The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 930: People who (almost) died

Kind of a Halloween-y thing this weekend.

Being a rock star comes with all sorts of privileges: Money, fame, plenty of sex, lots of drugs. But those things can of course also be very dangerous.

Take the case of Slash. In September 1992, Guns N’ Roses was on tour with Metallica. Slash and the band were staying in San Francisco ahead of a show across the bay in Oakland. And after that gig, Slash died.

Some drug dealers showed up at his hotel room at 5 am with all kinds of stuff. Slash took everything, including a powerful speedball, which is a combination of heroin and cocaine. He wandered out into the hallway where he encountered a maid. He tried to ask her where the elevator was–and WHAM! He was out.

The maid freaked and called for help as Slash lay motionless on the floor.

When the paramedics arrived, they gave him the old adrenalin-needle-directly-to-the-heart trick and he was saved. Afterward, the EMS people told Slash that he’d been technically dead for eight minutes due to cardiac arrest. (That seems like an awfully long time and still survive, but whatever. That’s his story.)

Slash was transported to the hospital but quickly signed himself out and was onstage for the next gig in LA two days later. About a decade later, though, he was diagnosed with heart disease and ended up having a pacemaker planted in 2004.

And Slash is far from the only rock star who managed to come back from the dead–or, at the very least, had come perilously close to going into the light. Here are some explains of those who very nearly checked out long before their time.

Songs heard on this show:

  • Jim Carroll Band, People Who Died
  • REM, Tongue
  • Depeche Mode, I Feel You
  • Foo Fighters, All My Life
  • David Bowie, Changes (Live)
  • Peter Murphy, Cuts You Up
  • Korn, Freak on a Leash
  • Queens of the Stone Age, My God is the Sun

As usual, we have this playlist captured by Eric Wilhite.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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