Brian Francis Connolly, 11/17/45 - 5/29/97. Born in Hamilton, Scotland, Brian was a rock vocalist, best known as the lead singer for the glam rock band, Sweet. He died as a result of liver failure brought on by a drinking problem. Brian was 51.

Brian's life seemed to have quite a bit of drama right from the start. It seems that his drinking started during the success of Sweet and never stopped.

Jeff Buckley, (Jeffrey Scott Buckley), 11/17/66 – 5/29/97, born in Anaheim, California Jeff was an incredibly talented musician, vocalist and song-writer. His father was musician Tim Buckely. He drowned in the Mississippi River, his death was an accident. He was 30.

Its hard to write about Jeff because I discovered his music years after he died and immediately felt a loss. I’ve read a lot about him and can’t do justice to him here in a few words. Jeff struggled with his emotional highs and lows but I believe that’s what enabled him to write in his intense, ethereal lyrics. Sometimes when I listen to him sing, its hurts, he has that effect on me. I have the 2009 release of a DVD/CD "Grace Around the World" and highly recommend it. I reviewed it here. There's something so intriguing about him, a darkness, a sadness that seems out of place coming from such beautiful young man, see if you agree by watching him perform "Grace" here. A great loss.

Jeff Buckley - Grace
via FoxyTunes

Rich Mullins, 10/21/55 – 9/19/97. Born in Richmond, Indiana, Rich was very much loved singer/songwriter. He wrote several songs that became some of the best known “praise and worship songs” used in churches today (Sing Your Praise To The Lord and Our God Is An Awesome God ). Rich died as the result of a car accident. Rich was 41.

Rich may not be familiar to many of you unless you listen to contemporary Christian music. What I liked about him was that he "walked the talk" and chose to live a simple lifestyle giving most of him money away. One of his songs seems very prophetic to me since he talks about dying and even insinuates that he's looking forward to it. Here are the lyrics.

Rich Mullins - While The Nations Rage
via FoxyTunes

John Denver, ( Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. ), 12/31/43 – 10/12/97. Born in Roswell, New Mexico, John was one of the biggest selling folk/pop artists of the 1970s. In his lifetime, he recorded and released over 300 songs, about half of which he had written. John died when the small aircraft he was piloting crashed. He was 53.

What sad news to hear about John's death. I think most people remember him in his early years when he had a "down-home-country boy" persona, a "nice young man" that wrote uplifting songs. John was also very involved in several humanitarian projects and was vocal about his political beliefs. Unfortunately some people thought that tarnished his image, it made me respect him more. I wonder what he'd be up to today had he lived a longer life.

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High
via FoxyTunes

Michael Hutchence, (Michael Kelland John Hutchence), 1/22/60 – 11/22/97. Born in Sydney, Australia, Michael was the lead singer of INXS. He was found hanging in his hotel room. Controversy surrounded his death with rumors that it was murder, but it was considered to be a suicide. Michael was 37.

Its been over ten years but I still feel an ache in my heart every time I listen to his voice. Michael was one of my top five favorite male vocalists of all time. I wad devastated at this loss. I had the honor of meeting someone who knew him and was close to his family. After his death this person was allowed to read Michael’s journals and it confirmed what I had always believed, he was a sensitive soul often tortured by depression. Bono and he were friends and the song “Stuck in a Moment” was written about his death. This video of INXS doing "Don't Change" is a chronological look at Michael on stage. I think he's one of the most sensually attractive men I have ever seen. I was appalled when a few years ago the remaining members of the show did a reality to show to find a new vocalist. Let's face it - Michael made INXS the success it was. It was his songwriting ability and his presence on that stage that brought the fans. I'm not saying the rest of the band had no talent, just saying they could have been replaced but there was no replacing Michael.

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Starrlight said...

Well didn't 97 just suck?

Jeff Buckley was a huge loss. One album was just not enough.

Can't talk about Hutch without getting teary either. He's in my top 5 as well.