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The Death of Rock: The Chronology

The Nineties

Artists are listed alphabetically within year of demise. Feel free to scroll, or click the year you wish to view and skip ahead.


Some entries have special notations prior to their names. They represent induction into one of the following Halls of Fame:
* denotes induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
# indicates induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
^ symbolizes induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.


Stiv Bators
(Stivin Bator), struck by a car. Bators was a staple of the late '70s - early '80s punk scene and leader of The Dead Boys. He was hit by a car on the way to see his girlfriend, and underestimating the extent of his injuries, refused medical attention. He died later that night in his sleep. Bators was 40. "Sonic Reducer"

Dee Clark
heart attack. He was 52. As a member of The Hambone Kids, he had a hit in 1952 with "Hambone." As a solo artist, he scored with "Just Keep It Up," "Hey Little Girl" and 1961's "Raindrops" (which reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart, #3 on the R&B list).

Allen Collins

Allen Collins

*Allen Collins
(Larkin Allen Collins, Jr.), pneumonia. He was 37. Collins was a guitarist for and one of the founders of Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1986, he crashed his car while driving drunk; his girlfriend was killed and he was paralyzed from the waist down. The pneumonia was a result of decreased lung capacity from the paralyzation. Collins, along with Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson (see 2001), Artimus Pyle and Billy Powell (see 2009), was also a survivor of the 1977 plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, and manager Dean Kilpatrick. Lynyrd Skynyrd were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Visit the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute. "Free Bird," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man"

Bobby Day
(Robert James Byrd), succumbed to prostate cancer. He was 60. He is most popularly known for the hit single, “Rockin’ Robin."

Ronnie Dyson
heart failure. He was 40. "(If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You? "I Don't Wanna Cry," "When You Get Right Down To It"

*Tom Fogerty
conflicting reports of cause of death. Some versions state AIDS as the reason; some say a heart attack or tuberculosis were to blame. Fogerty was 49. Member of Creedence Clearwater Revival and brother to legendary songwriter/musician John Fogerty. Creedence was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. "Fortunate Son," "Bad Moon Rising," "Proud Mary"

*Cornell Gunter
shot. Gunter was one of the original Coasters and, in 1980, reformed the band as The Fabulous Coasters. (This was the same year that manager Patrick Cavanaugh murdered their bassist, Nathaniel Wilson.) After a show in Vegas, Gunter pulled up at an intersection in his '78 Camaro. An argument ensued with an unidentified man who was standing at the curb. Then Gunter's car was sprayed with bullets; he was hit twice. He tried to speed away but his injuries were too severe and he crashed into a wall. He was 53. His murder was never solved. The Coasters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. "Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown"

Thurston Harris
heart attack at the age of 58. Harris recorded "Do What You Did," "Runk Bunk" and the 1957 hit "Little Bitty Pretty One."

Jim Henson

Jim Henson

Jim Henson
bacterial pneumonia. He was 53. Henson created The Muppets, who scored two hits: "Rubber Duckie" in 1970 and "Rainbow Connection" in 1979.

Jimmy Hodder
drowned in a swimming pool. He was 42. Hodder was one of several session drummers for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Steely Dan. Steely Dan: "Reeling in the Years," "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "Deacon Blues," "Do It Again"

*Brent Mydland
morphine and cocaine overdose. He was 37. Keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Mydland was the third of four Grateful Dead keyboardists to die prematurely. He succeeded Ron "Pigpen McKernan (see 1973) and Keith Godchaux (see 1980) and was succeeded by Vince Welnick (see 2006). "Truckin,' "Casey Jones," "St. Stephen"

Del Shannon

Del Shannon

*Del Shannon
(Charles Weedon Westover), self-inflicted rifle wound. He was 55. On February 3, 1990, Shannon performed at the annual Buddy Holly (see 1959) concert in Clear Lake, Iowa. (Read about Shannon's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly.) Five days after the concert, he unexpectedly killed himself (using a .22 calibre rifle) while on anti-depressants. Shannon's wife filed suit a year later against the makers of the prescription drug Prozac claiming that its use contributed to his death. Del Shannon was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and he was also inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Runaway," "Hats Off to Larry," "Little Town Flirt," "So Long Baby"

Gary Usher
cancer. He was 51. Usher was the lead for The Hondells. "Little Honda"

Stevie Ray Vaughan space saver Memorial to Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan; memorial in Austin, Texas.

*^Stevie Ray Vaughan
helicopter crash into a fog-shrouded, man-made ski hill. A guitar legend; he was 35. He was nominated for two and won two Grammy Awards. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named Vaughan one of greatest guitarist of all time (ranking number 7). Vaughan was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. View the National Transportation and Safety Board report on Stevie Ray Vaughan's helicopter crash. "Pride and Joy," "Cold Shot," "Tight Rope"

Barrie James (B.J.) Wilson
pneumonia, in 1990; age 43. Drummer for Procol Harum, the late '60s - early '70s psychedelic sensation (and author Douglas Adams's favorite band). Their hit "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was rumoured to be John Lennon's (see 1980) favorite song. Wilson also played drums on The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack. "Conquistador," "Repent Walpurgis," "She Wandered Through the Garden Fence"

Andrew Wood
heroin overdose, Seattle. Lead singer of Mother Love Bone, precursor to Pearl Jam, and former roommate to Chris Cornell (lead of sludge-metal pioneers, Soundgarden). Wood was 24. "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns," "Bone China"


Eric Carr
cancer. He was 41. Carr was the drummer for the ostentatious rock band, Kiss. He played with the band from 1980-1991 as "The Fox." "Rock And Roll All Night," "Lick It Up," "Detroit Rock City"

*Gene Clark
cumulative effects of alcohol (a bleeding ulcer); he was 46. Clark was the singer-songwriter of The Byrds, which also featured Gram Parsons and Clarence White (see 1973 for both) and Michael Clarke (see 1993). The Byrds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Eight Miles High," "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

*Steve Clark
substance abuse. Clark was the guitarist for Def Leppard. He died in his sleep after ingesting alcohol, barbituates and anti-depressants at a party. Clark was 30. Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Love Bites," "Photograph"

Odia Coates
breast cancer; she was 49. Coates sang with Paul Anka on 1974's "You're Having My Baby."

Carter Cornelius
heart attack. He was 43. Member of The Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, who split up in 1976 when Carter joined a black Hebrew sect in Miami and adopted the name Prince Gideon Israel. "Too Late To Turn Back Now," "Treat Her Like a Lady"

Frank Esler-Smith
pneumonia (rumored to be AIDS-related). Esler-Smith was an arranger and keyboard player for the soft rock band Air Supply in the '70s and '80s. He was 42. "Lost in Love," "All Out of Love," "Every Woman in the World," "The One That You Love"

The Small Faces

The Small Faces:

Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane (d. 1997) and Steve Marriott (d. 1991).

*Steve Marriott
(Stephen Peter Marriott), house fire. Marriott was the singer and guitarist for The Small Faces and Humble Pie. After a return flight from the US, Marriott had dinner with his wife at a friend's house, but returned home alone in the early morning. Valium, cocaine and alcohol were in his system. According to investigators, Marriott fell asleep with a lit cigarette. He was found on the floor next to his bed, dead from smoke inhalation. He was 44. (Marriott's co-founder in the Small Faces, Ronnie Lane, would succumb to multiple sclerosis in 1997.) The Small Faces were awarded the Ivor Novello Oustanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement" Award in 1996. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Read about Marriott's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. With The Small Faces: "Itchycoo Park," "Tin Soldier," "Lazy Sunday," "All or Nothing." With Humble Pie: "Black Coffee," "Shine On," "30 Days in the Hole"

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

*Freddie Mercury
(Farrokh Bulsara), AIDS; he was 45. Singer for Queen, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Mercury was music's first superstar-turned-AIDS casualty. "Another One Bites the Dust," "We Are the Champions," "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Billy Nelson
(William Hugh Nelson, Jr.), suicide. Nelson, son of legendary country singer, Willie Nelson, hanged himself. Cause is unknown. He was 33. "Put Me on a Train Back to Texas"

Mark Daniel Olson
reports suggest his death was bodily wear-and-tear due to chronic alcohol consumption. He was 41. Olson played keyboards from 1971 until 1984 for rock/soul group, Rare Earth. Fellow members John Persh succumbed to a staph infection (1974) and Eddie Guzman died of complications from diabetes (1993). "I Just Want to Celebrate," "Hey, Big Brother," and covers of The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and "Get Ready"

The Reba McEntire Band
On 15 March 1991, country crooner Reba McEntire finished a show in California. While she decided to stay the night in San Diego, her band piled into two Hawker-Siddeley planes destined for Indiana. Unfortunatley, one of the aircraft slammed into a mountain moments after take-off. On board were Chris Autin (vocals, guitar, mandolin), age 27; Kirk Capello (keyboards), age 28; Joey Cigainero (synthesizer), age 27; Paula Kaye Evans (vocals), age 33; Terry Jackson (bass), age 28; Tony Saputo (drums), age 34; Michael Thomas (guitar), age 34; Jim Hammond (road manager), age 40; and two others, including the pilot. View the National Transportation and Safety Board report which includes photos of the musicians. McEntire dedicated her 1991 album, From My Broken Heart, to the fallen musicians.

The Temptations

The Temptations, 1964-68: David Ruffin (d. 1991), Paul Williams (d. 1973),

Eddie Kendricks (d. 1992), Melvin Franklin (d. 1995), & Otis Williams (clockwise from bottom left).

*David Ruffin
found at the emergency entrance of a Philadelphia hospital, dead of a cocaine overdose. Ruffin sang tenor for the Temptations, replacing Elbridge Bryant in 1963. (Bryant died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1975, Paul Williams committed suicide in 1973, Eddie Kendricks succumbed to lung cancer in 1992 and Melvin Franklin died after a seizure in 1995.) Ruffin was 50 at the time of his death. The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1999. "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

Johnny Thunders
(John Anthony Genzale), methadone and alcohol overdose; he was 39. Thunders was the vocalist for glam-punk outfit The New York Dolls and later joined The Heartbreakers. Drummer Jerry Nolan, who replaced Bill Murcia (see 1972) in The NY Dolls and also later joined The Heartbreakers, succumbed to drug use the following year. (Thunders, Nolan, and Murcia are three of four former New York Dolls to die prematurely. The fourth was Arthur "Killer" Kane in 2004.) "You Can't Put Your Arms Around Money" (with The Heartbreakers), "Personality Crisis," "Frankenstein" (with The New York Dolls)

Rob Tyner
heart failure at age 46. Vocalist for seminal punk group, the MC5 (Motor City 5). Guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith, would succumb to the same ailment three years later. (Bassist Michael Davis died of liver disease in 2012. He was 68.) "Kick Out the Jams," "Shakin' Street"

J. Frank Wilson
causes unknown; assumed medical. Wilson gained notoriety with his "death disc," "Last Kiss." While his record was in the Top Ten, Wilson was involved in a head-on collision with his band and producer, Sonley Roush, who was killed. Wilson never enjoyed a hit song again and died in a nursing home, at the age of 49.


Ronnie Bond
(Ronald Bullis), lengthy illness. He was 50. Bond was a member of The Troggs, who scored a number two hit with 1966's "Wild Thing." Other hits include "A Girl Like You" and "I Can't Control Myself."

John Cascella
heart attack while driving. He was 45. Cascella played keyboards, saxaphone, and accordion for John "Cougar" Mellencamp. Cascella was returning from a boxing match, when he had a heart attack while driving. He veered off the road into a cornfield, and his vehicle (containing his body) was later found by a passing motorist. (Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.) With Mellencamp: "Get a Leg Up," "Paper in Fire," "R.O.C.K. in the USA," "Cherry Bomb," "Small Town"

*Eddie Hazel
internal bleeding and liver failure after a lengthy battle with stomach problems; he was 42. Hazel was the pioneering guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named Hazel one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking number 43). Hazel was predeceased by fellow band member, Glenn Lamont Goins (1978), and was followed by Garry Shider (2010). "Flash Light," "One Nation Under a Groove," "Aqua Boogie," "(Not Just) Knee Deep"

Barbara Lee Jones
heart attack. She was 44. Member of the '60s girl group, The Chiffons. "He's So Fine," "One Fine Day"

The Temptations

The Temptations, 1964-68: David Ruffin (d. 1991), Paul Williams (d. 1973),

Eddie Kendricks (d. 1992), Melvin Franklin (d. 1995), & Otis Williams (clockwise from bottom left).

*Eddie Kendricks
lung cancer. Kendricks was a founding member of the Temptations. He was 52 at the time of his death. Fellow Temptations also included in The Archive: Paul Williams (suicide, 1973), Elbridge Bryant (cirrhosis of the liver, 1975), David Ruffin (cocaine overdose in 1991), and Melvin Franklin (seizure in 1995). The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

Bobby LaKind
colon cancer at the age of 47. LaKind was a member (primariy congas) of The Doobie Brothers, along with saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus (see 2004) and drummer Keith Knudsen (see 2005). The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The group (minus LaKind) was also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "Takin it to the Streets," "Black Water," "China Grove"

Roger Miller
lung cancer; he was 56. Enjoyed fame in the 1960's with hits like "King Of The Road" and "Dang Me." Inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Jerry Nolan
health complications stemming from drug use; he was 46. Nolan replaced drummer Bill Murcia (see 1972) in the glam-punk outfit The New York Dolls and later joined The Heartbreakers. Vocalist Johnny Thunders (also an alum of both bands) succumbed to drug use the previous year. (Nolan, Murcia, and Thunders were three of four former New York Dolls to die prematurely. The fourth was Arthur "Killer" Kane in 2004.) "You Can't Put Your Arms Around Money" (with The Heartbreakers), "Personality Crisis," "Frankenstein" (with The New York Dolls)

Jeff Porcaro
hardening of the arteries due to cocaine abuse. Porcaro was Toto's drummer. The group garnered six Grammy Awards in its heyday. Porcaro's death, while gardening, was originally thought caused by an anaphylactic reaction to a pesticide. He was 38 at the time of his demise. "Africa," "Rosanna," "Hold the Line"

Stefanie Sargent
heroin overdose; she was 22. Sargent was the guitarist for Seven Year Bitch, an all-female band from Seattle's early-'90s grunge scene. Sargent abused alcohol and heroin, choking on her own vomit. From Sick 'Em: "Tired of Nothing," "You Smell Lonely," "Dead Men Don't Rape"

Mary Wells
(Mary Esther Wells), cancer of the larynx; she was 49. Motown singer who scored a phenomenal hit with 1964's "My Guy." "The One Who Really Loves You," "You Beat Me to the Punch," "Two Lovers," and (with Marvin Gaye, see 1984) "Once Upon A Time"


Arthur Alexander
heart attack; he was 53. Alexander was an influential soul singer whose songs have been covered by artists as diverse as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder, and Huey Lewis and the News. "Anna (Go to Him)," "You Better Move On," "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues," "Soldier of Love," "Every Day I Have to Cry Some"

G.G. Allin
(rumored to be Jesus Christ Allin, later changed to Kevin Allin, then G.G.), heroin overose. Controversial shock rocker who often mutilated himself and defecated on stage. Allin was 36.

Toy Caldwell
respiratory failure; he was 45. Caldwell was the guitarist for Toy Factory and The Marshall Tucker Band (both with George McCorkle, see 2007). Caldwell had bronchial problems which were aggravated by his cocaine habit; this resulted in a respiratory collapse. In 1993, he suffered a bout of the flu and died in his sleep from respiratory failure. (Source: "The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars," Jeremy Simmonds.) Caldwell was scheduled to play a fundraiser in memory of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant (see 1977) on the day he died. Caldwell's brother and fellow Marshall Tucker band mate, Tommy Caldwell, died in a car crash in 1980. "Can't You See," "Heard It In A Love Song," "Ramblin'"

*Michael Clarke
(Michael James Dick), cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse. He was 49. Clarke was the drummer for The Byrds, which also featured Gram Parsons, Clarence White (see 1973 for both) and Gene Clark (1991). The Byrds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Eight Miles High," "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

Johnny Cymbal
heart attack. He was 48. Cymbal had a hit with "Mr. Bass Man" in 1963, and a 1969 hit with "Cinnamon", under the name "Derek".

Jerry Edmonton
(Jerry McCrohan), automobile crash; he was 47. Drummer Edmonton, with bassist Rushton Moreve, (see 1981) was a co-founder of Steppenwolf. "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born to Be Wild"

Ray Gillen
AIDS-related illness. He was 34. Gillen was briefly the singer for Black Sabbath. He recorded 1987's The Eternal Idol album, but after leaving the group, his vocals were replaced. Gillen formed the Badlands, recording the albums, Badlands, Voodoo Highway, and Dusk.

Eddie Guzman
complications of diabetes. He was 49. Guzman played the conga for rock/soul group, Rare Earth. Fellow band members Mark David Olson died of chronic alcohol consumption (1991), and John Persh succumbed to a staph infection (1976). "I Just Want to Celebrate," "Hey, Big Brother," and covers of The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and "Get Ready"

Doug Hopkins
shot himself. He was the co-founder of and songwriter for the Gin Blossoms, but because of his alcoholism (possibly caused by chronic depression) he was fired from the band prior to their national success. Hopkins was 32. "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You," "Until I Fall Away," "Til I Hear it From You," "Follow You Down"

*Don Myrick
shot accidentally by police; he was 45. Myrick played saxophone for Earth, Wind & Fire. In 1993, an LAPD officer had a warrant to search Myrick's apartment for drugs. (Myrick had been abusing crack cocaine.) He shot Myrick when he mistook a cigarette lighter for a pistol in Myrick's hand. Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2003. "Shining Star," "Boogie Wonderland," "Let's Groove"

Criss Oliva
struck head-on by a drunk driver; Oliva was 30. Oliva was the guitarist for the metal outfit, Savatage. The driver who was responsible for the accident was eventually convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison (he served 18 months), and ten years' probation. "Hall of the Mountain King," "Prelude to Madness," "Price You Pay"

River Phoenix

River Phoenix

River Phoenix
(River Jude Bottom), drug overdose at age 23. Phoenix, although known primarily for his critically-acclaimed acting, was the guitarist for Aleka's Attic. In 1993, Phoenix collapsed and went into cardiac arrest outside the Viper Room on Halloween night. Ephedrine, marijuana, valium, cocaine and morphine were found in the strict vegan's system. Since his death, he has been memorialized in songs by Belinda Carlisle, Natalie Merchant, REM, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others. "Across the Way," "Too Many Colors," "Note to a Friend"

Mick Ronson
(Michael Ronson), liver cancer. He was 46. Ronson was a guitarist heavily associated with glam rock. He played with David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, and Lou Reed (appearing on Reed's album, Transformer). Ronson was named the 64th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003. Albums with Bowie: The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane, and Pin Ups. Solo albums: Slaughter in 10th Avenue, Play Don't Worry, and Heaven and Hull (which was released posthumously).

Conway Twitty

Conway Twitty

#Conway Twitty
(Harold Jenkins), abdominal aneurysm. He was 59. Twitty was a successful country musician who enjoyed early pop success with the hit "It's Only Make Believe. Twitty was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and he was also inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Hello Darlin'," "After the Fire is Gone" (with Loretta Lynn), "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" (also with Lynn)

Patrick Waite
head trauma. Bassist for '80s one-hit wonders, Musical Youth. Waite, who turned to a life of crime after the band's break-up, died while awaiting a court appearance on drug charges. Supposedly, an undiagnosed viral infection caused Waite to pass out. As he fell, he hit his head and died from the injury. He was 23. "Pass the Dutchie"

Jeff Ward
suicide. Ward was a drummer who played with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and the Revolting Cocks. Ward was dealing with a heroin addiction when he died from self-administered carbon monoxide poisoning. Ward was 30. Nine Inch Nails (post-Ward): "Down In It," "Closer," "Head Like a Hole," "Downward Spiral" (supposedly inspired by Ward)

Mia Zapata

Mia Zapata

Mia Zapata
strangled and raped. Singer for The Gits, a seminal Seattle band, she was 27. According to the medical examiner, if she had not been strangled she would have died from the internal injuries suffered from the beating. After her murder, friends formed Home Alive, a self-defense group. Zapata's case was aired on the nationally broadcast television program, "Unsolved Mysteries." It wasn't until 2004 that Jesus C. Mezquia was identified as her killer and sentenced to 36 years in prison. Albums: Frenching the Bully and Enter: The Conquering Chicken.

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

*Frank Zappa
prostate cancer in 1993; he was 53. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #45). Zappa formed the Mothers of Invention and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. "Dancin' Fool," "Valley Girl"


Tommy Boyce
suicide. He was 55. Boyce suffered from depression, and shot himself in his home. He reportedly left two suicide notes indicating his desire to "go and be with" his dead mother, Elvis Presley (see 1977), and Del Shannon (see 1990). (He had been friends with both musicians.) Boyce teamed with Bobby Hart on the '60s hits "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" and "I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind."

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

*Kurt Cobain
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Lead singer/guitarist for rock music iconoclasts and grunge pioneers, Nirvana. Cobain's body was discovered by an electrician 3 days after his death. Cobain suffered from stomach problems, possible depression/bipolar disorder, and drug addiction. He was 27 when he took his life. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #12). Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Visit the Kurt Cobain Tribute for artist information, photos, his suicide note, and a detailed account of the events leading up to his death. Learn about Cobain's connection to the Curse of Buddy Holly. "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come As You Are," "Heart-Shaped Box," "All Apologies"

Danny Gatton
self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 49. Gatton fused jazz, blues, and rockabilly and was nominated for a Grammy for "Elmira Street Boogie." Among Gatton's admirers are Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Chris Isaak (Gatton appeared on his album, San Francisco Days), Les Paul, Steve Vai, and Slash. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #63). Gatton's albums include: American Jazz, Redneck Boogie, Blazing Telecasters (live), 88 Elmira Street and Cruisin' Deuces.

Dan Hartman
brain tumor. He was 43. Hartman was a member of The Edgar Winter Group and scored solo pop hits with 1978's "Instant Replay" and 1984's "I Can Dream About You." Hartman was diagnosed with AIDS in the late 1980s, but it was ultimately a brain tumor that brought on his demise. With Edgar Winter: "Frankenstein," "Free Ride"

Major Lance
heart failure. He was 55. "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um," "The Monkey Time," "The Matador

Derek Leckenby
cancer. He was 51. Leckenby was the lead guitarist for Herman's Hermits. "I'm Henry the VIII I Am," "I'm Into Something Good," "There's a Kind of Hush"

Ephraim Lewis
jumped from a fourth-floor balcony. It is said that the musician, on methamphetamines at the time, had a violent exchange with police in which he was tasered just prior to his fall. His death was ruled a suicide. Lewis was 25. "It Can't Be Forever" (#29 Top 40, #66 R&B for 6 weeks); "Drowning in Your Eyes" (#72 Hot 100 for 9 weeks, #80 R&B for 4 weeks)

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson
(Harry Edward Nelson III), heart disease. Nilsson was 52. Singer, songwriter, and John Lennon's (see 1980) drinking buddy; both "Mama" Cass Elliot (see 1974) and Keith Moon (see 1978) died while staying at his apartment. Read about the Curse of Nilsson. Badfinger's "Without You," "Everybody's Talkin'," "Coconut"

Kristin Pfaff
heroin overdose. Bassist for Hole, she was 27. "Miss World, "Doll Parts

Chet Powers
(also known as Dino Valenti), "died suddenly" (no cause disclosed). He was 57. Powers was a lead singer for Quicksilver Messenger Service. He also wrote the '60s anthem, "Get Together" under the name Jesse Oris Farrow. With Quicksilver Messenger Service: "Fresh Air," "What About Me," "Who Do You Love"

Fred "Sonic" Smith
heart failure at age 45. Guitarist for seminal punk group, MC5 (Motor City 5), and husband to poet/rocker Patti Smith. Vocalist for MC5, Rob Tyner, suffered the same fate three years earlier. (Bassist Michael Davis died of liver disease in 2012. He was 68.) "Kick Out the Jams," "Shakin' Street"


Matthew Ashman
diabetes. He was 35. Guitarist for '80s new wave group, Bow Wow Wow. "I Want Candy"

David Cole
spinal meningitis. He was 32. Cole was half of the early '90s dance sensation, C & C Music Factory. They won a Grammy for their work on the Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner film, The Bodyguard. "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," "Here We Go," "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...."

Sims Ellison
self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ellison was the bass-player and co-founder of the hard rock band, Pariah. He was 28 at the time of his death. "Nobody Listens"

The Temptations

The Temptations, 1964-68: David Ruffin (d. 1991), Paul Williams (d. 1973),

Eddie Kendricks (d. 1992), Melvin Franklin (d. 1995), & Otis Williams (clockwise from bottom left).

*Melvin Franklin
seizure. Franklin (uncle of Rick James, see 2004) was a founding member of the Temptations. He was 52 at the time of his death. Fellow Temptations also included in The Archive: Paul Williams (suicide, 1973), Elbridge Bryant (cirrhosis of the liver, 1975), David Ruffin (cocaine overdose in 1991), and Eddie Kendricks (cancer, 1992). The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher
complications following a liver transplant. He was 47. Gallagher is considered one of the premiere Irish blues/rock guitarists of all time. He formed the band, Taste, in 1966 and later persued a phenomenal solo career. He collaborated with legendary bluesman, Muddy Waters, in the 1970s. Gallagher's albums include Rory Gallagher, Deuce, Tattoo, Blueprint, and Irish Tour.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

*Jerry Garcia
(Jerome John Garcia), heart attack; he was 53. Garcia was co-founder of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, but is most famous as a founding member, vocalist, and guitarist for the Grateful Dead. Garcia was found dead in his room at a rehabilitation facility. He had checked in earlier that day to deal with his heroin addiction. Garcia also struggled with diabetes and sleep apnea. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named Garcia one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #13). In 1987, Ben & Jerry's came out with the ice cream flavor, Cherry Garcia, in honor of the musician. For a month after his death, the ice cream was made with black cherries as a sign of mourning. In 2005, the city of San Francisco named the amphitheater in McLaren Park the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. The Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "Truckin'," "St. Stephen," "Casey Jones," "Friend of the Devil," "Touch of Grey"

Shannon Hoon space saver Shannon Hoon

Shannon Hoon; newspaper article reporting Hoon's death.

Shannon Hoon
(Richard Shannon Hoon), heroin overdose. Lead singer of Blind Melon and back-up vocalist on "Don't Cry by Guns n' Roses. Hoon was 28. "No Rain," "Tones of Home," "Galaxy"

Billy Jones
(William Harry Jones), self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 45. Jones was the a guitarist and singer who co-founded the southern rock band, The Outlaws. "There Goes Another Love Song," "Breaker-Breaker," "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"

Philip Taylor Kramer
appears to have driven off a cliff. Kramer took Lee Dorman's place as Iron Butterfly's bassist when the band re-formed in 1975. He was found in a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, four years after vanishing. In 1995, Kramer waited at Los Angeles International Airport for a contact who never arrived, then called both his wife and Ron Bushy (Butterfly's drummer) from his cell phone, leaving Bushy a cryptic message about seeing him "...on the other side." He also called 911, saying he was going to commit suicide. He was never heard from again. At the time of his disappearance, he had reportedly made a stunning mathematical discovery, prompting rumors of foul play. Kramer was 42; he predeceased Butterfly original singer Darryl DeLoach (see 2002) and guitarist Erik Brann (see 2003). "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita," "Are You Happy?"

Jimmy McShane
(James Harry McShane), AIDS. He was 37. McShane was the lead singer of Baltimora, who had a hit in the '80s with "Tarzan Boy" which still features in commercials.

*Sterling Morrison
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; he was 53. Guitarist for Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. "Heroin," "Sunday Morning," "Waiting for My Man"

Clarence "Satch" Satchell
aneurysm; he was 55. Satchell was the saxophonist and flautist for The Ohio Players, popular for their 1970s dance hits, such as "Love Rollercoaster," "Funky Worm," and "Fire." (Fellow Ohio Player, Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks, passed away in 1996.)



(Selena Quintanilla Perez), shot. The "Queen of Tejano Music" was just beginning to enjoy mainstream success; she was 23. Selena's family discovered that Yolanda Saldivar, the president of Selena's fan club, was embezzling money and fired her. Afterwards, Selena met Saldivar at a hotel in Corpus Christi, TX, to obtain missing financial documents. Saldivar took a gun from her purse, and as Selena turned to leave, shot her once in the back. Selena ran to the lobby and collapsed on the floor, dying at the hospital from extensive blood loss. Saldivar barricaded herself in her pickup truck with the gun and enetered into a stand-off with police for ten hours before surrendering. She was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Selena won a Grammy and was nominated for another. Her birthday, 16 April, was declared "Selena Day" in Texas, and a film based on her life (with Jennifer Lopez as the slain singer) was released in 1997. In June 2006, a museum was dedicated to Selena and a life-size bronze statue were unveiled in Corpus Christi. "I'm Getting Used to You," "I Could Fall in Love," "Dreaming of You"

Bob Stinson
(Robert Neil Stinson), body gave out after years of alcohol and heroin abuse; he was 35. Founder and guitarist for The Replacements. "I Will Dare," "Unsatisfied," "Bastards of the Young"


Chris Acland
suicide. Acland was the drummer for Lush. He committed suicide at his parents home. He was 30. "Ladykillers," "De-Luxe," "Desire Lines"

*Chas Chandler
(Bryan James Chandler), aortic aneurysm. He was 58. Chandler was the bassist for The Animals. He later discovered and managed Jimi Hendrix (see 1970) and Slade. The Animals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. "House of the Rising Sun," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"

Patty Donahue
lung cancer, age 40. Singer for the '80s band, The Waitresses. "I Know What Boys Like"

Bernard Edwards
pneumonia. He was 43. Edwards was a member of disco icons, Chic. He also produced pop acts, including Sister Sledge ("We Are Family"), Diana Ross ("Upside Down"), and Power Station ("Some Like It Hot"), which featured fellow Chic member, Tony Thompson (see 2003), John nd andy Taylor of Duran Duran, and Robert Palmer (see 2003). With Chic: "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," "Le Freak," "Good Times".

El Duce
(Eldon Hoke), "death by misadventure" at the age of 39. El Duce was the drummer with The Mentors, but his notoriety stems from his claim that Courtney Love offered him 50 thousand dollars to kill her husband, grunge icon, Kurt Coabin (see 1994). In 1996, El Duce told his story to a film-maker and a polygraph test supposedly determined that he was telling the truth. A week after the interview, he was found dead by a railway track. Supposedly there was a high volume of alcohol in his blood and the authorities dubbed his a death by misadventure, but his friends suspect foul play.

The Shangri-Las

The Shangri-Las:

Mary Ann Ganser, Betty Weiss, Marge Ganser, and Mary Weiss

Marge Ganser
breast cancer; she was 48. Member of girl group, The Shangri-Las. Her twin sister and band mate, Mary Ann, succumbed to encephalitis (or drug overdose) in 1971. "Leader Of The Pack," "Remember Walking In the Sand," "Give Him a Great Big Kiss"

Francisco Garcia
died after an undisclosed illness. He was 49. Garcia was the lead singer for Cannibal and the Headhunters, who opened for the Beatles, the Temptations, the Miracles and the Supremes. 1965's "Land Of 1000 Dances"

*Elsbeary Hobbs
lung cancer at age 59. Hobbs was a member of the legendary Drifters. The Drifters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2000. "There Goes My Baby," "Save the Last Dance for Me," "Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof"

Walter Hyatt
plane crash. He was 47. Hyatt was a Texas singer and songwriter who formed Uncle Walt's Band. Hyatt was involved in the Austin, Texas music scene from its beginning and is credited with being the "original Americana Artist." View the detailed account of Hyatt's plane crash (the National Transportation and Safety Board report on the crash of ValuJet Flight 592). Album: Some Unfinished Business, Volume One

Jonathan Melvoin
heroin overdose. Keyboardist for Smashing Pumpkins; Melvoin was 34. "Disarm," "Today"

Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks
cause of death unknown; he was 57. Middlebrooks was the trumpeter and trombonist for The Ohio Players, popular for their 1970s dance hits, such as "Love Rollercoaster," "Funky Worm," and "Fire." (Fellow Ohio Player, Clarence "Satch" Satchell, passed away the year before, in 1995.)

Bradley Nowell
heroin overdose. Singer for Sublime, he was 28. "What I Got"

John Panozzo
gastrointestinal hemorrhage brought on by alcoholism. He was 48. Panozzo was a founding member of Styx, with his brother Chuck, Dennis DeYoung and John Curulewski. (Curulewski succumbed to a brain aneurysm in 1988.)Panozzo played drums for the band, whose hits include "Mr. Roboto," "Come Sail Away," "Lady," and "Babe."

Terry Stafford
liver failure; he was 54. Stafford had the uncanny ability to mimic Elvis's vocal style. "Suspicion," "I'll Touch a Star"

Jason Matthew Thirsk
self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thirsk was the bassist and co-founder of California punk band, Pennywise. He struggled for years with various "addictions; in 1996 he shot himself. He was 28. "Peaceful Day," "Same Old Story," "Living for Today"


Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley
drowned at age 30 in the Mississippi River. Once named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" (#12). Son of musician Tim Buckley (see 1975). For additional information about Buckley and the recognition his album, Grace has received, visit The Archive's Tribute to Jeff Buckley. "So Real," "Last Goodbye," "Hallelujah"

*Glenn Buxton
pneumonia; 1997. He was 49. Buxton was guitarist for Alice Cooper. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him one of the greatest guitarists of all time (ranking #90). Buxton, as part of the Alice Cooper Band, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. "Welcome to My Nightmare," "School's Out," "No More Mr. Nice Guy"

Randy California
(Randy Craig Wolfe), drowned. California was guitarist for '60s group, Spirit. When he was 15 he briefly played with a pre-superstar Jimi Hendrix. California was rescuing his son from a strong ocean current when he was pulled under. He was 45. "Fresh Garbage," "Taurus" (borrowed by Led Zeppelin for "Stairway to Heaven), "Elijah"

Brian Connolly
kidney failure. He was 52. Connolly was the vocalist for Sweet. "Ballroom Blitz," "Action," "Little Willy"

John Denver

John Denver

John Denver
(Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.), plane crash in California. Denver was piloting the plane; he was 53. Visit John Denver's Tribute for artist information, photos, and a detailed account of the fatal plane crash. "You Fill Up My Senses (Annie's Song)," "Rocky Mountain High," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence
hanged himself. Lead singer for INXS, he was 37. Hutchence's girlfriend, Paula Yates, in a custody battle with ex-husband Bob Geldof (formerly of the Boomtown Rats), was prevented from leaving England with their three daughters and with Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, her daughter with Hutchence. Unable to join him in Australia for Christmas, reports speculated that an already depressed Hutchence committed suicide. Some pose the theory that it was an accidental death resulting from autoerotic asphyxiation. For the complete story, visit the Archive's Michael Hutchence Tribute. "Need You Tonight," "Disappear," "New Sensation," "Not Enough Time," "Never Tear Us Apart," "Elegantly Wasted"

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
heart attack. Middle Eastern singer whose popularity soared when he appeared on the "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. Khan was 48. "Face of Love, "Long Road"

The Small Faces

The Small Faces:

Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane (d. 1997) and Steve Marriott (d. 1991).

Ronnie Lane
(Ronald Frederick Lane), multiple sclerosis. He was 51. Lane was a co-founder of the '60s mod band, The Small Faces, who were awarded the Ivor Novello Oustanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement" Award in 1996. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. (Lane's fellow founding member, Steve Marriott, died in a house fire in 1991.) "Itchycoo Park," "Tin Soldier," "Lazy Sunday," "All or Nothing"

Nicolette Larson
liver failure. She was 45. 1978's "Lotta Love"

Harold Melvin
heart problems. Melvin was the founder and original lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. He was 57 at the time of his death. (Melvin was replaced as lead singer in 1970 by Teddy Pendergrass. Pendergrass died of colon cancer in 2010. He was 59.) "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Wake Up Everybody," "Bad Luck"

Michael Menson
(Michael Tachie-Menson), set on fire. He was 30. Menson was a member of the British band, Double Trouble, who had several pop hits in the 1980s. On 28 January 1997, Mario Pereira, Harry Charalambous Constantinou, and Ozguy Cevat, using an accelerant, set fire to the back of Menson's coat. Constantinou also stole his personal stereo; they then fled. Two passing motorists, and later emergency services, went to Menson's aid. He died about two weeks later from complications and two heart attacks caused by 30% burns to his back. Pereira confessed to the killing, saying the the motive was that Menson was, or looked like, a man who had "stressed his girlfriend." In 1999, Pereira was found guilty of murder, Constantinou was found guilty of manslaughter, and Cevat (who fled to Cyprus) was arrested and jailed for 14 years for manslaughter. "Just Keep Rockin'," "Street Tuff," "Don't Give Up," "Talk Back," "Love Don't Live Here Anymore"

The Four Tops

The Four Tops. Clockwise from top, left:

Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Lawrence Payton, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, and Levi Stubbs.

*Lawrence Payton
liver cancer; he was 59. Payton was one of the legendary Four Tops. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. (Payton predeceased fellow Four Tops, Renaldo "Obie" Benson (lung cancer in 2005) and Levi Stubbs (passed in his sleep in 2008). Abdul "Duke" Fakir. is the last surviving member. "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Bernadette," "I Can't Help Myself," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "It's the Same Old Song," "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"

Audie Pitre
(Audie Thomas Pitre), 26-year-old bassist and vocalist for Acid Bath and founder/bassist for Shrum. Shrum featured two bassists (instead of the standard bassist-guitarist combination). Pitre, his parents and his brother, Kelly, were riding on the Bourg-Larose Highway in Louisiana when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Audie and his parents were killed. Shrum, still in its formative stages, had yet to release an album or play live. After Pitre's death, an EP was released, Red Devils and Purple Ringers, with proceeds to benefit Audie's son. The band also played some shows with Audie's younger brother, Kelly, filling in on bass. Albums with Acid Bath include When the Kite String Pops and Paegan Terrorism Tactics.

Epic Soundtracks
(Kevin Godfrey), unknown causes; he was 37. Cause of death is speculated as drug overdose or suicide. Soundtracks was a solo artist and once part of Swell Maps, a '70s rock outfit that he had formed with his brother, Nikki Sudden (see 2006).

Jermaine Stewart
AIDS; he was 39. Back-up vocalist for Shalamar, The Temptations, and Boy George and singer of the '80s top ten single, "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off."

Canned Heat

Canned Heat, front to back:

Fito de la Parra, Larry Taylor, Bob Hite (standing, d. 1981),

Henry Vestine (d. 1997), Alan Wilson (standing, d. 1970).

Henry "Sunflower" Vestine
respiratory failure; he was 52. Vestine was an original member of Canned Heat, with Al "Blind Owl" Wilson (see 1970) and Bob "The Bear" Hite (see 1981). Vestine was found dead in his hotel room. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named Vestine one of greatest guitarist of all time (ranking number 77). "Same All Over," "Let's Work Together," "Time Was," "Boogie Music," "On the Road Again"

Kurt Winter
liver failure combined with a bleeding ulcer. He was 51. Winter was the guitarist for The Guess Who. He wrote their hits, "Hand Me Down World" and "Clap for the Wolfman." The Guess Who are also known for: "These Eyes," "American Woman," "Undun"




(Johann "Hans" Holzel), car collision. Austrian rock singer with several international hits in the 1980s, most notably, "Rock Me Amadeus. As he was pulling onto a highway in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, a passenger bus struck the side of his Mitsubishi Pajero. He sustained severe head injuries and died at Puerto Plata Hospial. Falco was 40. For additional information, continue on to Falco's Tribute. "Vienna Calling," "Der Kommissar," "Jeanny"

Tim Kelly
(Timothy Patrick Kelly), head-on collision with an 18-wheeler. He was 35. Kelly was the guitarist for '90s metal band, Slaughter. "Up All Night," "Fly to the Angels," "Streets of Broken Hearts"

Linda McCartney

Linda McCartney

Linda Eastman McCartney
breast cancer. Rock & Roll photographer, member of Wings (lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch died in 1979) and wife of Sir Paul McCartney. She was 56 at the time of her death. Wings: "Band on the Run," "Wonderful Christmastime," "Listen to What the Man Said," "With a Little Luck"

Milli Vanilli

Milli Vanilli: Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan

Rob Pilatus
suicide by ingesting a mixture of unidentified pills and alcohol. He was 32. Pilatus was half of the lip-synching duo, Milli Vanilli. The pair was forced to return their 1990 Grammy for "Best New Artist" when it was discovered that they were not the ones singing on their album. "Girl, You Know It's True," "Blame It On the Rain," "Baby Don't Forget My Number"

Cozy Powell
(Colin Flooks), auto accident; he was 50. Powell was a drummer who did session work for Jeff Beck, Suzi Quattro, Donovan, and Hot Chocolate. He was a member of Rainbow, White Snake, and later Black Sabbath. Powell crashed his car while driving at 104 mph - in bad weather while talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. He was not wearing a seat belt and was over the alcohol limit. Albums with Black Sabbath: Headless Cross, Tyr, The Sabbath Stones and Forbidden. With Whitesnake: Slide It In

Eddie Rabbitt

Eddie Rabbitt

Eddie Rabbitt
lung cancer; he was 56. Rabbit was a country singer who scored several crossover hits in the early 1980s. "I Love A Rainy Night," "Drivin' My Life Away"

David "Chico" Ryan
cause of death undisclosed; age 50. Member of New Jersey's The Happenings and bassist for nostalgic "Greaser" band, Sha Na Na (with Vinnie Taylor, see 1974). Appeared with Sha Na Na in the 1978 movie, Grease, and on the band's hit television series (1977-81). With The Happenings: "See You in September," "I Got Rhythm." With Sha Na Na: "Good Night, Sweetheart"

Lynn Strait
(James Lynn Strait), car accident. Strait was the singer and lyricist for the rock band Snot. He was involved in a six-car crash, but the only fatalities were the musician and his dog, Dobbs (who is featured on the cover of Snot's debut album, Get Some). Strait was 29. "Joy Ride," "Tecato," "Deadfall"

Wendy O. Williams
shot herself. Lead singer of The Plasmatics, infamous for chainsaws, blowing up cars, and startegically-placed masking tape. Williams was 48. Read her suicide note. "Living Dead"

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys. From top: Brain Wilson, Dennis Wilson (d. 1983),

Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Carl Wilson (d. 1998).

Carl Wilson
lung cancer; he was 51. Carl was brother to Brian and Dennis (see 1983) Wilson, all Beach Boys, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. "Surfin' USA," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows"


Junior Braithwaite
(Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite), shot. He was 50. Braithwaite was one of the founders and the first lead singer of The Wailers (which also featured Bob Marley, see 1981). Braithwaite was one of three Wailers to be murderded. (Carlton Barrett and Peter Tosh were both shot in 1987.) "Simmer Down," "Stir It Up," "Get Up, Stand Up"

*Rick Danko
heart failure; he was 56. Danko was the bassist and vocalist for The Band (with keyboardist Richard Manuel, see 1986), who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The group started its career as Bob Dylan's back-up band. "Up On Cripple Creek," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "This Wheel's On Fire"

Johnny Guitar
(John Byrnes), motor neurone disease. He was 59. Guitar was a member of The Hurricanes with Rory Storm (see 1972) and future Beatle Ringo Starr. "Dr. Feelgood," "America"

Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield

*Curtis Mayfield
complications from quadriplegia. He was 57. Mayfield was a member of the Impressions and a successful solo artist. He was performing outdoors when the wind blew a lighting rig down upon him, paralyzing him from the neck down. Mayfield was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: with the Impressions in 1991 and as a solo artist in 1999. "People Get Ready," "Superfly"

Brian O'Hara
singer and guitarist with the Fourmost, a group that shared a manager with the Beatles. The Fourmost had hits with songs written by John Lennon (see 1980) and Paul McCartney, including "Hello Little Girl" and "I'm In Love." O'Hara was found hanging at his home. He was 58.

Barry Pritchard
heart failure. He was 54. Pritchard was the singer and guitarist for The Fortunes. "You've Got Your Troubles," "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"

Doug Sahm
heart attack at age 57. Sahm was the leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet. "She's About A Mover," "The Rains Came," "Mendocino"

Gar Samuelson
liver failure. He was 41. Samuelson was the drummer for thrash-metal band, Megadeth, from 1984-1987. He formed Fatal Opera in the mid-1990s. Albums with Megadeth: Killing is My Business...And Business is Good! and Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? With Fatal Opera: Fatal Opera and Eleventh Hour.

Mark Sandman
heart attack at the age of 47. Sandman was lead of the Boston-based Morphine. He collapsed on stage in Rome, dead of a massive heart attack. "In Spite of Me," "Cure for Pain," "Honey White"

John Baker Saunders
heroin overdose. He was 44. Saunders was bassist for Mad Season, which featured Alice in Chains vocalist, Layne Staley (who would also die a heroin-related death in 2002.) "River of Deceit," "Above," "Wake Up"

Bobby Sheehan
drug overdose; he was 31. Sheehan was the bassist for the popular '90s band, Blues Traveler. Valium, cocaine, and heroin were found in his system. "Run Around," "The Mountains Win Again," "Hook"

Skip Spence
(Alexander Spence), lung cancer. He was 52. Spence was the original drummer for Jefferson Airplane. He left to form Moby Grape. (Spence's replacement in Jefferson Airplane, Spencer Dryden, died in 2005 from colon cancer. He was 66. Papa John Creach, the Airplane's fiddler, succumbed to pneumonia in 1994 at the age of 76.) With Jefferson Airplane: "You're My Best Friend" With Moby Grape: "Hey Grandma," "Fall On You," "Sitting By the Window"

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

*Dusty Springfield
(Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien), breast cancer. She was 59. Springfield died on the day she was scheduled to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the queen of England and two weeks before her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I Only Want to Be With You," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Son of a Preacher Man," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"

Screaming Lord Sutch
(David Edward Sutch), suicide. He was 58. Sutch was a British shock-rocker, whose album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time. He was found hanged at his London home, the year following the death of his mother. "Jack the Ripper"

Darrell Sweet
heart attack; he was 52. Sweet was a member of 1970s rock act, Nazareth. He died from a sudden heart attack suffered backstage prior to a show in Indiana. Nazareth's hit covers: "Love Hurts," "This Flight Tonight," "My White Bicycle"

E. William Tucker
suicide. Tucker was a guitarist with metal icons, Ministry. He reportedly had taken pills and afterwards slit his own throat. His body was discovered by his roommate, along with a 10-page suicide note. He was 38. There was speculation that he may have been trying to escape the pain of an unknown illness that had hounded him for the past few years. "Jesus Built My Hotrod," "Lay, Lady, Lay, "Stigmata"

Grover Washington, Jr.
collapsed from a massive heart attack after a performance on CBS's The Saturday Early Show. He was 56. Washington was a jazz saxophonist who gained mainstrem success with "Just the Two of Us" with Bill Withers, "The Best is Yet to Come" with Patti LaBelle, and "A Sacred Kind of Love" with Phylllis Hyman. His solo jazz hits include "Mister Magic," "Winelight," "Black Frost," and "Inner City Blues".

Kevin Wilkinson
suicide. Wilkinson was the drummer for Squeeze and for The Waterboys. His body was found after he hanged himself in his home. He was 41. With Squeeze: "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," "Tempted, "Goodbye Girl"