Monday, July 12, 2010

The Life & Health Of Rockers

During my recently surfing of the internet, I found this cover of the February 1970 issue of Circus magazine, which was devoted to rock and roll/popular music in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

If you want to see a bigger picture of the cover, please click on it.

It wondered who of the above would survive the 1970s.

The performers are by row:

  • First -- Johnny Cash, Pete Townsend, Jim Morrison, Paul McCartney, Grace Slick;
  • Second -- Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter;
  • Third -- Alvin Lee, Ray Davies, John Mayall, Mick Jagger, Elvis Presley;
  • Four -- George Harrison, Ringo Star, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Page, David Crosby.

The first one to die was Hendrix, who went in September 1970 by choking to death on his own vomit.

The second was Joplin, who died a month later of a heroin overdose.

Then came Morrison, who died in July 1971. Some thought the cause was a heart attack. Some thought it was a heroin overdose. Since no autopsy was made, no cause is known for certain.

Three in a row, and quickly, too.

But six years passed before the next death: Elvis Presley in August 1977 of a heart attack aggravated by drug abuse.

Next was John Lennon: Shot to death in December 1980.

But then 20 years passed until the next deaths: George Harrison in November 2001 of lung cancer; then Johnny Cash in September 2003 of complications from diabetes.

That's seven out of 20, or 35 percent.

Everyone else is still alive and playing, although their current careers aren't as big as they were back then.

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