oldies. Together with new guitarist Warren Haynes they breathed new life into the "Allman Brother's Band" and in 1990 released "Seven Turns" which recaputured the old Allman Brothers magic. In 1991 they released "Shades of Two World's". After a couple of live CD releases the Allman's petered out again and Haynes and Woody formed a spin-off group named "Gov't Mule". He was found dead at the Marriott Courtyard Motel in Queens New York on August 25th, 2000 at the age of 44.

Frank Zappa
Way ahead of his time, Frank Zappa was the definitive rock-n-roll freak with bizarre and often humorous lyrics and off the wall musical themes. In 1965 he formed the "Mothers of Invention" and in 1966 released "Freak-out", were he urged the rock-n-roll masses to "Freak-out" providing a detailed definition of the word in the album jacket's liner notes. It has often been said that Paul McCartney got his inspiration for "Sgt. Pepper's" from this album. With album titles like "Weasels Ripped My Flesh","Chunga's Revenge", and "Hot Rats" , Zappa pushed the rock-n-roll creative envelope to the edge. He named two of his offspring "Dweezil" and "Moon Unit". He also played a mean Gibson SG guitar and was known for his intricate lead guitar riffs. In the late 1970's he released "Sheik-Yer-Booti" which yeilded a minor hit with the anti-disco song "Dancing Fool". The remaining years of his life was spent crusading against rock-n-roll censorship. He died December 4th, 1993 from prostrate cancer at the age of 52.

By Michael Woodall
Skeletal Remains Of Rock and Roll Origins
"The Grateful Dead" got it's name from an ancient Egyptian prayer spotted by Jerry Garcia in an encyclopedia which included the phrase "When the souls of the grateful dead are cleansed...".
One of the band members had a friend whose dog was named Thomas Jefferson Airplane.
The Springfield "Buffalo" was a farm tractor that Neil Young was sitting on one day.
Founding member Syd Barrett named the band after his favorite blues record by a duo named "Pink Anderson and Floyd Council".
The band was named after a Jacksonville High School gym teacher named "Leonard Skinner" who was known to punish students with long hair.
When Keith Moon found out that "The Yardbirds" were being regrouped by Jimmy Page as "The New Yardbirds" he exclaimed : "The're going to go down like a lead zeppelin !".
"Jethro Tull " was a farmer in 18th century England.
This group was named after the "Jessie James" gang.
Jim Morrison named the band after an Audulos Huxley poem about mescaline entitled "The Doors of Perception".
An "REO Speedwagon" was the name of a flat bed truck manufactured during the 1920's.
"Grand Funk Railroad" is named after the "Grand Trunk " railroad company in Michigan.
"Steely Dan" was the name of Dildo in the William Burroughs novel "The Naked Lunch".
"Duran Duran" was the name of a character in the 1968 movie "Barbarella" starring Jane Fonda.
"Uriah Heep" was a fictional character from a Charles Dickens novel.
"Marshall Tucker" was a piano tuner.
"The Rolling Stones" were named after the Muddy Waters song "Rollin' Stone".
"Fleetwood Mac" was named after the drummer "Mick Fleetwood" and the bassist "John McVie".
"Steppenwolf" was named after a Herman Hess novel.
-by Mike Woodal

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