On this day, September 27th in 1979, Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (sometimes spelled McCullough) died from a heroin overdose in his flat in Maida Vale, London. He was 26 years old.
McCulloch, perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings (1974 to 1977) had also been a member of Stone The Crows and Thunderclap Newman. When “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman went to No.1 in 1969, it made McCulloch the youngest guitarist to ever play on a UK No.1 single, as he was was just sixteen years old at the time.
In a tragic case of artistic irony, the Wings‘ hit, “Medicine Jar,” sung by Jimmy, was the first song recorded by the group to feature another band member on all lead vocals. “Medicine Jar” is an anti-drug song with music written by McCulloch. Colin Allen, who was a drummer in the band Stone The Crows (with McCulloch), wrote the lyrics. RIP.
On This Date in 1980: Darby Crash (born Jan Paul Beahm), lead singer of The Germs, died of an intentional heroin overdose at the age of 22. For anyone curious about Darby, The Germs, and the LA Punk Rock scene of the late 70s/early 80s, I highly recommend the bio pic, What We Do is Secret. Despite a lot of criticism from people who were there; to be honest, I was there also, and I think the film got a lot of things right. Favorite Germs Song: “Richie Dagger’s Crime.” RIP Darby.
On This Date, December 4th, in 1976: Tommy Bolin, guitarist for Deep Purple and The James Gang, as well as a gifted solo artist, was found dead in a Miami hotel room from a drug overdose. He was 25 years old.