It’s always a shock when a rock star dies. Our first reaction is “What happened? How did this person die?”
That’s completely natural. Whenever we’re met with something incomprehensible, we demand an explanation. Sometimes one comes quickly while at other times, it takes days, weeks, months, and even years for the truth to come out—if at all.
And how much are we entitled to know? When do we cross the line from being curious and concerned to gawking and prurient and prying and invading very private space?
Yet there is something to be said for learning about how someone died. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned or a cautionary tale, steps we or someone else can take to make sure something like this never happens again—or at least not as often.
A celebrity death is news, part of the public record. Wanting to know what happened helps us process the news and all the emotions that go along with such a death.
Besides, some will say that these doomed people are celebrities. As celebrities, they lived with the idea that the public was interested in multiple aspects of their existence, including how they died. It goes with the territory.
And one other thing crosses our minds: Could we ourselves ever meet such an end?
With all that in mind, let’s look at some notable rock star deaths, focusing on what happened in the last moments of their time on Earth.
Songs heard on this show:
- Sid Vicious, My Way
- Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart
- Bob Marley, Redemption Song
- Kurt Cobain, I Hate Myself and Want to Die
- Blind Melon, Change
- INXS, Never Tear Us Apart (Live)
- Kirsty MacColl, A New England
- U2, In a Little While
Here’s Eric Wilhite’s playlist.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
- 102.1 The Edge/Toronto – Sunday night at 7pm
- Q107/Toronto – Sunday night at 9pm
- Live 88-5/Ottawa – Saturdays at 9am and Sundays at 6pm.
- 107.5 Dave-FM/Kitchener – Sunday nights at 11pm
- FM96/London – Sunday nights at 8pm
- Power 97/Winnipeg – Sunday nights at 11pm
- Sonic 102.9/Edmonton – Sunday at 8am and 8pm
- The Zone/Victoria – Sunday at 8am and 9pm
- The Fox/Vancouver – Sunday at 11pm
- Surge 105/Halifax – Sunday at 7pm
- WAPS/WKTL The Summit/Arkon, Canton, Cleveland, Youngstown – Mon-Fri at 9pm