Steve Clark
, (Stephen Maynard Clark), 4/23/60 – 1/8/91. Born in Hillsborough, England he was a guitarist for Def Leppard. He modeled his playing after his guitar idol, Jimmy Page. Steve’s had a severe addiction to alcohol that threatened his career many times. He died of an accidental overdose of painkillers and alcohol. He was 30.

Okay, here is another one. Its painful to remember these deaths and to write about them. A young man in the prime of his life with one of the hottest bands of the day. He was an excellent performer and he contributed to the early success of the band. But the guys became more and more frustrated and concerned about his drinking. What I've read has painted a picture of a tight band who cared a lot for Steve and did all they could to help him. Anyone who knows much about addiction and recovery knows that there is not a thing you can do to help someone, they have to want it for themselves. Unfortunately, Steve Clark did not. This is an excellent video clip of his bandmates talking about him, it also shows some of his guitar work. What stands out to me as I watched is Rick Allen. As their drummer he was able to overcome losing an arm and he triumphed over a great physical challenge. Yet all the while watching his friend, Steve, lose his battle to alcoholism. RIP Steve...you are missed.

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me
via FoxyTunes

Steve Marriott, 1/30/47 - 4/20/91. Born in Bow, London Steve was the guitarist for Small Faces and Humble Pie. He is best remembered for his powerful blue-eyed soul vocals. Steve died of smoke inhalation when his 16th Century home caught fire. He was 44.

Steve was a self taught guitarist but was best known for his great voice. Humble Pie was a great band in the early 70's but according to other members drugs got in the way of things and they eventually broke up. His life was quite interesting, if you are interested you can read about him here. One thing I wonder about, would things have been different for him if he had got the job with The Rolling Stones? Check this is out: "After the departure of Mick Taylor in 1975 from the Rolling Stones, Marriott was considered as his replacement; however, Mick Jagger allegedly blocked the move after Marriott upstaged him during the audition. According to Ronnie Wood in his autobiography Ronnie, Marriott was Richards' first choice to replace Mick Taylor." Ten years after Steve died his friends got together and did a tribute concert to him that sounds like a fabulous evening with an all star line-up. I bet Steve would have loved it

Humble Pie - Hot 'N' Nasty
via FoxyTunes

David Ruffin, (Davis Eli Ruffin), 1/18/41 – 6/1/91. Born in Meridian, Mississippi he was a singer/dancer with The Temptations. He sang lead vocals for the first time on the song that went on to be their first number one hit, “My Girl”. David became heavily involved in drugs and died of cocaine overdose. He was 50.

The Tempations were one of the best Motown acts ever and David was one of the original five. He's been named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest vocalists of all time. That's impressive, but what impresses me more is what Marvin Gaye said of David's voice, "I heard in [his voice] a strength my own voice lacked". Unfortunately he had quite a few troubles in his life including spending some time in prison and battling with drugs and financial problems. There was some very wild rumors surrounding his death and many believed it was a planned suicide. But to me that doesn't matter now...he's gone and I choose to remember him singing and dancing and bringing a lot of joy to many people with this talent.

The Temptations - My Girl (Stereo)
via FoxyTunes

Miles Davis
(Miles Dewey Davis III) 5/26/26 - 9/28/91. Born in Alton, Illinois Miles was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century. He was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He recorded in every major jazz genre including, bebop, fusion, funk. Miles died from a stroke, pneumonia and respiratory failure. He was 65.

Miles Davis always had an air of intimidation about him, kind of like he knew he was cool, he knew he was the man when it came to the trumpet. Listening to Miles makes me want a cigarette, even though I don't smoke. Wish I had something more eloquent to add.

Miles Davis - Blue in Green
via FoxyTunes

Eric Carr, (Paul Charles Caravello), 7/12/50 – 11/24/91. Eric is best known as the drummer for the rock band KISS. He replaced original drummer, Peter Criss. Eric was also a talented vocalist, bassist, guitarist and pianist. He was diagnosed and died of a rare form of heart cancer. Eric was 41.

Not being a huge KISS fan I had to do a bit of research on Eric Carr. Most people that I talk to still refer to the band's drummer as Peter Criss, which is a shame because Eric was with them longer and seemed like a very talented musician and likeable person. I recommend you follow the link on his name to read more about him. Here's one thing that intrigued me, "At the time of his successful audition, Caravello was repairing stoves with his father for a living, while playing drums in a variety of bands. He was the last drummer to audition for the band and actually asked Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley for autographs, in case he never saw them again. "But I knew I had it", he told a fanzine in 1990. According to Caravello, his audition was videotaped." Eric's death sounds horrible, that part was difficult to read.

Kiss - Calling Dr. Love
via FoxyTunes

Freddie Mercury, (Farrokh Bulsara), 9/5/46 – 11/24/91. Born on the island of Zanzibar Freddie was the much loved singer/ songwriter for Queen. He was known for his powerful vocal abilities and his charisma as a live performer. His health declined for years amidst rumors of HIV/AIDS. Just twenty four hours after issuing a statement that he had the disease, he lost his life to it. He was 45.

This was another death that brought immediate tears to my eyes. Along with many others that heard the news, it came as a shock to me because it was just the day before that he had officially announced he had AIDS. He waited a long time to share it publically and I respect his decision for doing that - to protect his family from the hounding media. Freddie was a special person to those who knew him and although his persona was bigger than life, it seemed that he was a bit shy and humble when not on state. On stage he was "godike" according to this account, "One of Mercury's most notable performances with Queen took place at Live Aid in 1985, during which the entire stadium audience of 72,000 people clapped, sang, and swayed in unison. Queen's performance at the event has since been voted by a group of music executives as the greatest live performance in the history of rock music. The results were aired on a television program called "The World's Greatest Gigs". In reviewing Live Aid in 2005, one critic wrote, "Those who compile lists of Great Rock Frontmen and award the top spots to Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, etc. all are guilty of a terrible oversight. Freddie, as evidenced by his Dionysian Live Aid performance, was easily the most godlike of them all."

Queen - We Are The Champions
via FoxyTunes


Yuritalinda said...

The best singer/writer ever!!!

Anonymous said...

Ah, how can you not love this man?

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Anon - which one? Freddie?

Anonymous said...

RIP soulful Stevie Marriott. We won't get another one like you. You were one of a kind!

I hope one day finally people will realise how special he was 'cause he has never got the credit he deserved.

Starrlight said...

I can't talk about Freddie without crying. Such a sweet man and so very talented.

Perplexio said...

Steve Clark was 1/2 of the two-pronged lead guitar attack that put Def Leppard on the map. Initially it was Clark and Pete Willis (on Def Leppard's first 2 albums) and later Clark and Phil Collen. Willis and Collen played with a cleaner guitar sound and Clark with a rougher more raw and less polished sound.

Before replacing Clark, Collen played all guitar parts on Def Leppard's Adrenalize album. Both the parts written for him and the parts for Clark. Collen claims that nearly led to his departure from the band because it was so hard to play Steve's parts.

skywalker said...

Thank you for including Steve, the Riffmaster in ur blog.. Steve will keep living in our heart thru his music..
Keep heaven rocking,Steve !