It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Is there anything sadder than the words “it might have been”? Here are some musicians who died young but will be remembered years after their passing. If you have an ounce of musical sense in you, you’ll head over to your closest record store (or your computer) and get their discographies as soon as possible. You’re not really a bonafide guy until you do.
James Marshall Hendrix gave the electric guitar a distinct sound – a sound that has influenced great guitarists since. He was just 27 on September 18, 1970 when he died in his girlfriend’s London flat after asphyxiating on his own vomit due to a sleeping pill overdose. A tragic end for a genius responsible for some of the most enduring guitar riffs and wanton lifestyle of all time.
Another legend who died at the fateful age of 27, Cobain was part of the Seattle grunge wave that swept the world in the early 90s. According to the coroner’s report, a depressed Cobain shot himself on April 5, 1994. He left behind a grieving widow and a vault full of mystery. Nirvana, Cobain’s group, never overcame his death, but his widow, Courtney Love, embraced his legacy and continues to have a successful music career.
Brian Jones was one of the founders of the Rolling Stones. He was known for his hardcore rock and roll lifestyle. He was murdered at the age of (you guessed it!) 27 by a builder, who confessed his crime on his deathbed. What is it about rockstars and gratuitous violence? An eternal mystery, we guess.
The man who gave us rock and roll, and made an entire generation sway to a fresh new tune, died at 42. On August 16, 1977, Presley was found dead on the bathroom floor. An autopsy revealed that he suffered from cardiac arrhythmia, but Presley essentially ate, drank, and doped himself to death. Even several years after his death, the King is fondly remembered and aped by millions of crazy fans, many of whom even claim the odd Elvis sighting every once in a while. Elvis has not, and will never, leave the building.
Hang on a minute. Can you think of a cooler name for a musician? Nope, we can’t either. The Sex Pistols’ bassist died at the tender age of 21 of a heroin overdose on February 2, 1979. Vicious and the Sex Pistols created and defined the punk genre and influenced sounds, sights and even the fashion of the 80s.
Lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for the iconic band the Grateful Dead, Garcia left behind a legacy when he passed on at the age of 53. He died of a heart attack at a rehab clinic in on August 9, 1995. Perhaps the most quirky tribute paid to him? The Cherry Garcia flavour by Ben & Jerrys ice cream company. Garcia lives on in the hearts of millions who adore The Dead and watched them perform live in its heyday.
John William Cummings aka Johnny Ramone founded and played lead guitar for The Ramones. His death resulting from a prolonged battle with prostate cancer at the age of 55 on September 15 2004 left a big void in the music world. If the band name sounds familiar it’s because it was a thematic device on the hit show Entourage, in which lead Vince flirted with the idea of playing Johnny on the big screen.
Carl Wilson, the lead guitarist of The Beach Boys also died an untimely death on February 6, 1998. He was 51 when he succumbed to cancer. His work with iconic chillout band led to his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. If you’re ever missing the seaside, listen to Kokomo. It’ll get you into that beach-y frame of mind in no time. Just ask your boss for leave before you buy those tickets to the Maldives!
The Doors’ legendary frontman died at just 27. He was found dead in the bathtub of a Paris apartment. Despite his early demise he left an indelible mark with his several hits and live performances. Mysteriously, no autopsy was conducted, but several accounts report that he injected copious amounts of heroin and snorted cocaine before overdosing and vomiting blood on the night in question. Listen to the Ghost Song to understand just how much Morisson meant to his era and the mysticism that prevailed in his work.
John Lennon and the Beatles revolutionized music with their fresh sound and worldly attitudes. Lennon is perhaps the most influential musician ever. Sadly his death at the hands of a crazed fan ended this legend’s journey after just 40 years. Lennon was the true visionary behind the Beatles, and there are many conspiracy theories surrounding his death. The rest of the Beatles live on; Paul McCartney has made a massive contribution to pop music and has helped make it what it is today—for better or worse.
Images courtesy Reuters
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