Steve's Dead Rock Stars

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*** 1980's ***

Date
Age
Name
Claim to Fame
Cause of Death
Location
12/14/198940Patricia SantosIt's a Beautiful Day, vocalistCar AccidentGeyserville, California
12/01/198936Billy LyallPilot, keyboardistAIDS
10/19/198935Alan MurphyLevel 42, guitaristAIDSWestminster, UK
06/14/198927Pete de FreitasEcho & The Bunnymen, drummerMotorcycle Accident
Another member of the "Forever 27" Club.

05/29/198945John CipollinaQuicksilver Messenger ServiceEmphysemaGreenbrae, California
05/09/198934Keith Whitleycountry music singerAlcohol Poisoning
05/07/198943Ron WilsonThe Surfaris, drummerBrain Aneurysm
02/14/198945Vincent CraneAtomic RoosterSuicideLondon
02/14/1989 Wick LarsenWet Willie, guitarist
02/01/198939Blaze Foleysinger/songwriterMurderedAustin, Texas
02/01/198957Paul RobiThe PlattersPancreatic Cancer
01/21/198947Steve WahrerThe TrashmenThroat Cancer
12/21/1988Paul JeffreysBe-Bop Deluxe, bassistPam Am Flight 103 explosionLockerbie, Scotland
12/16/198841Sylvester Jamesdisco singerAIDS
12/06/198852Roy Orbisonrockabilly singerHeart FailureMadison, Tennessee

Rest in Peace
Roy Orbison
April 23, 1936 - December 6, 1988

Roy Orbison was one of the great voices of Rock 'n' Roll. Born Roy Kelton Orbison on April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Texas; he recorded his first songs with Sun Records at the age of 20 and achieved a modest hit with his first single, Ooby Dooby. By his mid-20s, Orbison had shifted his focus from singing to songwriting, penning the song Claudette, which was later recorded by the Everly Brothers.

After a brief stint with the RCA label, Orbison switched to Monument Records, where he released his 1960 hit, Only the Lonely, and his most famous song, Oh! Pretty Woman, in 1964.

Orbisonís personal life took a series of devastating hits beginning in 1966, when his wife died in a motorcycle accident. A few years later, Orbisonís house burned to the ground, claiming the lives of two of his sons.

Orbison had a brief comeback in the 80s, joining George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne in the star-studded band, The Traveling Wilburys. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

On the heels of his Wilburys success, Orbison recorded Mystery Girl, his first solo album in over 20 years. The album reached #5 and spawned the top ten hit "You Got It." However, Orbison did not live to see the album ride up the charts; a heart attack claimed his life in 1988 just before the album was released.

10/19/198886Son House delta blues pioneerCancer of the larynxDetroit, Michigan
10/09/198858Cliff GallupGene Vincent's Blue Caps, guitaristHeart Attack
08/30/198857Papa Dee AllenWarBrain Aneurysm (on stage)Vallejo, California
08/14/198843Robert CalvertHawkwindHeart AttackRamsgate, UK
08/14/198848Roy Buchananblues guitaristSuicide (hanging)Fairfax, Virginia
07/29/198855Pete Drakepedal steel guitaristLung CancerNashville, Tennessee

Rest in Peace
Roddis Franklin "Pete" Drake
October 8, 1932 - July 29, 1988

Pete Drake was a highly sought-after Nashville pedal steel guitarist, producer and record company founder. He played on many country and rock hits including Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay", Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and on several of Elvis Presley's movie soundtracks.

His innovative use of what would be called the "talk box", later used by Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh and Jeff Beck, added novel effects to the pedal steel guitar.

Drake played on some of rock's most important albums: Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline, George Harrison's classic solo debut All Things Must Pass, and on Ringo Starr's 1970 album Beaucoups of Blues.

As a producer, we worked with B. J. Thomas, the Four Freshmen, and Leon Russell. He founded Stop Records and First Generation Records.

07/18/198849NicoVelvet UndergroundMotorcycle AccidentIbiza, Spain
06/25/198826Hillel SlovakRed Hot Chili Peppers, guitaristHeroin Overdose
06/22/198843Jesse Ed Davissession guitaristHeroin OverdoseVenice, California
05/06/198853Paul WilsonThe Flamingos
04/09/198850Dave PraterSam & DaveCar AccidentSycamore, Georgia
03/10/198830Andy GibbBee GeesMyocarditis, drug relatedOxford, UK
02/24/198872Memphis Slimblues pianistRenal FailureParis, France
02/13/198837John CurulewskiStyxStrokeLa Grange, Illinois
12/09/198731Will ShatterFlipper/Negative ThreatHeroin Overdose
09/21/198735Jaco PastoriusWeather Report, bassistBeatingFt. Lauderdale, Florida

Rest in Peace
Jaco Pastorius
December 1, 1951 - September 21, 1987

Often regarded as the World's greatest Bass player, Jaco Pastorius played his fretless bass with the jazz band Weather Report and was in demand as a session player, working with Al Dimeola, Ian Hunter, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Blood Sweat and Tears and many others.

Sadly, Jaco was almost forgotten at the time of his death. Long suffering from mental problems and drug and alcohol abuse, the music industry viewed him as a pariah. No one would hire him. His problems were dramatized at the 1984 Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Several minutes into the show, Jaco turned up his amplifier and started improvising, playing dissonant notes. The crowd began booing loudly. One by one, his band members walked off the stage, leaving Jaco playing alone, crashing wildly about the stage, knocking over equipment. The performance ended only when the revolving stage was turned around and master of ceremonies, Bill Cosby, apologized to the crowd and introduced the next band.

Jaco died as a result of a severe beating that occurred outside the Midnight Bottle Club, an after-hours bar near Fort Lauderdale. Jaco was denied entry into the members-only club because he was drunk and abusive. The club's bouncer, Luc Havan, claimed that Jaco fell backward and hit his head on the sidewalk. Haven was charged with second-degree murder, but plea- bargained and pled guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter. He served only 4 months in jail.

Jaco died in the hospital nine days after the beating -- a blood vessel burst in his brain.

09/11/198742Peter ToshWailersMurdered during home invasionJamaica
08/17/198762Gary Chesterstudio drummerCancer?
08/02/198750David A. MartinSam the Sham and the Pharaohs, bassistHeart AttackTexas
07/10/198776John Hammond Sr.record company executiveStroke
06/??/198741Gary DriscollRainbow, drummerMurderedIthaca, New York
05/04/198744Paul ButterfieldButterfield Blues BandPeritonitis, drug relatedHollywood

Paul Butterfield
Paul Butterfield
December 17, 1942 - May 4, 1987

Developing an early interest in Blues music, Paul Butterfield taught himself to play harmonica as a youth and was sitting in with the Muddy Waters Band by 1958. He played steadily in the Chicago Blues scene in the early 1960ís.

In 1964 he formed The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, one of the first integrated Chicago Blues bands, and they recorded their first album for the Elektra label in 1965. Also that year, they performed at the Newport Folk Festival and backed up Bob Dylan. Their popularity helped to spark a revival in Blues music.

They appeared in the movies "Festival", "You Are What You Eat" and recorded the soundtrack for "Steelyard Blues" in addition to performing at the Woodstock Festival.

In 1973 Butterfield put together a new band, Better Days, but failed to generate the popularity of his previous band. He was featured in the 1978 film of The Band's The Last Waltz, on which he played behind Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan, as well as performing his own powerful solo of "Mystery Train." A victim of his own overindulgence in drugs and alcohol, Paul Butterfield died of a drug-related heart failure in 1987.

04/17/198736Carlton BarrettWailersMurderedJamaica
04/02/198769Buddy Richjazz drummerHeart Failure
03/21/198735Dean Paul MartinDino, Desi & BillyAir CrashSan Gorgonio Mountain, California
02/08/1987 Tony "Stix" DestraBritney Fox/Cinderella, drummerCar AccidentPennsylvania
01/12/198749Bobby M. PetersonThe Grateful Dead, poet/songwriter
01/06/198739Peter Lucia, Jr.Tommy James and the Shondells, drumsHeart AttackLos Angeles, California
12/24/198629Tommy KeiserKrokus, bass/vocalsSuicide
12/10/198644Kate WolffolksingerLeukemia

REST IN PEACE
Kate Wolf
January 27, 1942 - December 10, 1986

Kathryn Louise Allen, known professionally as Kate Wolf, was a folk singer/songwriter who had a significant impact on the folk music scene. Her best-known compositions include "Here in California", "Love Still Remains", "Across the Great Divide", "Unfinished Life", and "Give Yourself to Love".

Kate Wolf's music is celebrated each year at the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival, held at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California.

12/01/198661Lee DorseysingerEmphysemaNew Orleans
11/05/198661Bobby NunnThe Coasters, singerHeart AttackLos Angeles, California
10/23/198649Esqueritasinger/songwriterAIDSNew York City
10/19/198680Moses Aschfounder of Folkways Records New York City
10/01/1986 Andy McVannThe Farm, drummerCar Accident
09/27/198624Cliff BurtonMetallicaBus AccidentSweden
08/06/1986 Michael RudetskiCulture ClubHeroin Overdose
06/06/198664Dick RoweDecca A&R man who refused to sign the BeatlesDiabetes
03/31/198648O'Kelly Isley, Jr.The Isley BrothersHeart AttackAlpine, New Jersey
03/11/198674Sonny TerryHarmonica Player?Mineola, New York

Rest in Peace
Sonny Terry
October 24, 1911 - March 11, 1986

Sonny Terry (born Saunders Terrell) was a blues musician who, along with Brownie McGhee, was a fixture of the folk movement of the 1950's and 1960's. Their work included collaborations with Woody Guthrie and Moses Asch.

03/04/198649Howard GreenfieldsongwriterAIDSLos Angeles, California
03/04/198640Richard ManuelThe BandSuicide (hanging)Winter Park, Florida
02/01/198665Dick JamesBeatles, publisherHeart Attack
01/25/198659Albert GrossmanmanagerHeart Attackon Concorde on route to London

Rest in Peace
Albert Grossman
May 21, 1926 - January 25, 1986

Albert Grossman made several contributions to the history of Rock 'n' Roll, and was manager for some of the biggest names in music, including Bob Dylan, Odetta, John Lee Hooker, The Band and Janis Joplin.

In 1959, Grossman joined forces with George Wein, who had founded the Newport Jazz Festival, to start up the Newport Folk Festival.

In 1961, Grossman joined Mary Travers, Noel Stookey, and Peter Yarrow together as the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.

After Bob Dylan signed a management contract with Grossman, he invited Dylan to his Woodstock, New York home. Dylan liked the area so much he purchased a house there in 1965. The cover of Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home was photographed at Grossman's home in Woodstock. The woman in the cover photo with Dylan, in the red trouser suit, was Albert Grossman's wife, Sally

In 1969, Grossman built the Bearsville Recording Studio near Woodstock, in upstate New York, and in 1970 he founded Bearsville Records. The label signed rock acts including Foghat.

Albert Grossman died of a heart attack while flying on Concorde to London on January 25, 1986 with a plan to sign an unknown British singer to a contract. He is buried behind his own Bearsville Theater near Woodstock, New York.

01/04/198636Phil LynottThin LizzyHeart Failure, Stroke, drug relatedIreland

Rest in Peace
Phil Lynott
August 20, 1949 - January 4, 1986

Philip Parris "Phil" Lynott was the frontman of the Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy. Their biggest hit was 1976's "The Boys are Back in Town" from the Jailbreak Album.

He collapsed at his home on Christmas Day 1985 and died of heart failure and pneumonia in a hospital intensive care unit on January 4, 1986 at age 36.

In 2005, a life-sized bronze statue of Phil Lynott was placed outside Bruxelles, on Harry Street, in Dublin, Ireland.

In 2010, a CD entitled Yellow Pearl was released. It is a compilation of Lynott's two solo albums, Solo in Soho and The Philip Lynott Album, together with rare singles, remixes and B-sides.

12/31/198530Andy ChapinSteppenwolf, keyboardistPlane CrashDeKalb, Texas

Rest in Peace
Andy Chapin
February 7, 1951 - December 31, 1985

Andy Chapin was a member of the Ricky Nelson Band. He and his bandmates died after their plane crashed on New Year's Eve 1985 in DeKalb, Texas while en route to a performance in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining Ricky Nelson, Chapin had been a member of The Association and prior to that he was keyboardist for Steppenwolf, with whom he'd recorded Hour of the Wolf in 1975, the band's first album recorded without founding keyboardist Goldy McJohn. The official explanation for his departure from Steppenwolf was that he didn't like touring. He was replaced by Wayne Cook.

12/31/198545Rick NelsonStone Canyon BandPlane CrashDeKalb, Texas

Rest in Peace
Ricky Nelson
May 8, 1940 - December 31, 1985

12/22/198527D. BoonMinutemenCar AccidentTucson, Arizona
12/12/198547Ian StewartRolling Stones, keyboardistHeart AttackLondon
12/01/1985 Kurtis TealIron Butterfly, keyboardsHeart Failure
11/24/198574Big Joe TurnerThe Boss of the BluesHeart AttackInglewood, California
10/12/198532Ricky WilsonB-52'sAIDS
05/15/198532Jackie Curtis Heroin OverdoseNew York City
03/13/198565Bob ShadJanis Joplin, producerLos Angeles, California
02/28/198538David ByronUriah Heep
01/21/198556Barbara CowsillCowsillsEmphysema
12/28/198452Eddie "Bongo" BrownThe Funk Brothers, percussionistHeart Failure
12/08/198424Nicholas "Razzle" DingleyHanoi RocksCar Accident (Vince Neil Driving)Redondo Beach, California
11/24/198436John AngelosAmboy Dukes, vocalsCarbon Monoxide Poisoning
10/29/198435Wells KellyOrleans, Meatloaf, drummerAlcohol/drugs?UK
09/20/198436Steve Goodmansinger/songwriterLeukemia

Rest in Peace
Steve Goodman
July 25, 1948 - September 20, 1984

Songwriter Steve Goodman was best known for his song "City of New Orleans", which was a hit when recorded by Arlo Guthrie. Goodman had a modest recording career, critical acclaim, and a small but loyal audience. He toured often, performed at Carnegie Hall, and his songs were covered by Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, and Joan Baez, among others. He believed in traditional folk music. His songwriting ranged from blues to protest, and was characterized by fine melodies and clever lyrics. Goodman won two Grammy Awards.

Goodman died of leukemia after suffering with the disease for sixteen years.

09/06/198470Ernest Tubbcountry singer/songwriterEmphysemaNashville, Tennessee
08/11/198440Patrick McAuleyThemDrownedDonegal, Ireland
08/07/198475Harmonica Frank Floydblues harmonicaDiabetesBlanchester, Ohio

Rest in Peace
Harmonica Frank Floyd
October 11, 1908 - August 7, 1984

Harmonica Frank Floyd was the son of poor Mississippi sharecropper parents that separated without giving him a name. He was raised by his grandparents, named himself Frank Floyd, and taught himself to play harmonica by age 10. He soon learned to play guitar as well.

Frank Floyd was a one-man band, able to play harmonica without his hands or the need for a neck brace. While also playing guitar, he perfected a technique of manipulating the harmonica with his mouth while he sang out of the other side. When performing on the medicine-show circuit he would play harmonica with his nose and thus could play two harmonicas at once!

Harmonica Frank was the first white musician to record at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios in Memphis. Phillips had the idea that a white man playing and singing black-oriented music would be successful. While the Harmonica Frank recordings didn't sell well, Phillips went on to further explore the idea and recorded Elvis Presley - thus making history.

07/25/198457Big Mama Thorntonblues singer/songwriterHeart FailureLos Angeles, California
07/04/198434Jimmie Spheerissinger/songwriterMotorcycle AccidentSanta Monica, California

Jimmie Spheeris
Jimmie Spheeris
November 5, 1949 - July 4, 1984

Jimmie Spheeris was an American singer-songwriter who released four albums in the 1970s on the Columbia Records and Epic Records labels.

The liner notes on his 1971 debut album Isle of View, credit friend and fellow songwriter Richie Havens who introduced Spheeris to Columbia Records executive Clive Davis.

Spheeris died when his motorcycle collided with a van whose driver was under the influence of alcohol. Hours before his death, Spheeris finished the self-titled album, Spheeris, which was produced by Paul Delph.

06/01/198440Nate NelsonThe FlamingosHeart Failure
04/01/198444Marvin GayeMurdered by his father
02/28/198440Joseph Canzano ("Joey Vann")The DupreesHeart Failure
01/30/198437Candy GivensZepher, vocalsDrowned in a Hot Tub on drugs
01/21/198449Jackie WilsonR&B singerHeart Attack/Stroke/Coma
01/01/198455Alexis KornerFather of the British BluesLung CancerLondon
12/28/198339Dennis WilsonThe Beach BoysDrownedMarina Del Ray, California

Rest in Peace
Dennis Wilson
December 4, 1944 - December 28, 1983

Dennis Wilson was the drummer for the Beach Boys.

He drowned on Dec. 28, 1983 while diving from his yacht after drinking all day. Reportedly, Wilson trying to recover some items he had thrown overboard three years earlier.

11/23/198336Tom EvansBadfingerSuicide (hanging)
10/20/198365Merle Traviscountry singer/songwriterHeart FailureTahleqush, Oklahoma
08/02/198347James JamersonThe Funk BrothersAlcoholLos Angeles, California
07/12/198339Chris WoodTrafficPneumoniaBirmingham, UK
06/02/198333Stan Rogersfolk musicianAircraft FireHebron, Kentucky

Rest in Peace
Stan Rogers
November 29, 1949 - June 2, 1983

Stanley Allison Rogers was a Canadian folksinger and songwriter known for his fine voice and traditional songs. His most famous song "The Mary Ellen Carter" is an inspirational hymn about triumphing over great odds. It tells the story of a heroic effort to salvage a sunken ship, the Mary Ellen Carter, by members of her former crew.

Rogers and 22 other passengers died of smoke inhalation on June 2, 1983, after Air Canada Flight 797 made an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport due to an in-flight fire. Rogers was returning after performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival.

04/30/198370McKinley MorganfieldMuddy WatersHeart FailureWestmont, Illinois

Rest in Peace
Muddy Waters
April 4, 1913 - April 30, 1983

McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, was born in Clarkson, Mississippi in 1913 (Some sources indicate he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 1915). He is considered the father of Chicago blues and one of the greatest bluesmen of all time.

Muddy Waters first recorded his music in the summer of 1941. Alan Lomax came to Stovall, Mississippi, on behalf of the Library of Congress, to record various country blues musicians. Lomax came back again in July of 1942. Both sessions were eventually released as Down On Stovall's Plantation on the Testament label.

In 1977 Johnny Winter convinced his label, Blue Sky, to sign Waters and release his "comeback" LP, Hard Again.

04/17/198343Felix PappalardiMountainMurdered by wifeNew York City

Rest in Peace
Felix Pappalardi
December 30, 1939 - April 17, 1983

Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. was the bassist for the rock group Mountain. He is also remembered as the producer for Cream, beginning with their 1967 classic Disraeli Gears. He also worked with the Youngbloods, Joan Baez and Tom Paxton.

He was shot and killed by his wife, Gail, on April 17, 1983 in their New York apartment. Gail claimed the shooting was an accident and managed to get the second degree murder charges reduced. She was convicted and served 16 months before being paroled in 1985. She was last reported to live in Mexico.

Incidentally, Felix and Gail wrote the Cream hit "Strange Brew" with Eric Clapton!

04/14/198330Pete FarndonPretendersDrug Overdose
04/05/198341Danny RappDanny & The JuniorsSuicideParker, Arizona
02/04/198332Karen CarpenterCarpentersAnorexia Nervosa
02/02/198386Sam Chatmonblues guitarist
01/21/198334Lamar WilliamsAllman Brothers Band, bassistAgent-orange related Lung Cancer

Rest in Peace
Lamar Williams
January 14, 1949 - January 21, 1983

Lamar Williams was the bassist for The Allman Brothers Band and Sea Level.

Williams joined the Allman Brothers Band in late 1972 after the death of original bassist Berry Oakley. After the Allmans dissolved in 1976, Williams founded Sea Level with Jaimoe and Chuck Leavell of the Allmans.

198335Richard HughesJohnny Winter, drummerSuicide
12/17/198279Big Joe Williamsblues guitarist Macon, Mississippi
12/08/198257Marty RobbinsCountry singer/songwriterHeart AttackNashville
07/28/198228Keith GreenContemporary Christian MusicianPlane CrashGarden Valley, Texas
06/16/198225James Honeyman-ScottPretendersDrug OverdoseLondon
06/10/198242Addie "Micki" HarrisThe ShirellesHeart Failure on stageAtlanta, Georgia
06/03/198236Rusty DayAmboy Dukes / CactusMurderedLongwood, Florida

Rest in Peace
Rusty Day
December 29, 1945 - June 3, 1982

Russell "Rusty Day" Edward Davidson was a rock vocalist and frontman, best known for his work with the bands Amboy Dukes and Cactus.

Day joined Ted Nugent's band The Amboy Dukes in 1968, after their former vocalist, John Drake, was fired. Day himself had just quit his own band, Rusty Day & The Midnighters. Rusty stayed only for one album, 1969s Migration.

Cactus was formed by bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice from Vanilla Fudge. Rod Stewart was to be the singer in the group, but he left to join the Faces. Day sang on three Cactus albums (Cactus, One Way...Or Another and Restrictions) before he was fired from the band in 1971.

In 1982, Day was working on an album with his band Uncle Acid & The Permanent Damage Band, as well as dealing cocaine. Day owed money to Ron Sanders, one of the guitar players in his band, after a minor cocaine deal. Monte "Mondo" Thomas, Day's lead guitarist and close friend, explained Sanders as: "...a madman, he was a millionaire and a real bad coke fiend." Thomas and Day both lived in Day's house in Longwood, Florida, along with Day's 11-year old son Russell. Thomas had agreed to drive a friend out of town, and was therefore not present when Sanders opened fire with a machine gun, shooting through the windows in Day's house, killing Day, his son Russell, and a house guest, Garth McRae. Ron Sanders shot himself six weeks later, after police had surrounded his house due to entirely different charges than the triple murder weeks before.

04/30/198233Lester Bangsmusic journalistAccidental Drug OverdoseNew York City
03/19/198225Randy RhoadsQuiet Riot, Ozzy OsbournePlane CrashLakeland, Florida

Rest in Peace
Randy Rhoads
December 6, 1956 - March 19, 1982

Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was a heavy metal guitarist who formed the band Quiet Riot at age 17. In 1979, he joined with Ozzy Osbourne's new solo band and moved to the UK to help Ozzy record the LP Blizzard of Oz which contained the Hit "Crazy Train."

Randy was killed when the Beechcraft Bonanza in which they were flying clipped their tour bus and tree and then slammed into a two-story Florida mansion. The pilot Andrew Aycock, 36, and hairdresser Rachel Youngblood, 58, were also killed in the tragic crash. Apparently, the plane was buzzing the bus where other members of the tour were sleeping. Ozzy Osbourne was in the tour bus when the right wing of the plane wings clipped the bus. Ozzy escaped injury.

Randy was inducted into the Guitar Center Rock Walk (on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California), in 2004. Embarrassingly, the original plaque placed there misspelled his name as "Rhodes"!

03/17/1982 Samuel GeorgeThe Capitols, drums & VocalsStabbingDetroit

Samuel George

Samuel George was the lead vocalist and drummer for the Detroit group The Capitols, a one-hit wonder with the 1966 song "Cool Jerk." The song is still popular today and has been covered by artists including The Go-Go's and Todd Rundgren. "Cool Jerk" was used in Cool Whip commercials and in many movie soundtracks, including More American Graffiti (1979) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).

Samuel George died March 17, 1982 after he was fatally stabbed in a domestic dispute.

03/05/198233John BelushiThe Blues Brothers, comedianDrug OverdoseLos Angeles, California

Rest in Peace
John Belushi
January 24, 1949 - March 3, 1982

John Belushi was a singer for The Blues Brothers and an original cast member of the Saturday Night Live TV show.

In 1971, Belushi joined the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, Illinois. His spot-on caricature of singer Joe Cocker's intense personality and flailing arms helped him gain the attention of National Lampoon. While performing on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, Belushi met future Saturday Night Live regulars Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and Chevy Chase.

Belushi was with Saturday Night Live during their first broadcast season in 1975. Between seasons of the show, he made one of his best-known movies, 1978's Animal House.

Together with Dan Aykroyd, they created the Blues Brothers and premiered the act on Saturday Night Live with a version of Floyd Dixon's song "Hey Bartender" in the spring of 1978. This was followed with the release of the album Briefcase Full of Blues.

Died of an overdose of cocaine and heroin (a "Speedball") in Bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. The injection was administered by Cathy Smith, a former groupie for The Band. She admitted in an article in the National Enquirer, titled "I Killed Belushi", that she had been with Belushi the night of his death and had given him the fatal speedball shot. Smith was extradited from Toronto, arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain reduced the charges to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 18 months in prison.

In one of his last TV appearances, Belushi filmed a cameo for the comedy series Police Squad! Belushi was filmed, face down in a swimming pool, dead. The footage was part of a running gag where the episodes' guest-star wouldn't make it past the opening credit sequence without meeting some gruesome end. Also, as noted in one of the commentary tracks on the DVD, John nearly drowned during the filming of the scene. The scene, of course, never aired.

02/21/198260Murray the KDJCancerLos Angeles, California
02/17/198264Thelonious MonkJazz PianistStrokeNew Jersey
02/04/198246Alex HarveyThe Sensational Alex Harvey BandHeart AttackZeebrugge, Belgium
01/30/198269Lightnin' HopkinsbluesmanLung CancerHouston, Texas

Rest in Peace
Lightnin' Hopkins
March 15, 1912 - January 30, 1982

01/22/198248Tommy TuckerBlues singer/songwriterInhalation of carbon tetrachlorideNewark, New Jersey
08/26/198167Lee HaysThe WeaversHeart Attack
08/02/198131Alan Henry MalarowitzSweetwater, drummerCar AccidentSan Bernardino, California
07/16/198138Harry Chapinsinger/songwriterCar AccidentLong Island, New York

Rest in Peace
Harry Chapin
December 7, 1942 - July 16, 1981

Born the son of a big band drummer in New York in 1942, Chapin began performing while he was in high school, singing in the Brooklyn Heights Boys' Choir and forming a band with his brothers Tom and Stephen.

Harry Chapin was signed to Elektra Records. His debut album Heads and Tales contained the six-minute song "Taxi" which enjoyed success in the US charts. In 1974, Chapin secured the US Christmas number 1 single with his evocative song "Cat's In The Cradle." With a series of albums, strongly narrative in tone, it was clear that Chapin was capable of extending himself and in 1975 he wrote the Broadway musical revue, THE NIGHT THAT MADE AMERICA FAMOUS. That same year, he also won an Emmy award for his musical work on the children's television series, MAKE A WISH. The title track to his album SEQUEL, which was a story sequel to his first hit Taxi, gave him his final US Top 30 entry.

On 16 July 1981, while traveling on the Long Island Expressway to a benefit concert, his 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit was rear-ended by a truck in Jericho, New York. The accident ruptured the gas tank and caused the car to burst into flames. The driver of the truck, and passers-by were able to get Harry out of the car before it was completely engulfed in flames. He was helicoptered to an area hospital where doctors tried for 30 minutes to revive him.

Chapin was driving illegally. He had several tickets for speeding and moving violations, and his driver's license was revoked. An autopsy revealed that Chapin had suffered a fatal heart attack. It is unclear if the heart attack led to the accident or vice-versa, although witness reports indicate he had slowed the vehicle to 15 MPH and had activated the emergency flashers, swerving in front of the tractor-trailer truck just before it hit him.

Chapin was interred in the Huntington Rural Cemetery, Huntington, New York.
His epitaph is taken from his song "I Wonder What Would Happen to this World." It is:

Oh if a man tried
To take his time on Earth
And prove before he died
What one man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen
to this world

07/01/198132Rushton MoreveSteppenwolf, bassistMotorcycle AccidentLos Angeles, California
05/11/198136Bob MarleyWailersCancerMiami, Florida
04/28/198133Steve CurrieT. Rex, bassistCar CrashPortugal
04/07/198145Kit LambertThe Who, ProducerBrain HemorrhageLondon
04/05/198137Bob "The Bear" HiteCanned HeatHeart Failure
03/19/198177Tampa Redblues guitaristAlcoholChicago
02/15/198137Michael BloomfieldHeroin OverdoseSan Francisco, California
02/09/198155Bill HaleyCometsHeart Failure
02/06/198155Hugo MontenegroSoundtrack Composeremphysema
01/02/198139David LynchThe Platters
12/29/198039Tim Hardinsinger/songwriterHeroin Overdose
12/08/198040John LennonBeatlesMurdered by rabid fanNew York City
12/07/198022Darby CrashThe GermsHeroin Overdose/suicideLos Angeles, California
10/27/198031Steve Peregrine TookT. RexChoked on a Cherry

Steve Took

Steve Took formed Tyrannosaurus Rex with Marc Bolan in 1967. "Tookie" died when he choked on a Cocktail Cherry while lounging in bed. He was high on morphine & Magic Mushrooms at the time, likely contributing to his death!

10/06/198054Lincoln R. Chasesinger/songwriter

Lincoln R. Chase
June 29, 1926 - October 6, 1980

Lincoln Chase was a prolific songwriter. He wrote "Jim Dandy" for LaVern Baker, but rock fans know the song as recorded by Black Oak Arkansas. With his wife, Shirley Ellis, he co-wrote well-remembered songs in the novelty genre including "Nitty Gritty" and "Name Game."

09/26/198049Pat Hareblues guitaristLung CancerSt. Paul, Minnesota

Pat Hare
December 20, 1930 - September 29, 1980

Pat Hare (Born Auburn Hare in Cherry Valley, Arkansas) was a blues guitarist. He died of lung cancer while in prison for murdering his girlfriend and a policeman. He recorded, ironically, "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" and "Bonus Pay". He worked with Howlin' Wolf, James Cotton and Muddy Waters.

09/25/198032John BonhamLed Zeppelin, drummerAlcoholClewer, Windsor, England

John Bonham
May 31, 1948 - September 25, 1980

John Bonham was drummer for the rock gods Led Zeppelin.

07/23/198032Keith GodchauxGrateful DeadCar AccidentMarin County, California

Keith Godchaux
July 9, 1948 - July 23, 1980

Keith Godchaux joined the Grateful Dead as their keyboardist in 1971. His first show with them was on October 19, 1971, filling in for the ailing Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. Prior to that time, Keith had been in Dave Mason's band.

Keith only wrote one song during his time with the Dead: "Let Me Sing Your Blues Away," from Wake of the Flood. It was only performed five times in 1973.

Keith and his wife Donna Godchaux issued the mostly self-written Keith and Donna album in 1975 with Jerry Garcia as a member of their band. The couple also performed as part of the Jerry Garcia band. Later, he and his wife formed The Heart of Gold Band.

Godchaux was asked to leave the Grateful Dead in 1979; the next keyboardist to fill his role was Brent Mydland.

Godchaux died after losing control of his car in Marin County, California, at the age of 32. The position of Grateful Dead keyboardist is ill-fated; Brent Mydland also died prematurely (in 1990), as did Vince Welnick (in 2006).

05/30/198037Carl RadlebassistKidney Infection
05/18/198023Ian CurtisJoy DivisionSuicide
04/28/198030Tommy CaldwellMarshall Tucker BandCar Accident
03/29/198074Mantovanibandleader
03/26/1980Jon-Jon PaulosBuckinghamsDrug overdose
02/19/198033Bon ScottAC/DCAlcoholLondon

Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott
July 9, 1946 - February 19, 1980

Bon Scott was the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980.

01/30/198061Professor Longhairblues singer and pianistNew Orleans
01/29/198086Jimmy Durantesinger, pianist, comedian and actorSanta Monica, California


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