Tag Archive | Rock Star Deaths

Remembering Amy Winehouse on Her Birthday

Amy Winehouse Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Amy Winehouse Poster By Bruce Pavlow (Photo By Gail)

Singer Amy Winehouse was born on this day, September 14th, in 1983 (the year I graduated from college). Amy was found dead at her home in London, England on July 24th, 2011. RIP.

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RIP DEVO Drummer Alan Myers

DEVO
DEVO: Alan Myers is on the Far Right ( Image Source)

Alan Myers, drummer for the pioneering new wave rock band DEVO from 1976 to 1986, passed away on June 24th, 2013 after a long bout with Brain Cancer. He was 58 years old. Myers’ uniquely metronomic drumming style can be heard on now legendary DEVO albums such as Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Duty Now for the Future and Freedom of Choice, the title track of which is one of my favorite DEVO songs. RIP Alan.

Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman, Dead at 49

Jeff Hanneman RIP
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It is indeeed a sad time in the Metal Community today as it has been announced that Slayer founding member and Guitairst, Jeff Hanneman, passed away on May 2nd, 2013 at just 49 years of age. Cause of death is reported as liver failure, though Hanneman had suffered with the extremely rare but serious condition Necrotizing Fasciitis (popularly known as flesh eating bacteria) since contracting it possibly through a spider bite in 2011. What a horrible way to go. RIP, Jeff and just remember, God Listens to Slayer.

God Listens to Slayer

RIP Divinyls’ Vocalist Chrissy Amphlett

Chrissy Amphlett
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Christine “Chrissy” Amphlett, best known as the audacious lead vocalist of the Australian rock band Divinyls passed away on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at her home in NYC after a battle with Breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. She was 53 years old. Favorite Divinyls Song: “All The Boys In Town.” RIP Chrissy.

RIP Former Iron Maiden Drummer, Clive Burr

Clive Burr on His Kit
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Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passed away in his sleep on Tuesday night (March 12th, 2013) after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. He was 56 years old. Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979, playing on the band’s landmark first three albums; Iron Maiden (1980), Killers (1981) and The Number of the Beast (1982). I interviewed Burr’s replacement in Maiden, Nicko McBrain several years ago and he had only very nice things to say about Clive. Coincidentally, March 12th is also the birthday of Maiden Bassist, Steve Harris, who turned 57 years old yesterday. RIP, Clive.

RIP The Troggs' Singer Reg Presley

Reg Presley Young
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Reg Presley sang lead on what is probably the most-covered sixties-era pop song of all time, “Wild Thing.” And now he’s dead. The Troggs’ vocalist has passed away on February 4th, 2013 at age 71 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Read an engaging obituary recalling Presley’s life and career at This Link. Trivia: “Wild Thing” was written by Angelina Jolie’s uncle!

RIP The Troggs’ Singer Reg Presley

Reg Presley Young
Image Source

Reg Presley sang lead on what is probably the most-covered sixties-era pop song of all time, “Wild Thing.” And now he’s dead. The Troggs’ vocalist has passed away on February 4th, 2013 at age 71 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Read an engaging obituary recalling Presley’s life and career at This Link. Trivia: “Wild Thing” was written by Angelina Jolie’s uncle!

Remembering Harry Nilsson on his Birthday

Harry Nilsson Grave Stone

The late, great singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson was born on this day, June 15th, in 1941. I recently watched the unbelievably well-made documentary, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? which is now available on DVD via Netflix.

I’m a huge fan of Nilsson’s music, as he reached the height of his popularity in the sixties and seventies, when I was growing up, so I thought I knew a lot about the guy. But Who is Harry Nilsson? gave me quite a schooling on the details of Nilsson’s life and career that I couldn’t have imagined.

This insightful documentary goes way back to his childhood, his family life, his early career writing songs for others that grew into his own recording career as a solo artist, his film soundtrack projects, personal friendships with other songwriters and musicians (Nilsson was a favorite artist of all four Beatles and he maintained close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr until his death) and a wildly in-depth overview of his recording process via interviews with those he worked closely with (the interviews with producer Richard Perry alone are worth the time it takes to watch the film).

Of course, it’s not like you don’t know how the story is going to end. A well-covered topic in Who Is Harry Nilsson? is the artist’s ridiculously indulgent and debauched Rock Star Lifestyle, which lead directly to his early death at age 52 – a tragic waste of an extraordinary and irreplaceable talent.

I was entirely captivated, entertained and profoundly moved by the life story of Harry Nilsson, who was extremely respected for his talent and considered by his peers to be the greatest American singer of his generation. There is no doubt that his influence is vast and deeply felt even today. Harry Nilsson died on January 15th, 1994 from heart failure brought on by a lifetime of alcoholism and hard drug abuse. If he were still alive, he would be celebrating his Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Harry, we still miss you.

Remembering Pete De Freitas

Pete De Freitas
Pete Circa 1981 (Image Source)

On June 14th in 1989, Echo And The Bunnymen drummer Pete De Freitas was killed when his motorbike collided with a car as he rode from Liverpool to London. He was 27 years old.