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What Killed Lemmy and Glenn Frey? Here Are Some Answers

This has been a rough couple of months when it comes to dying musicians: Scott Weiland, John Bradbury of the Specials, Nathalie Cole, Dale Griffin of Mott the Hoople, Lemmy, Bowie and Glenn Frey. And that’s just since December 3.

Some new information has come to light about what killed Lemmy. At first, we heard that he suffered from an aggressive form of brain and neck cancer. But now that his death certificate has been leaked, we know that it was prostate cancer (the same thing that killed Johnny Ramone) along with cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.

Frankly, I can understand why Lemmy’s prostate cancer went undiagnosed for so long. Sure, you can have a PSA test, but digital examinations are still very effective and a recommended (albeit highly unpleasant) way of checking for prostate health.  But can you imagine Lemmy subjecting himself to that sort of test? And would you want to be that doctor. You can see Lemmy’s death certificate here.

In the case of the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, he’d been suffering from two painful inflammatory diseases: ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Of the two, the arthritis was the root cause of his issues. Glenn began taking some very strong medications to control it for at least fifteen years ago and while they worked well enough for him to soldier on, these medicines come with some challenging side effects. According to Eagles’ manager Irving Azoff, Glenn died of complications of the colitis that resulted from the meds. Add in pneumonia and his immune system just couldn’t cope.

Glenn’s health started to fail in August, about a month after the Eagles played their last show in Bossier, Louisiana. By October, an intestinal infection had become so bad he had to check into a hospital in Los Angeles. He bounced back a little, but then the problems returned, forcing surgery. By November, he was in a Manhattan hospital suffering from a very virulent case of pneumonia. Even a medically-induced coma and treatment by eight specialists couldn’t save him. Doctors knew about a month ago that it was just a matter of time.

More coverage on Lemmy here and Glenn here.  On a related note, here’s how Hotel California killed the Eagles.

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.

Alan Cross has 37418 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “What Killed Lemmy and Glenn Frey? Here Are Some Answers

  • Alan, you missed Gary Loizzo, lead singer of the American Breed, 70, 2 days ago.


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