7 Bizarre Rock Star Deaths That’ll Give You The Creeps
Live Fast, Die Spooky?
We’re hoping you’re not reading this alone and in the middle of the night. You see, there’s nothing that can creep you out faster than these strange deaths in rock scene. Too many rockstars have fallen six feet under from suicide, accidents, murder or drug overdose. However, the following are different because they’re strange and in some cases, unbelievable.
Brace yourself because you’re about to have one heck of a scare.
1. Chicago’s Terry Kath
Cause of Death: Accidentally shot himself
Terry Kath is the original guitarist and a founding member of the “rock and roll band with horns” Chicago. He’s widely known for his impressive guitar skills and vocal style. In fact, he was said to be one of the favorite axemen of Jimi Hendrix who once described Kath as “better than me.”
He had been struggling with substance abuse and some of his bandmates noticed that he was constantly unhappy especially towards the end of the 1970s. Drummer Danny Seraphine said that Kath once told him, “I’m going to get things under control … if I don’t, this stuff is going to kill me.”
In 1978, Kath was regularly playing with his guns and carrying them almost everywhere. A week before his 32nd birthday, he was at a party at a roadie’s home. He was fooling around with guns and he picked up an unloaded .38 revolver and put it to his head. He pulled the trigger a few times since the chambers were empty. He then took a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol and did the same thing. Unfortunately, that gun was loaded and he instantly died. Allegedly, his last words were, “What do you think I’m going to do? Blow my brains out?”
2. Stone the Crows’ Les Harvey
Cause of Death: Electrocuted on stage
Leslie Harvey was a guitarist in numerous Scottish rock bands including Stone the Crows where he became the co-founder. In the ‘60s, he was invited by Alan Price to join the Animals but he refused because he didn’t want to leave his brother’s group, the Alex Harvey Soul Band. He also joined Blues Council but in March 1965, their vocalist and bassist were killed when the tour van crashed. The members then decided to go their separate ways after the tragic event.
In 1972, during their concert at the Swansea Top Rank Ballroom, it was a rainy day and there were puddles on the stage. His hands were wet when he touched a microphone which wasn’t earth-grounded. He was electrocuted and the group’s roadie tried to unplug the guitar but he was unsuccessful after several tries. Les Harvey died from the shock and the injuries he has sustained during the accident.
3. Yardbirds’ Keith Relf
Cause of Death: Electrocuted at home
Keith Relf was The Yardbirds’ harmonica player and lead vocalist. He also co-wrote some of the band’s classic hits like “I Ain’t Done Wrong,” “Shapes of Things,” “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago,” and “Over Under Sideways Down.” He also sang “Dazed and Confused” in Yardbirds shows. This is the early version by the way and Led Zeppelin eventually re-recorded it.
By this time, his health wasn’t in top form since he’s been suffering from chronic asthma and emphysema. It was on May 14, 1976 when Keith Relf was staying in the basement of his house and playing an electrically grounded guitar while standing on a gas pipe. He was electrocuted which resulted to severe shock. His aforementioned health problems also contributed to his inability to survive the injury. It was reported that his 8-year old son was the one who found his body. There were rumors, however, that Relf was playing the electric guitar in his bathroom.
4. ELO’s Mike Edwards
Cause of Death: Hay bale accident
A member and cellist of the English rock band, Electric Light Orchestra, Mike Edwards was also a music teacher. After leaving the group, he went on to live a simple and quiet life away from all the glitz and glamour of the industry.
On September 3, 2010 around 12:30 PM, he was driving on the A381 road near Totnes in Devon where he lived. A 600kg cylindrical hay bale rolled out of a field, flipped a few feet over a hedge and collided with his white transit-type van. It smashed into the front area of the vehicle and caused it to swerve. It crushed Edwards to death.
Two farmers, Brian Burden and Russell Williams, were found not guilty of health and safety offences even if Mr. Williams claimed that he had left the hay bale “halfway down the field.” During a tribute from the website of Face the Music, they wrote: “Mike quickly became a crowd favourite with his exploding cello and rather unique solo party piece that involved playing the cello with a grapefruit!”
5. The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson
Cause of Death: Drunk diving
Aside from being the drummer and co-founder of The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson was the only real surfer among the band members. Days before his death, he checked out of a detox unit and started drinking at the Santa Monica Bay Inn. There, he bumped into his estranged wife’s male friend and picked a fight with him. He lost and had to be admitted to the St. John’s Hospital and Health Center for the treatment of his wounds.
One of his friends, Chris Clark tried talking to Dr. Michael Gales to readmit the Beach Boy to the said detox unit but the physician refused saying that Wilson was “just too much trouble.” On December 8, he drank all day and went surfing in the afternoon at the Marina del Ray where he died. It was later found out that his blood alcohol level was two times the limit for driving at the time of his death.
6. T. Rex’s Steve Peregrin Took
Cause of Death: Choked on a cherry
Although Steve Peregrin Took was widely known for being a member of the English glam rock band, T. Rex, he also had a solo career and even fronted numerous other groups. He was born Stephen Ross Porter but he came up with his stage name after the character Peregrin Took in JRR Tolkien’s famous book “The Lord of the Rings.”
On October 27, 1980, he was staying at a house in Notting Hill which Took shared with Valerie Billiet and her daughter. He was starting to regularly receive the royalty checks which were long overdue. On that tragic night, he was celebrating because he just received another payment. The day before, he bought morphine and hallucinogenic mushrooms and in the evening, he and Billiet injected themselves with morphine and he was found dead the next morning. However, what caused his death wasn’t the drug but after he choked on a cocktail cherry. This led to asphyxiation. His official cause of death was listed as “death by drug misadventure.”
7. Maserati’s Jerry Fuchs
Cause of Death: Fell down an elevator shaft
Jerry Fuchs was a member of numerous bands – Maserati, The Juan MacLean, !!!, and Turing Machine. On December 8, 2009, he was at a warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City with a friend to attend a benefit party to raise educational funds for the children in India. Early in the morning around 12:30 AM, he was trapped in a broken freight elevator in between floors.
When the doors were pried open, his friend jumped out of the stalled elevator car (about four feet) and made it. He tried to follow but his hood got snagged, pulled him off-balance and backwards. He fell down the elevator shaft and when his friends found him after seeing him lying face down, he couldn’t speak anymore. He was transported to the Belleville Hospital but later passed away. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy told New York Times that Jerry Fuchs was “one of the only people we all knew who was literally great at what he did.”