Hidden Details Found At Rock Star Funerals
Janis Joplin - criterioncollection / Youtube
Living as a rock star is a highly public affair. There is virtually nothing about the life of rock artists that is private. Moreover, rock ‘n’ roll history is rife with personalities who died in catastrophic accidents or other sad situations, and their deaths sometimes receive just as much attention as their lives did because of the drama surrounding them. Below, are the hidden details revealed at the funerals of these famous rockstars; check it out.
Lemmy, known for rocking hard and partying hard till his death, made sure that his burial service was more fun than solemn. After several poignant remarks, the event was completed off by Lemmy’s bass being plugged into a wall of amplifiers to fill the church with deafening feedback.
Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus)
Oderus Urungus, the main vocalist of Gwar, was a household name in the heavy metal scene. Urungus, whose real name is Dave Brockie, sadly went away from a heroin overdose on March 23, 2014, at the age of 50. According to legend, the singer’s Viking funeral included placing his ashes into his legendary hideous figure Oderus Urungus and transporting them aboard a boat with presents. A blazing arrow thrown by a friend, Ed Harrington, ignited the funeral pyre before the boat was hauled out into the ocean and destroyed by Viking tradition.
Known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley doesn’t require any introduction. The singer’s burial was held on August 18, 1977, and a convoy of white Cadillac limos followed the hearse carrying his remains to its last resting place. There’s an explanation for this: Presley’s ex-girlfriend, Mindi Miller, revealed the reason: “his favorite color was white. He was in white, all the lining was white, the hearse was white …That was his color. Very ethereal, very elegant.”
Janis Joplin, a counterculture star and singer, died at the young age of 27 from a heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. She was a massive party-goer, so it’s only fitting that her pals throw one last party in her honor with the $2,500 she left them in her will. Everybody got drunk and high to commemorate her life.
When artist Gram Parsons passed away, his body was supposed to be flown to New Orleans, but instead, his buddy Michael Martin and tour manager Phil Kaufman stole it, drove it to the Joshua Tree desert, and burnt it. As David Meyer describes in “Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and His Cosmic American Music,” however, this is exactly what Parsons desired. When the musician’s coffin was burned, Kaufman says a dust devil formed and blew his ashes all over his favorite location on Earth.
Harry Nilsson died of congenital heart issues on January 15, 1994. His memorial service was held two days after his death, on the same day that a devastating 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck the San Fernando Valley. The earthquake cast a shadow on what was supposed to be a party in honor of a great singer, casting a pall over the burial. According to Nilsson’s friend Jimmy Webb, “There was no fuss over the fact that he was gone because the Northridge Quake flattened about half of Southern California.” When he left, it was hardly a quiet day in the news.
Ronnie Van Zant
On October 1977, tragedy struck the Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd when the airplane they boarded crashed, killing several members, including Ronnie Van Zant. At his funeral, One of Van Zant’s closest friends, the legendary Southern musician Charlie Daniels, said the following at the musician’s memorial service: “It wasn’t long before people started calling me for comments, and it seemed like I could never turn loose of it. Sitting in a hotel room, possibly in Phoenix, I wrote [a poem] … At the funeral, I read it and sang ‘Peace in the Valley’ and gave it to [Van Zant’s wife] Judy.”
Vinnie Paul Abbott
The drummer for both Pantera and Damageplan, Vinnie Paul Abbott, was an outspoken KISS fan. In a kind gesture, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS personally paid for and provided the KISS casket he was buried in after his untimely death at the age of 54.
On March 18, 2017, legendary rock and roller Chuck Berry passed away, and many other artists paid their respects during his burial. Berry’s coffin was outfitted with a cherry red Gibson guitar so he could continue playing even in death. The Rolling Stones continued the guitar motif by having a floral arrangement in the shape of a guitar displayed at the burial, with the inscription, “Thank you for the inspiration. With fondest memories, Keith, Mick, Charlie, and Ronnie. The Rolling Stones.”
On September 18th, 1970, the world lost a legend: guitarist Jimi Hendrix. His brother, Leon Hendrix, who was serving time in prison at the time, was able to attend the funeral thanks to special permission from the facility where he was being held. Perhaps the most touching moment at Hendrix’s burial was when a close friend of the family recited the words of his song “Angel.”