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The Death of Rock: Other & Unknown Causes


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.

Chet Baker

Chet Baker

Chet Baker
(Chesney Henry Baker Jr.), fell from a second-story window. Baker was a respected and popular jazz trumpeter and singer. In 1988, he was found dead on the street below his second-story hotel window in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with serious head wounds. An autopsy found heroin and cocaine in his system. He was 58. In 2005, the state of Oklahoma (where Baker was born) named July 2, "Chet Baker Day" and he was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 1991. "Tenderly," "There Will Never Be Another You," "All The Things You Are," "But Not For Me"

Jay Bennett
died in his sleep in 2009, cause unknown. He was 45. Bennet founded Titanic Love Affair and, from 1994 to 2001, was a member of Wilco. After leaving Wilco, he release five more albums. Albums with Wilco: Being There, Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Solo releases include: Bigger Than Blue, The Beloved Enemy.

Lorne Black
(Lorne Stuart Doyle), original bassist for '80s hair band, Great White. Cause of death in 2013 is unknown; he was 49. He appeared on the group's album Once Bitten. . . which included the hits "Rock Me" and "Save Your Love." (Black left the band in 1987. In 2003, the group made national headlines when pyrotechnics at one of their club shows started a fire which killed over 100 people, including guitarist Ty Longley.) Post-Black, Great White had their biggest hit with "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."

Dave Brockie
undisclosed causes in 2014; age 50. Brockie was the lead singer of Gwar, "earth's only openly extraterrestrial rock band." His body was found at his home in Richmond, Virginia by a band mate. Brockie performed in costume as Gwar's frontman under the persona of "Oderus Urungus." The group was nominated for two Grammy Awards. "Sammy," "If I Could Be That," "Mary Anne"

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley
drowned at age 30 in the Mississippi River (1997). 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"

Johnny Burnette
boating accident. Johnny, along with his brother, Dorsey (see 1979), enjoyed success as a teen-idol crooner during the early 1960s. In 1964, he was boating after dark when a cabin cruiser rammed his unlit fishing boat. The impact threw him from the boat and he drowned. He was 30. (Johnny's son, Rocky, would have a hit in 1980 with "Tired Of Toein' The Line.") Burnette was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Dreamin'," "You're Sixteen," "Little Boy Sad," "God, Country and My Baby"

Randy California
(Randy Craig Wolfe), drowned in 1997. 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"

Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter
anorexia; 1983. Drummer and singer for The Carpenters. She was 33 when she died, 5'4" and 108 lbs. (In 1975 she weighed a mere 80 pounds, 35 lbs. underweight.) "We've Only Just Begun,""Close to You"

Neal Casal
age 50 in 2019; cause of death undisclosed. Casal was a guitarist who was a member of The Cardinals, and played with Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh and Chris Robinson.

*Danny Cedrone
(Donato Joseph Cedrone), broken neck; 1954. He was one of Bill Haley's Comets, playing lead guitar. Cedrone was responsible for the scorching guitar solo in the classic rock hit, "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock." While leaving the second floor of the 819 Bar in Philadelphia with a bag of roast beef sandwiches, he fell down a flight of stairs and broke his neck, dying instantly. He was three days shy of his 34th birthday. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" held the #1 spot for eight weeks, was used on the soundtracks of the motion pictures "The Blackboard Jungle" (1955) and "American Graffiti" (1974), and was chosen as the theme for the 1970s' television series "Happy Days." In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a special committee, when the band failed to originally be inducted with Bill Haley 1987. Cedrone is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. (Bill Haley suffered a fatal heart attack in 1981 at the age of 55. Fellow Comets Rudy Pompilli (age 51; 1974) and Marshall Lytle (age 79; 2013), both succumbed to lung cancer.) "Rocket 88," "Rock the Joint," "Rudy's Rock"

Scott Columbus
causes unknown (2011); he was 54. Columbus was the drummer for the mythology- and fantasy-inspired metal act, Manowar. The group was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the loudest performance, and they hold the record for the longest heavy metal concert - 5 hours and 1 minute (Bulgaria, 2008). Manowar's albums include Battle Hymns, Into Glory Ride, Sign of the Hammer, and The Triumph of Steel.

The Cowsills

The Cowsills: Bob, Barry (d. 2005), Susan, William (d. 2006), Barbara (d. 1985), and John

Barry Cowsill
body found admist Hurricane Katrina's (2005) devastation in New Orleans. He was 51. He was a member of the '60s group, The Cowsills. (Mother Barbara passed away in 1985 and brother William would die in 2006.) Made up of six siblings and their mother, The Cowsills were the inspiration for television's "The Partridge Family." Barry left a message for his sister before Katrina struck: "I don't know how to get out of town except wait for a bus...I've been so...lonely...I hope I get in touch with you." He was never heard from again. Four months later, his body was found. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. "Hair," "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things," "Indian Lake"

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny
head injuries sustained during a fall in 1978. Denny suffered postnatal drug/alcohol withdrawal and depression. Her husband left a few months later with their daughter, and while intoxicated, she fell down a flight of stairs. Ignoring her headaches and injuries, she died a few days later. Denny was 31. "No More Sad Refrains,"co-vocalist on Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore"

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.

Willis Draffen
(Willis Lewis Draffen, Jr.), cause of death undisclosed (2002). Draffen was a known diabetic, but the specific cause of death was not released. He was 56. He was a member of Bloodstone, with Roger Lee Durham (see 1973). "Natural High," "Never Let You Go," "Outside Woman," "My Little Lady"

Roger Lee Durham
fall from a horse in 1973; he was 27. Durham was a member of Bloodstone, with Willis Draffen (see 2002). Durham was an airman in Vietnam; he is buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery (Kansas). "Natural High," "Never Let You Go," "Outside Woman," "My Little Lady"

Mike Edwards
(later known as Swami Deva Pramada). Edwards was killed on a highway in Devon, England, in 2010, when a cylindrical bale of hay rolled down a hillside and collided with his van. He was 62. (Edwards age would typically exclude him from The Archive, but I chose to include him because of the bizarre manner of his death.) Edwards played cello for Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and appeared on the albums, ELO II, On the Third Day, The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach) and Eldorado. ELO: "The Dying Swan," "Don't Bring Me Down," "Evil Woman," "Strange Magic"

Claude Francois

Claude Francois

Claude Francois
"Clo Clo", electrocution; 1978. Considered the French Elvis, several female fans committed suicide upon news of his death. After finishing a shower, Francois noticed that the light bulb in the socket hanging above him was burned out. With his feet still in the water, he reached up to change the bulb and was instantly electrocuted. He was 39. "Belles, Belles, Belles"

Jerry Fuchs
(Gerhardt Fuchs), fell down an elevator shaft in 2009. He was 34. Fuchs was a drummer with Maserati, LCD Soundsystem, !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk"), Turing Machine, MSTRKRFT, and The Juan MacLean. He was also "house drummer" for the record label DFA. While at a benefit party in Brooklyn, Fuchs became stuck on a freight elevator between the fourth and fifth floors. He attempted to jump to the fourth floor, but his jacket got caught.

Stephen Gately
cause of death still unknown. Gately was a member of the Irish boy band, Boyzone. He died while vacationing with his partner in Majorca, Spain, in 2009. Boyzone made history in the United Kingdom by scoring sixteen consecutive top five hits. The group had six UK number one singles and four number one albums. Gately was 33. "Picture of You," "A Different Beat," "All That I Need"

Malcolm Hale
carbon-monoxide poisoning in 1968. (Some sources site bronchopneumonia as the cause of death.) He was 27. Hale was the lead guitarist for Spanky and Our Gang. He had gone to bed drunk at a girlfriend's, and even though the band called her to wake him, she refused. Twenty-eight hours later, she discovered that he was dead. Hale died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the result of a faulty space heater. He was 27. "Sunday Will Never Be the Same," "Like to Get to Know You," "Lazy Day"

Greg Ham
found dead in his home in 2012. The cause of death is still unpublished; he was 58. Ham was a member of Men At Work, who scored several hits during the 1980s, including "Who Can It Be Now?" (#1 in the US), "Overkill" (#6 in the US), and the classic, "Down Under," which reached #1 in eight countries (inlcuding the US, the UK, Canada and Australia).

Eddie Harsch
(Edward Hawrysch) died at the age of 59 of undisclosed causes in 2016. He was the keyboardist for the Black Crowes and a member of Bulldog. The Black Crowes: "Hard to Handle," "She Talks to Angels," "Twice As Hard," "Jealous Again"

Jimmy Hodder
drowned in a swimming pool in 1990. 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"

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

*Whitney Houston
drowned in 2012; age 48. Houston, an '80s pop sensation and an award-winning actress, claimed numerous awards, including two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards and an NAACP Image Award. She appeared in several films including The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher's Wife. Her personal life often made headlines that overshadowed her professional achievements, such as a tumultous marriage to R&B singer, Bobby Brown, and her very public battle with substance abuse. Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The coroner listed the cause of death as "drowning due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use." (Toxicology reports also showed Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexiril in her system.) Houston was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," "I Will Always Love You," "I'm Every Woman"

^Blind Lemon Jefferson
(Lemon Henry Jefferson), possibly hypothermia, possibly a heart attack, in 1929. Jefferson was one of the earliest blues artists to record, recording over a hundred titles between 1926-1929. Reports about his death are conflicting; the commonly accepted story has Jefferson freezing to death in a Chicago snowstorm. Another version states that during a snowstorm, he suffered a heart attack while in his car and was abandoned on the street by his driver. No death certificate has ever been found. Jefferson was between 32 and 37 years old. Jefferson was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. "Matchbox Blues," "See That My Grave is Kept Clean," "Easy Rider Blues," "Jack O'Diamonds"

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

*Brian Jones
(Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones), drowned in 1969. He was 27. Jones was a co-founder of the Rolling Stones, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Speculation remains that Jones may have been murdered. For the whole story, and to read about the renewed investigation into his death in August of 2009, follow this link. You can also read about Jones's conncetion to the Curse of 27. "Satisfaction," "Red Door," "Sympathy for the Devil"

*Bob King
cause of death undisclosed (1955); he was 49. King was a member of the gospel/pop vocal group, The Soul Stirrers. (Sam Cooke - see 1964 - was another Soul Stirrer alum.) The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (Early Influence) and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. "By and By," "Touch the Hem of His Garment," "Any Day Now," "Mean Old World"

Ty Longley space saver Fire, Great White Concert

Ty Longley; the fire at The Station, 40 seconds after ignition.

Photo of the club by Daniel R. Davidson (from Wikipedia).

Ty Longley
night club fire in 2003; he was 31. Longley was the guitarist for '80s hair band, Great White. The band was playing The Station, a club in Rhode Island, and used pyrotechnics, setting the building ablaze. One hundred people ultimately died and 230 others were injured. The club's owners claimed they did not give permission for pyrotechnics; band members say otherwise. Investigators determined that the foam used for insulation was intended for use in packaging and product display rather than sound-proofing and was not treated with fire-retardant materials used in acoustic foam. Witnesses to the blaze claimed the flames spread across the foam at approximately one foot per second. The Station (illegally) did not have a sprinkler system. The owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, and Great White's road manager, Daniel Biechele, were charged with 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter (criminally negligent manslaughter and misdemeanor manslaughter). Daniel Biechele, against his lawyers' advice, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Biechele was sentenced to 15 years in prison; four to serve and 11 years suspended, plus three years probation. (Biechele was released from prison in March 2008.) Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, changed their pleas from not guilty to no contest. Michael Derderian received 15 years in prison; four to serve and 11 suspended, plus three years probation. Jeffrey Derderian received a 10-year suspended sentence, three years probation, and 500 hours of community service. (According to the sentencing judge, the difference in the brothers' penalties reflected their roles in purchasing and installating the flammable foam.) Michael Derderian will be released early from prison in September 2009. As of August 2008, nearly $175 million has been offered to the families of the victims of the fire by various defendants. Great White offered $1 million dollars in a settlement to survivors and victim's families; Jeffrey and Michael Derderian have offered $813,000. (Information from Wikipedia.) Original bassist, Lorne Black, would pass away from undisclosed causes in 2013 at the age of 49. Great White: "Once Bitten (Twice Shy)," "The Angel Song," "House of Broken Love"

Joe Hill Lewis
(Lester/Leslie Hill), tetanus. Louis was an early musician on the seminal Sun Records, who billed himself as "Be-Bop Boy and His One-Man Band." He was fairly popular in his day and had a radio show (WDIA) on which he was known as "The Pepticon Boy." In 1957, he severely cut his thumb, supposedly on a guitar string, and it became infected; he died of tetanus at the age of 35.

Mike Mahaffey
died in his sleep in 2005; unknown causes. Mahaffey was the guitarist of the Nashville band, Self. His brother, Matt, sang lead. Mike was 38. "So Low," "Borateen," "Cannon"

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 in 1991. 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"

Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks
cause of death (1996) 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.)

Taylor Mitchell
attacked by coyotes while hiking in 2009. She was 19. Mitchell was a Canadian folk singer who was nominated for Young Performer of the Year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards. During a break while touring, she decided to go hiking on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. Fellow hikers witnessed the coyote attack and called 911. Mitchell was airlifted to a hospital, where she died 12 hours later. Her album, For Your Consideration, was released in 2009.

Gary Moore
unknown causes in 2011. Moore, 58, was the guitarist for Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy. He was found dead in his hotel room while vacationing in Spain. The cause of death is still unknown. (Lead singer, Phil Lynott, died in 1986 from drug- and alcohol-related compliations.) "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Whiskey in the Jar"

Jim Morrison space saver Jim Morrison

"The Lizard King"

*Jim Morrison
(James Douglas Morrison), unknown. Morrison was found dead in his bathtub while living in Paris in 1971. The official cause of death was myocardial infarction (heart attack). Some speculate that he actually succumbed to some type of drug (heroin or cocaine) and/or alcohol overdose. Others believe "The Lizard King" still lives. Morrison was lead singer of The Doors and a published poet; he was 27 at the time of his death. The Doors were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. (Keyboardist Ray Manzarek died in 2013 of bile duct cancer; he was 74.) "Riders on the Storm," "Hello, I Love You," "The End," "Light My Fire"

Interesting aside: In 1967, The Doors were booked to play three shows in San Francisco, headlined by soul singer Otis Redding. Redding was killed two weeks before the scheduled performances. (Visit Redding's Tribute.) Morrison paid tribute to the fallen singer during the first performance and again in The Doors' song "Runnin' Blue": "Poor Otis, dead and gone, left me here to sing his song..."

2007 - Update: Sources (including Morrison's close friend, Sam Sernett) are surfacing, stating that Morrison actually overdosed on heroin in a Paris nightclub bathroom and was quietly moved to his apartment where the bathtub death scene was staged.

Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan

Dolores O'Riordan
drowned in the bath while intoxicated (2018). Toxicology tests found she had more than four times the legal alcohol limit for driving. She was 46. O'Riordan was the lead singer for the Irish rock/pop band, The Cranberries. "Zombie," "Linger," "Dreams" "Ode to My Family"

Luther Perkins
house fire. He was 40. Perkins was a guitarist with the Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash's backing band. He is credited with creating Cash's signature "boom-chicka-boom" music style. On 3 August 1968, Perkins fell asleep in his living room with a lit cigarette. His daughter awoke to find the room engulfed in flames and her father collapsed by the door. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two days later. He is buried near Johnny and June Carter Cash. (Johnny Cash died of complications from diabetes at the age of 71 in 2003.) Luther Perkins was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. With Johnny Cash: "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," "In the Jailhouse Now," "I Walk the Line"

Chet Powers
(also known as Dino Valenti), "died suddenly" (no cause disclosed) in 1994. 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"

Rod Price
fell down a stairway while suffering a heart attack in 2005; he was 57. Price was guitarist for Foghat, who amassed three platinum and eight gold records during their quarter-century career. Foghat's lead singer, Dave Peverett, died in 2000. 1975's rock classic "Slow Ride," "Drivin' Wheel," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Stone Blue," "Third Time Lucky (The First Time I Was a Fool)"

Jay Reatard
(Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr.), died in 2010; cause of death unknown. Reatard was a prolific garage/punk musician, who released albums with The Reatards, The Lost Sounds, Bad Times, The Final Solutions, Angry Angles, Terror Visions, and Destruction Unit. Reatard also released numerous singles and two albums (Blood Visions and Watch Me Fall) as a solo artist. Reatard was discovered dead in his bed by a roommate. Friends reported that he had previously been complaining of flu-like symptoms. He was 29.

*Keith Relf
electrocution in 1976; he was 33. Relf was the lead singer for the Yardbirds, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and he founded the band Armageddon. He was electrocuted when the electric guitar he was playing was not properly grounded. "For Your Love," "Over Under Sideways Down"

Matt Roberts
former lead guitarist and backing vocalist (1996-2012) for 3 Doors Down. His cause of death in 2016 is unknown; he was 38. Roberts was a founding member of the group. "Kryptonite," "When I'm Gone," "Here Without You"

David "Chico" Ryan
cause of death undisclosed; age 50 (1998). 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"

John Siomos
causes unknown (2004); he was 56. Siomos was a session drummer who toured with Peter Frampton and appears on Frampton Comes Alive! Siomos co-wrote the hit "Do You Feel Like We Do". (Bob Mayo, who was the keyboardist for the Frampton tour, also died in 2004.) Siomos also appeared on Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me" and Carly Simon's "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be". Siomos was found dead in his apartment. No cause of death was named, but it was supposedly "natural causes."

Jerome Smith
construction accident in 2000. He was 47. Smith was a founding member and rhythm guitarist of KC & the Sunshine Band. While working construction, he fell off his bulldozer and was crushed by the machine. "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty"

Scott Smith
drowned in 2000. He was 45. Smith was the bassist for '80s soft-rockers, Loverboy. Smith was boating with two friends when strong winds and high waves began battering the craft. He sent his friends below deck; a while later they realized both he and the steering mechanism were missing. His body was never found. "Working for the Weekend," "Lovin' Every Minute of It," "This Could Be the Night"

Cory Smoot
cause of death unknown (2011). Smoot played the character, Flattus Maximus, in the metal band, Gwar. Several guitarists have portrayed the character; it was retired when Smoot (the most recent Maximus) was found dead on the band's tour bus. He was 34. Gwar were nominated for two Grammy Awards. "Endless Apocalypse," "If I Could Be That," "The Performer"

(Sophie Xeon), died in "a terrible accident" in 2021; she was 34. A trans woman, SOPHIE was a trans rights activist. She worked with Madonna to co-produce the single "Bitch, I'm Madonna" and collaborated with Charli XCX on the EP Vroom Vroom. SOPHIE's debut album Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides was awarded a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Her singles include "Bipp" and "Lemonade".

Epic Soundtracks
(Kevin Godfrey), unknown causes (1997); 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).

Ian "Spike" Spice
cause of death undisclosed (2000); he was 34. Spice was the drummer for Breathe, who had several pop radio hits in the late '80s. "How Can I Fall?" "Hands to Heaven," "Does She Love That Man?"

Nikki Sudden
(Nicholas Godfrey), unknown causes in 2006; he was 49. Sudden was a cult British rocker who was once part of Swell Maps, a '70s rock outfit that he had formed with his brother, Epic Soundtracks (see 1997). Sudden's 1990 album, Liquor, Guns, and Ammo, was a collaboration with members of REM.

James "The Rev" Sullivan
unknown causes in 2009. Sullivan was 28. He was found unresponsive at his home. Sullivan was the drummer for Avenged Sevenfold, who were named Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2006. "Bat Country," "Afterlife," "Almost Easy"

Tommy Tucker
(Robert Higginbotham); he was 48 (1982). Tucker died from inhaling carbon tetrachloride while refinishing his home's hardwood floors; some sources attribute his death to food poisoning. Tucker was most famous for 1964's "High Heeled Sneakers." ("Long Tall Shorty" was the follow-up.)

Patrick Waite
head trauma (1993). 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"

Merle Watson

Merle Watson

Merle Watson
(Eddy Merle Watson), tractor accident in 1985. Watson was a folk/blues/gospel/country/bluegrass musician who collaborated with his legendary and award-winning father, Doc Watson. (Merle shared two Grammy Awards with his father.) One night, unable to sleep, Merle went to the basement to trim some paneling for his basement walls. The saw blade hit a fault in the grain and a large piece of wood splintered off, embedding itself in his upper arm. He grabbed the key to his farm tractor, and left to seek help. He proceeded to a house at the summit of a steep hill, where the owners of the house were able to aid him in removing the splinter. Bandaged, but weak from the loss of blood, he left to return home. On the way back down the steep hill, the tractor brakes locked, and it pitched over a high embankment. Watson was thrown off the tractor which landed on him, killing him instantly. He was 36. MerleFest, an "Americana Music Celebration" named after Watson, is one of the most popular acoustic music festivals in the world. It was hosted annually by Doc Watson in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. (Doc Watson died after colon surgery in 2012 at the age of 89.) "Cotton Row," "Freight Train Boogie," "Interstate Rag," "Guitar Polka" (Thanks to Fuller Up, Dead Musicians Directory for the information.)

Mikey Welsh
(Michael Edward Welsh), found dead in a hotel room in 2011; cause of death as yet unknown. Welsh, 40, was the bassist for Weezer, from 1998 - 2001. Weezer's debut album, 1994's Weezer (The Blue Album), produced several hits, including "Undone - The Sweater Song," "Buddy Holly," and "Say It Ain't So."

The Beach Boys

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

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

*Dennis Wilson
drowned in 1983; he was 39. Dennis was brother to Carl (see 1998) and Brian, 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"

J. Frank Wilson
causes unknown; assumed medical (1991). 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.

James Woolley
former keyboardist (1991-1994) for Nine Inch Nails. His cause of death in 2016 is unknown; he was 40. Woolley appeared on the band's influential album, The Downward Spiral. He won a Grammy in 1993 for "Best Metal Performance" for "Wish." "Closer," "Hurt," "March of the Pigs"

Robert "Throb" Young
found dead in his flat in 2014. The cause of death was not disclosed, although a manager of the group suggested that drugs or alcohol were involved. Young was 49. He was a member of the alternative rock band, Primal Scream, from 1984 to 2006. “Movin’ On Up,” “Come Together,” “Loaded”