Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches

Overview

The bible of music’s deceased idols—Jeff Buckley, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac, Elvis—this is the ultimate record of all those who arrived, rocked, and checked out over the last 40-odd years of fast cars, private jets, hard drugs, and reckless living. The truths behind thousands of fascinating stories—such as how Buddy Holly only decided to fly so he’d have time to finish his laundry—are coupled with perennial questions, including Which band boasts the most dead members? and Who had the bright idea of ...

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The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches

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Overview

The bible of music’s deceased idols—Jeff Buckley, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac, Elvis—this is the ultimate record of all those who arrived, rocked, and checked out over the last 40-odd years of fast cars, private jets, hard drugs, and reckless living. The truths behind thousands of fascinating stories—such as how Buddy Holly only decided to fly so he’d have time to finish his laundry—are coupled with perennial questions, including Which band boasts the most dead members? and Who had the bright idea of changing a light bulb while standing in the shower?, as well as a few tales of lesser-known rock tragedies. Updated to include all the rock deaths since the previous edition—including Ike Turner, Dan Fogelberg, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Eartha Kitt, Michael Jackson, Clarence Clemons, Amy Winehouse, and many, many more—this new edition has been comprehensively revised throughout. An indispensable reference full of useful and useless information, with hundreds of photos of the good, the bad, and the silly, this collection is guaranteed to rock the world of trivia buffs and diehards alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Lincoln Journal Star
Fascinating. . .A must-have for the shelves of every music obsessive.
popsyndicate.com
Insightful, informative, entertaining.
Star Tribune
Neither encyclopedically boring nor rockcrit glib.
Under the Radar
Hard to put down.
The New Statesman
A huge, affectionate and strangely compelling chronicle . . . There's no shortage of rip-roaring sagas, shot through with black humor, pathos, and peculiar insight.
The Daily Express
A strange, entertaining chronology . . . comprehensively detailed and interspersed with lighter facts and interesting charts.
The Observer
A definitive guide to how our fave rock stars kicked the bucket.
Rock Sound
Simmonds . . . plays on our obsession with the bizarre and the tragic in equal measure. As humorous as it is enthralling.
Library Journal

More than just a chronicle of deceased rock 'n' rollers, Simmonds's (The Rough Guide to Rock) revised and retitled edition of Number One in Heaven: The Heroes Who Died for Rock 'n'roll(2006) is a cheekily informal and entertaining account of artists both popular and obscure who died between the years 1965 and 2006. From Jimi Hendrix to Dimebag Darrell, Grady Pannel to Wayne Reynolds (of the Southern psychedelic outfit Electric Toilet), representatives from every subgenre of rock 'n' roll-from rap to punk to Norwegian black metal-can be found here listed alongside golden age luminaries like Mary Wells and Del Shannon. Entries are arranged chronologically, each one serving as a brief biography of the artists' lives and often untimely ends. Notable near misses are identified as such with the headline "Close!" while other boxed texts highlight strange facts with the header "Dead Interesting!" Symbols are used at the beginning of each entry to indicate the manner of death and include icons for such events as rail accidents and on-stage deaths. Cross-references pepper the text, with arrows to indicate their chronological order. Browsing through the 40-odd years explored in this book is simplified with the addition of the month and date that appear at the base of every page.
—Daniel Sifton

From the Publisher

"Simmonds manages to be thorough and reverent, yet wry."  —The Village Voice

"Frighteningly comprehensive."  —Slug magazine

"Entertaining and time-eatingly captivating. . . . Fascinating and a must-have for the shelves of every music obsessive. . . . If you're a rock fan, I guarantee you won't put it down for hours."  —Lincoln Journal Star

"A huge, affectionate and strangely compelling chronicle. . . . There's no shortage of rip-roaring sagas, shot through with black humor, pathos, and peculiar insight."  —New Statesman

"An entertaining chronology . . . comprehensively detailed and interspersed with lighter facts and interesting charts."  —Daily Express

"Simmonds plays on our obsession with the bizarre and the tragic in equal measure. As humorous as it is enthralling."  —Rock Sound

"There have been previous attempts to collect a roll call of rock's dead, but all pale in comparison to this page-turner. . . . The book is factually strong, and written in a manner that balances proper homage with the irreverence expected of a book dedicated to any facet of rock 'n' roll. It's spiked with a wickedly dark sense of humor. . . . As death goes, the book is pretty darned amusing."  —Winston-Salem Journal

"A cheekily informal and entertaining account. . . . An engrossing read [with] cohesion, depth, and flair. . . . Fascinating."  —Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556527548
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Simmonds is the coauthor of Rough Guide to Rock and a freelance music writer. He wrote and produced seven series of the popular BBC television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, as well as the pop quiz show Mental!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    Where's his fact checker?

    I picked up this book and flipped to my favorite artist--Elliott Smith--and right away found two errors: 1. He was nominated for, but did not WIN, as the book stated, an Academy Award. 2. 'Figure 8', not 'Figure of Eight', is the name of one album'. In his introduction, the author offers a disclaimer that 'one or two small errors' might have crept in. If I can find two of these in ONE article, how many others might have gone unnoticed? Not recommended.

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