Some rock n’ roll deaths have been mysterious and are subject to much discussion and speculation amongst fans. Drug overdoses, car accidents and complications from alcoholism are common, but some deaths just fall in to the category of the truly bizarre. It wasn’t for nothing that the film Spinal Tap coined the term ‘bizarre gardening accident’. Join us as we remember some of the more bizarre rock n’ roll deaths.
Sonny Bono Cher’s ex died after running in to a tree while skiing in Nevada in 1998.
Randy Rhoads Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist took a spin in a light plane which instead of doing a fly by, crashed in to the back of their tour bus.
Claude François The French composer of Frank Sinatra’s hit ‘My Way’ which was re-written by David Bowie as ‘Life on Mars,’ was electrocuted while standing in a full bathtub while trying to change a broken light bulb.
Gram Parsons Admittedly, he died of a garden variety drug overdose, but the former guitarist of the Byrds became part of rock n’ roll legend when his road manager Phil Kaufman stole his body from Los Angeles airport and took it out to the Joshua Tree Desert to cremate it.
Mama Cass An oft repeated urban myth, legend has it the obese Mamas and Papas singer choked to death on a ham sandwich. While initial statements to police suggested this, the final Coroners report stated that it was a heart attack brought upon by her obesity.
Sam Cooke Soul star Cooke liked chasing skirt – in fact he didn’t mind paying for it. Cooke was shot and killed by a motel manager in an altercation after a prostitute ran off with his pants.
John Entwistle The Who’s bass player, AKA The OX, died of a heart attack, allegedly while ‘on the job’ with a hooker in a Las Vegas hotel room. The massive quantities of Columbia’s finest that he’d hoovered up beforehand probably didn’t help the heart.
Cliff Burton Metallica’s original bass player was thrown from his top bunk in their tour bus and through the window, while it supposedly skidded on ice; crushing him under the bus.
Michael Hutchence Still subject to much speculation, the official coroner’s report into Hutchence’s death in a Sydney hotel room in 1997 found that he had committed suicide by hanging himself off a door fixture, however many people believe that he had been having a wank and using a belt tightened around his neck to heighten his climax.
Jeff Porcaro In light of the Spinal Tap joke about drummers dying in bizarre gardening accidents, the death of Jeff Porcaro, drummer for soft rockers Toto, made their jibe scarily spot on. Porcaro had an allergic reaction while spraying insecticide one evening in his Los Angeles garden in August 1992, dying later that night in hospital.
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