Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye had just returned to the charts with “Sexual Healing” when he got into an argument with his father who shot him dead on April 1st of 1984 at the age of 45. Marvin Gaye was a product of “Motown” and scored a number of hits typical of the pre-formulated “Motown Sound” of the early to mid-sixties. In 1968 he hit it big with “I heard it thru the grapevine” which was unlike anything he had previously recorded. His breakthough album though came in 1971 when he released “What’s Going On”. Mostly composed by Gaye as a “homage to God”, “What’s Going On” was an international smash with hit singles “What’s Going On”,”Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues”. Marvin hit again in 1973 with “Let’s Get It On”, after that his career took a nose dive until “Sexual Healing” revitalized his career

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia
A rock-n-roll original, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead commanded a loyal cult-like following of “Deadheads” from generation to generation and no one could quite figure out why. The Dead were one of the top concert attractions throughout the nineties up until Jerry Garcia’s death on August 9th, 1995. The Grateful Dead were one of the first acid-rock bands of the sixties flower-power generation and it seemed they would go on forever. They released their first album in 1967 simply entitled “The Grateful Dead” and followed that with “Anthem of the Sun” and “Aoxomoxoa”. In 1970 they embarked on what was to be their most productive year, with the release of “Live Dead”,”American Beauty”, & “Workingman’s Dead”, most of which became staples of FM radio airplay and their most widely identified tunes. They muddled thruout the rest of the seventies with a few decent live albums and mediocre studio albums. In the mid-eighties Jerry lapsed into a coma which almost proved fatal. After surviving this close brush with death, the “Dead” saw this as a rebirth and in 1987 released “In The Dark”. With the release of the single “Touch of Grey” and accompanying video on M-TV the Dead were back on the charts and popular as ever. Jerry managed to survive thru LSD experimentation, Marijuana use, cocaine and other “fringe” benefits of the rock-n-roll lifestyle, but it was his use of heroin that contributed to his death at the age of 53. Ironically, their last studio release was entitled “Built to Last

Bobby Fuller

Bobby Fuller
Bobby Fuller is best known for two things: the hit single “I Fought the Law” and the bizarre way in which he met his demise. In 1966 “The Bobby Fuller Four” reached the top ten with “I Fought the Law” (written by Sonny Curtis,lead guitarist for “Buddy Holly and the Crickets”). In July of 1966 at the age of 22, he was found dead in his car outside a Los Angeles apartment complex. His body had been doused with gasoline and an autopsy revealed gasoline in his lungs. To this day his death is surrounded by mystery. The coroner ruled it a suicide, some sources say auto accident, while friends maintain he was murdered by organized crime.

Tom Fogerty

Tom Fogerty
Tom Fogerty was the rhythm guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival. He took back seat to his brother John Fogerty who was the bands creative force, writing all the material, handling all vocals, and providing all the lead guitar work. Tom took a beating with the critics too, who usually gave all the credit to John. Tom quit Creedence in 1971 and later on released a solo album and then faded into rock-n-roll obscurity. A much desired Creedence reunion never materialized and Tom passed away September 22nd of 1990 at the age of 49 due to complications from AIDS aquired during a blood transfusion

Mickey Finn

Mickey Finn was the bongo player for T.REX fronted by Marc Bolan. He took Steve Took’s place in 1970. From 1970 to 1975 T.REX enjoyed their biggest success. After T.REX’s popularity began to wane Finn left the group. Bolan once stated “He can’t sing, but he looks superb”. Suffering from kidney and liver problems he died in the hospital on January 11th, 2003 at the age of 55.

John Entwistle

John Entwistle
John Entwistle was born on October 9th, 1944. Known as “The Ox”, John Entwistle was one of rock’s greatest bass players. Usually stationary and exhibiting little flash on stage he let his fingers do the “rocking”. He met up with school chums Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend in 1964 and formed “The Detours”. When they discovered another band with the same name they changed their name to “The Who”. Keith “Moon the Loon” completed the lineup when he smashed up the Who’s previous drummers drum kit.When management came along he had their name changed to “The High Number’s” and adopted a”mod” image. “The High Number’s” recorded two songs and tanked. Management was sacked and the original name “The Who” was reinstated. “The Who” then took control of their own musical direction and were signed by Decca Records. In 1965 they released the single “I Can’t Explain” which cracked the top forty. This song is still covered today and remains a classic. They released a string of albums which sold moderately in the US. Another popular single released during this period was the teenage rock-anthem “My Generation” which included the classic line “hope I die before I get old”. In 1967 “The Who” released “I Can See For Miles” which was a top ten hit in the states. Around this time they set a rock precedent by smashing up their equipment at the end of their set. They performed a high-powered set at the Monterray Pop Festival but still superstardom eluded them. In 1968 they appeared on “The Smothers Brother’s” variety show and true to form smashed up their equipment. Keith Moon capped off the show by blowing up his drum kit. (causing Townsend permanent hearing damage). They even grabbed Tommy Smother’s acoustic guitar and smashed it up handing it back to him in little pieces. “The Who’s” fortunes were soon to change. Townsend began work on new project that would again set a new precedent in rock music . In 1969 “The Who” released the two record set “Tommy”, the first rock opera. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece “Tommy” followed the form of the traditional opera complete with an “Overture” and “Underture”. This album produced “Pinball Wizard” , “I’m Free”, and “Were Not Gonna Take It”. In August of 1969 “The Who” appeared at Woodstock making it on to both the “Woodstock” movie and the accompanying 3 record soundtrack. By the end of the 60’s “The Who” had finally acheived the superstardom they were long overdue. In 1970 they released the hard rocking “Live at Leeds” with a 14 minute version of “My Generation” infused with parts of “Tommy” and a thundering version of “Magic Bus”. They also reworked an old single called “Substitute” and a few covers, most notetably “Summertime Blues”. By now “The Who” had stopped destroying their equipment, a lot of “Gibson SG’s” were quite relieved. In early 1971 they released the single ‘Join Together” followed by the album “Who’s Next”. Considered by most rock critics as there finest album , “Who’s Next” yeilded “Baba O’ Reily”,”Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Behind Blue Eyes”. Entwistle sang lead on “My Wife”. Also released in 1971 was a collection of their older singles grouped into a package called “Meaty,Beaty Big and Bouncy. In 1973 they released another two record set rock opera “Quadrophenia”. Not quite the impact as “Tommy”, yet “Quadrophenia” produced another handful of Who classics, “Love Reign Over Me”,”The Real Me”,”5:15″ and “Bell Boy”. In 1974 a collection of outtakes were released as “Odd’s and Sod’s” which contained “Long Live Rock” and “The Naked Eye”. In 1975 a full length feature film of “Tommy” was released. Directed by Ken Russell and starring Ann Margaret and Oliver Reed it also included appearences by Elton John, Eric clapton, and Tina Turner as “The Acid Queen”. Also in 1975 “The Who by Number’s” was released , this is generally considered a lackluster album but did contain “Slip Kids” and the FM hit single “Squeeze Box”. In 1976 MCA released “The Who’s Greatest” which contained the song “The Relay”. By now Moon’s alcoholism and bizarre behavior was starting to affect the band and they embarked on a period of inactivity after the “By Number’s” tour. In 1978 “Who Are You” was released and was more true to “Who” rocking form with the title track “Who Are You”,”Trick Of The Light” and “Sister Disco”. The Who’s fortunes were about to take a nose drive. On September 7th, 1978 Keith Moon died in his sleep from a mixture of booze and hemvarine, a prescription drug meant to curb his alcoholism. (See Keith Moon for further information) “The Who” would never be the same and the future of “The Who” was in limbo. Townsend was devestated and moon’s death sent him into a downward spiral of heavy drinking. In the interim a documentary film of the Who resulted in the two record soundtrack “The Kids Are Alright” released in 1979. After passing out frequently for the next couple of years Townsend woke-up one morning and decided to put out another album. They recruited “Kenny Jones” for drummer. No one in the band liked Kenny’s drumming but still they released “Face Dances” in 1981 and “It’s Hard” in 1983. The record’s had some bright spots, “You Better You Bet”,”Another Tricky Day”,”Athena” and “Emmenence Front”, but the “Who” magic was gone. The Who embarked on a farewell tour , released an uneven live album “Who’s Last” and then called it quits. Entwistle released a number of solo albums over the years, most notably 1971’s “Smash Your Head Against The Wall” and 1973’s “Rigormortis Set’s In”. He released solo efforts well into the 90’s. The “Who” however could never call it quits and resurfaced in 1988-89 with a reunion tour featuring the rock opera “Tommy”. In 1996 they embarked on a tour which featured “Quadrophenia”. Again in 2002 another reunion tour was planned. By now John was suffering from a heart condition. His hearing by this time was so impaired he required two hearing aids to hear normal conversation. He was staying at “The Hard Rock Hotel” in Las Vegas scheduled to perform the following night when he was found dead in his hotel room on June 27th, 2002 at the age of 57. Another end to one of rocks greatest legends. The remaining members of “The Who”, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend went on without him. “John would of wanted it that way”

Mama” Cass Elliot

Mama” Cass Elliot
The fat one in The Mamas and Papa’s , Mama Cass was known for her rich voice and outgoing personality. Rock legend has it that she could never hit the high notes until she was whacked on the head with a lead pipe while tripping on acid in the Virgin Islands. In 1966 the group released their debut album which featured their biggest hits, “Monday, Monday”,”California Dreamin” and “Go Were You Wanna Go”. Unfortunately none of the band members could keep their hands off of each other. Drugs,booze and free-for-all fuck fests eventually destroyed the band. After the “Mama’s and Papa’s” broke-up she embarked on a sucessful solo career. In the early seventies she recorded an album with Dave Mason which bombed. She then had a hit single with a remake of the 1932 song “Dream a Little Dream for Me”. While performing in England she died in London July 29th, 1974 at the age of 32 after supposivedly choking on a ham sandwich. Family members insist the “ham sandwich” theory is hogwash. They maintain this was assumed by the London authorities because a half-eaten ham sandwich was found on the nightstand. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be heart failure brought on by bouts of obesity and rapid weight loss

Ian Dury

Ian Dury
Ian Dury was a punk-rocker from England with a distinctive cockney vocal style. Signed to “Stiff Records” as “Ian Dury and the Blockheads” they released “New Boots & Panties” in 1978 which yielded the punk classic “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”. He wasn’t your typical punker having been afflicted with polio and walked with a cane. At 35 he also was a little older then your typical punker. Nevertheless, “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”‘s success gave him the money to buy some of each. The follow-up album contained his biggest single “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”. He gradually faded from the charts although he still remained active in England. He succumbed to colon and liver cancer on March 27th, 2000 at the age of 57.

Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon
Aside from Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon was perhaps the greatest blues songwriter ever known. Schooled in the Delta Blues, Willie Dixon wrote a bunch of blues standards that have been covered by such artists as Johnny Winter, Cream , Led Zeppelin , Jeff Beck, The Doors , Allman Brothers , Steppenwolf and a host of others. He also was a session musician playing the stand-up “dog house” bass and recorded with the likes of Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Johnny Winter. He released the classic blues album on Columbia entitled “I Am The Blues”. He wrote such classics as “Built For Comfort” , “Hoochie Koochie Man” , “Spoonful”, “I Ain’t Superstitous”, “You Shook Me”, “I Can’t Quit You Baby”, “Backdoor Man”, “Little Red Rooster”, “The Same Thing” and “Wang Dang Doodle”. He died in poverty of natural causes at the age of 76 on January 29th , 1992.

John Denver

John Denver
Born Henry John Deutschendorf, John Denver took his name from the city that would eventually become his home; “Denver, Colorado”. In 1967 while Denver was part of “The Mitchell Trio” he wrote “Leaving On a Jet Plane” which became a number one hit for “Peter, Paul & Mary” in 1969. After the demise of “The Mitchell Trio” he signed with RCA records and by the end of 1970 released three solo albums: “Rhymes and Reasons”, “Take Me To Tommorow”,and “Whose Garden This Was”. Each album produced a bigger flop then the previous and failed to establish him as a recording artist. In March of 1971 RCA released “Poems,Prayers and Promises” which included a song added at the last minute that would set the course of his musical career. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” reached #2 on the Billboard charts (The album went gold shortly thereafter) and became known as his signature tune. In late 1972 he hit again with “Rocky Mountain High” which reached #4. In 1975 he was voted “Country Music Entertainer of the Year”. In 1977 he starred with George Burns in “Oh God”. His other popular songs included : “Annie’s Song”,”Calypso”,”Thank God I’m a Country Boy” ,”Fly Away”,”Grandma’s Feather Bed”,”Back Home Again” and “Sunshine On My Shoulders”. As the 80’s cranked on his marriage ended in divorce and RCA dropped him. He took an interest in flying and perhaps he should of found a safer hobby. On October 12th of 1997 he was flying an experimental “kit-built” fiberglass single-engine plane which crashed into Monterray Bay killing him instantly. At the time of his death Denver had amassed a total of 14 gold records, 8 of which were ranked platinum. The album “John Denver’s Greatest Hits” is still one of the largest selling records in the history of RCA records. John Denver was 53 years old.