Dead Musicians

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Freddie Mercury Last Performance (Barcelona)

Freddie's obituary
Source: Rolling Stone January 1992

Submitted by: egret

Queen singer is rock's first major AIDS casualty
By Jeffrey Ressner

FREDDIE MERCURY, THE OUTLANDISH frontman for Queen, whose worldwide hits like ``Bohemian Rhapsody'' and ``We Are the Champions'' combined gaudy theatrical pomp with heavy-metal bluster, became the first major rock star to die of AIDS when he succumbed to complications from the disease on November 24th at his London home. He was forty-five years old.

Mercury, whose real name was Frederick Bulsara, had not performed with Queen in concert since 1986. He had become a virtual recluse over the past two years, yet he repeatedly denied reports that he had contracted AIDS until the day before his death.

``The time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth,'' he said in his statement, explaining that he had waited so long to make the announcement because ``my privacy has always been very special to me.''

Although Mercury's condition was long rumored in the tabloid press and virtually an open secret in the music industry, his death still startled many fans and colleagues. Bouquets from Elton John, David Bowie, U2, Ringo Starr and the Scorpions adorned the West London Crematorium, where a brief funeral service in the Zoroastrian faith was held for his family and a few close friends, including the surviving Queen members, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

``Of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest,'' says Bowie, who collaborated with Mercury and Queen on their 1981 hit ``Under Pressure.'' ``He took it over the edge. And of course, I always admired a man who wears tights. I only saw him in concert once, and as they say, he was definitely a man who could hold an audience in the palm of his hand. He could always turn a cliche to his advantage.''

Beginning in the early Seventies, the flamboyant Mercury - who cited Jimi Hendrix and Liza Minnelli as his main influences - led Queen through eighteen albums that sold 80 million copies worldwide, amassing almost a dozen U.S. hit singles, including his campy ``Killer Queen,'' the Elvis spoof ``Crazy Little Thing Called Love'' and the bass-heavy anthem ``Another One Bites the Dust.'' Queen's popularity nose-dived in the United States during the Eighties, but the group remained popular in England and around the world.

Queen laced British glam pop with swooping arias, corny vaudeville themes and heavy-rock bombast, but it was Mercury's wicked taste for wretched excess that set the band apart. ``Freddie was clearly out in left field someplace, outrageous onstage and offstage,'' says Capitol-EMI president and CEO Joe Smith, who headed Queen's American label, Elektra Records, at the peak of the group's success. ``He was the band's driving force, a tremendously creative man.''

Elektra's release of Mercury's overwrought, six-minute mock opera ``Bohemian Rhapsody'' - complete with a goofy choir chirping ``Mama mia, Mama mia'' - was only one example of his musical extravagance. He was even more extreme when it came to his concert performances, appearing in leather storm-trooper outfits or women's clothes and taking an arch, gay-macho stance that both challenged and poked fun at the decidedly homophobic hard-rock world.

Offstage, Mercury was known for his wild antics and the lavish gifts he bestowed upon friends. To celebrate his forty-first birthday, for instance, he flew eighty pals to an exclusive hotel on the resort isle of Ibiza, where they were treated to fireworks displays, flamenco dancers and a twenty-foot-long cake carried by waiters dressed in gold and white costumes. ``All I can remember about the whole time we were making records and hanging out was that it was like one continuous party,'' says producer Roy Thomas Baker, who worked on five Queen albums.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Michael Hutchence honoured by INXS

Michael Hutchence 1960-1997, lead singer, INXS.
Almost 38 years after his birth on 22 January 1960, his death was announced to the world today, Saturday 22 November, 1997.

Perhaps to some, Michael Hutchence is INXS. Perhaps to others INXS is Michael Hutchence.

To me, Michael was the heart of INXS, the other band members the soul, an important characterisation of the band that always meant INXS were never INXS without both it's heart and soul.

I will sadly miss the band in it's completeness, and thank one and all for the many memories and years of enjoyment from the skills of their art.

News of the death - how Saturday 22nd November, 1997 unfolded:

The early reports of his death filtered through on television and radio about 1300 hours, AEST (Sydney) time.The news announced that he had been found dead in his hotel room at the exclusive Sydney Ritz Carlton Hotel. There was initial press speculation that he had suffered a drug overdose, but these theories were later replaced with the news that his death was in fact suicide, by hanging himself.

Police in a later press conference stated that his prescribed medication was found in the room, but that no illegal drugs had been found in his hotel room. They were not pursuing the investigation as having suspicious grounds, and that a leather belt had been removed from the room for analysis. Michael's body was relocated under police escort to the morgue, and there has been no mention of any form of farewell note.

Later came newsreels of INXS, replaying for us the initial videos of INXS, originally formed in Perth, and radio stations playing "Burn for You" as a tribute.

People from all around the world flocked to the #INXS channel of efnet IRC on the net from that moment on. Some came to offer condolences, some came to confirm the sudden news, others came to discuss their theories on why this had happened.

It was interesting to note that the most common question besides "is it true?", was "why did he do this?".

Clearly, it came as a shock to all. Having witnessed the band rehearsal (filmed less than 24 hours prior to his death), of a very relaxed M.H. joking about, it is hardly credible that the man would have any reason in the world to end early his life. The preparations of the upcoming Australian east-coast tour, and the seemingly more peaceful life for Michael and Paula, particularly after the comparative storm of the court custody case and the police raid, there seems little apparent reason to most of us as for any motive - which simply due to it's unanticipated nature makes it all the more shocking.

Paula Yates is believed to be enroute to Australia, although there have been conflicting reports as to the accuracy of this.
[update 24 Nov 97 - Paula and their child Heavenly arrived in Sydney ABC News link #3]

INXS "'Never Tear Us Apart" Michael Hutchence Live 1997

tim buckley. once I was


Tim Buckley: Age 28
(b. 14 February 1947, Washington, DC, USA, d. 29 June 1975).

Tim Buckley died in June 1975, of a heroin overdose.  The story goes like this: After a short tour culminating in a sold-out show at an 1,800-capacity venue in Dallas, the band partied on the way home, as was customary. An inebriated Tim proceeded to his good friend Richard Keeling's house in order to score some heroin. As Underwood tells it, Keeling, in flagrante delicto and unwilling to be disturbed, argued with Buckley : "Finally, in frustration, Richard put a quantity of heroin on a mirror and thrust it at Tim, saying, 'Go ahead, take it all', like a challenge. As was his way, Tim sniffed the lot. Whenever he was threatened or told what to do, he rebelled." Staggering and lurching around the house, Buckley had to be taken home, where Judy Buckley laid him on the floor with a pillow. She then put him  to bed, thinking he would recover; when she checked later, he'd turned an ominous shade of blue. The paramedics were called but it was too late.  Tim Buckley was dead.

Jeff Buckley - Grace


Jeff Buckley:
Age 30
(b. 17 Nov 1966, d. 29 May 1997)

Since he was the son of cult songwriter Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley faced more expectations and pre-conceived notions than most singer/songwriters. Buckley began playing as a high school student in New York. Eventually, he moved to Los Angeles to study music; while he was there, he performed with several jazz and funk bands, as well as playing with Shinehead, a leader in the dancehall reggae movement.  Buckley began a solo career playing clubs and coffeehouses, building up a considerable following. Soon, he signed a record deal with Columbia Records, releasing the Live at Sin-e EP in November of 1993.  It received good reviews, yet they didn't compare to the raves Buckley's full-length debut, 1994's Grace, received. 
On the night of May 29, he and a friend traveled to the local Mud Island Harbor, where Buckley spontaneously decided to go swimming in the Mississippi River and leaped into the water fully- clothed.  A few minutes later,  he disappeared under the waves; authorities were quickly contacted,  but to no avail -- on June 4, his body was finally found floating near the city's famed Beale Street area.

John Denver - Annie´s Song

John Denver killed in plane crash
                      October 13, 1997   
                     SALINAS, California (CNN) --   
                      Singer and songwriter John   
                      Denver, whose '70 hits such as   
                      "Rocky Mountain High" and   
                      "Take Me Home, Country Roads"   
                      gained him worldwide fame, was   
                      killed Sunday when his small   
                      aircraft plunged into Monterey   
                      Bay, officials said Monday. He   
                      was 53.   



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