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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 ...
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.
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.
"Captivating, time-consuming, and fascinating page-turner, a physically capacious and emotionally weighty tome/tomb. It’s a triumphant feast of woe, mishaps, misery and artistic wonderments, and there are weeks of reading (and re-reading) here. A rich, often grim history is uncovered behind some of rock’s forgotten or overlooked losses, and the painstakingly researched nature of the book is bound to enthrall fanatical music and trivia fans."—PopMatters
"A definitive guide to how our fave rock stars kicked the bucket." —The Observer
"Hard to put down." —Under the Radar
"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 New Statesman
"A strange, entertaining chronology . . . comprehensively detailed and interspersed with lighter facts and interesting charts." —The Daily Express
"Simmonds . . . plays on our obsession with the bizarre and the tragic in equal measure. As humorous as it is enthralling." —Rock Sound
"Fascinating. . . . A must-have for the shelves of every music obsessive." — Lincoln Journal Star
Posted April 23, 2008
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.