Andy Gibb,(Andrew Roy Gibb), 3/5/58 – 3/10/88. Born in Manchester, England (although he was considered Australian, being raised in Queensland). Andy followed in the footsteps of his older brothers (The Bee Gees) becoming a singer/songwriter. He had years of success followed by drug addiction which eventually contributed to an inflammatory heart virus which ended his life. He was 30.

I can recall that many people were shocked by his death. Andy had the reputation for being a clean cut guy, although I also recall it was well known that he had a drug problem. I imagine that it was very hard for the older brothers to deal with this loss. Once again, fame + fortune = drugs = death.

Andy Gibb - I Just Want to Be your Everything
via FoxyTunes

John Curulewski, 10/3/50 - 2/88. Born in Chicago, Illinois, John played was a founding member and played lead guitar for STYX. He left the band after their first five albums. John died of a brain aneurysm. He was 38.

Its sad to think that so many of the men and women on this page died because of drugs, but to me, its even more tragic when they die unexpectedly from an accident or serious illness. That's the case here. John chose to leave Styx because he wanted to spend more time with his wife and son and made a living teaching guitar (some of his students went on to start successful bands). Sounds like a nice family guy living a good life that was cut short unexpectedly.

Styx - Mr Roboto
via FoxyTunes

Hillel Slovak
4/13/62 - 6/25/88 Born in Haifa, Israiel, Hillel was the original guitarist and founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers. He recorded two albums with the band, Freaky Styley (1985) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987). Hillel battled an addiction to heroin and died of an overdose shortly after returning from a successful European tour. He was 26.

Another heartbreaking loss, another victim of heroin. As I was looking for info on Hillel I read that he is originally from Israel and that his parents were Holocaust survivors. I don't know if they are still living, but I imagine they were in 1988. What would it be like to survive the worst horrors of history and then to lose your son to a drug overdose? I live in fear of that very thing. I read that Hillel was speedballing, that's what my son was into. I also found a site that his brother, James, had set up for him. On the site he sells a book he put together of Hillells' art and writing, I would love to see it. Here is what James says on the site, "My brother Hillel Slovak past away in 1988 leaving a legacy of music. His music is well renown, but who he was as a person is only known to the lucky people and friends that got to know him even if it was fora minute. Hillel wasn't just the original guitarist and co-founder of the Red hot chili peppers...he was so much more.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - behind the sun
via FoxyTunes

Roy Orbison, (Roy Kelton Orbison), 4/23/36 – 12/6/88. Born in Vernon, Texas Roy was considered a pioneer of rock music as a singer and songwriter. His career spanned forty years. Roy died of a heart attack. He was 52.

A great line in Springsteen's Thunder Road says a lot about this four-octave range singer and his emotional, often melancholy lyrics: "Roy Orbison singing for the lonely...that's me and I want you only...". Roy had a long career and was respected and admired by many of today's and yesterday's great singer/songwriters including Elvis and Bono. Along with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison he formed the Traveling Wilburys. Unfortunately he only had a year with the band before his death. On their tribute to him they showed a picture of his guitar sitting in a rocking chair. I remember that image and think Roy would have liked it.

Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

A Styx fan once told me an interesting tale about Curlewski that may or may not be true.

The story goes that Curlewski was at a party that was also attended by former bandmate, Dennis DeYoung. Someone poisoned Dennis's drink, and Curlewski not knowing or realizing it-- drank the drink intended for Dennis. It was the poison that caused the brain aneurysm.

It would be interesting to find out whether or not there's any truth to the tale... It sounds a bit incredible to me. I have a friend whose parents own a restaurant in LaGrange where John taught guitar and I've heard his funeral was very well attended as he was very well respected within the community.