Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, 9/8/45 – 3/8/73. Born in San Fransisco, California he was a founding member of the band Grateful Dead. He was sang, played organ, harmonica, percussion, and occasionally guitar. Pigpen began experiencing congenital liver problems, likely exacerbated by his years of excessive drinking after suffering a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. He was 27.
The Grateful Dead - Sugar Magnolia
Gram Parsons, (Cecil Ingram Connor), 11/5/46 - 9/19-1973, Gram was born in Winter Haven, Florida. He was a member of several bands including The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Known for writing music, playing guitar and piano he was well respected by other musicians. Gram died of a heart failure from tequila & morphine overdose . He was 26.
Sad. So much talent...gone so soon. The story of his death and what happened afterward is incredible, "In the late 1960s, Parsons became enamored of Joshua Tree National Monument in southeastern California. Alone or with friends, he would disappear in the desert for days searching for UFOs while under the influence of psilocybin or LSD. Less than two days after arriving, Parsons died September 19, 1973 in Joshua Tree, California at the age of 26 from a lethal combination, purportedly of morphine and alcohol. According to Fisher in the 2005 biography Grievous Angel: An Intimate Biography of Gram Parsons, the amount of morphine consumed by Parsons would be lethal to three addicts and thus he had likely overestimated his tolerance considering his past experience with opiates. Fisher and McElroy were returned to Los Angeles by Kaufman, who dispersed the remnants of Parsons' stash in the desert.
Parsons' body disappeared from the Los Angeles International Airport where it was being readied to be shipped to Louisiana for burial. Prior to his death, Parsons stated that he wanted his body cremated at Joshua Tree and his ashes spread over Cap Rock, a prominent natural feature there; however, Parson's stepfather arranged for a private ceremony back in New Orleans and neglected to invite any of his friends from the music industry.To fulfill Parsons' "funeral" wishes, Kaufman and a friend stole his body from the airport and in a borrowed hearse drove it to Joshua Tree where they attempted to cremate it by pouring five gallons of gasoline into the open coffin and throwing a lit match inside. What resulted was an enormous fireball. Police chased them, but according to one account they were unencumbered by sobriety and got away. The two were arrested several days later. Since there was no law against stealing a dead body, they were only fined $750 (or $700) for stealing the coffin and were not prosecuted for leaving 35 lbs of his charred remains in the desert."
Jim Croce, 1/10/43 – 9/20/73, Jim was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a talented singer/song writer and played the piano, guitar and harmonica. Jim was best known for his hits Bad Bad Leroy Brown, and Time in a Bottle. The album “I Got a Name” was released posthumously and some believe Jim had yet to produce his best work, while others maintain that his death was what gave his music publicity. He died in a plane crash. Jim was 30.
I was shocked by the news of Jim's death. That summer I had spent a lot of time with an older cousin who played all of Jim Croce's well known songs on his guitar. In a way it seemed like a personal loss because he was so open in his lyrics, you felt like you knew him.
Jim Croce - I Got A Name